“To book aurora borealis”

Got several inquiries from travelers wishing to come here to see the aurora borealis, aka northern lights. Here is my attempt to provide a comprehensive answer to the seekers of this phenomenon.

The most common question is “When do I need to travel to the Kola Pensula to see aurora borealis for sure”. First, forget the “for sure” part. The aurora is a probabilistic thing. Thus there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Generally speaking, aurora borealis can be observed at high latitudes any time there are dark nights. On the Kola Peninsula it is approximately from September to April.

A common misconception is that aurora borealis requires real cold winter weather. This photo was made in the Hibiny mountains on the 28th of September, and I’ve myself seen the aurora in the vicinity of Kandalaksha starting the end of August.

 

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A Bearded seal

..came out of the sea, with a splash, near the dacha village of Malinovy some 10km east of Kandalaksha, and looked at us with what appeared like intense interest from the distance of ~30 meters. 

 

 

This year’s first aurora borealis

Noticed right over Kandalaksha on the night from October 19 to October 20. The photo is by the Apatity photographer Valentin Zhiganov. Our camera is not able to see such things with clarity worth sharing.

The ugliest night in a long time. Late fall 50% off on all my services.

Rain, melting snow, and wind – we were treated to the classic late fall weather last night. The ugliest it has been in a long time. Most definitely this is not the time of year to travel to Kandalaksha.

But I make a living off you travellers, thus the late fall special on all of my services in an effort to entice you here: 50% off, or $12.50/hour and I’m yours to act as a guide, driver or translator.

Or, if you have business here but can’t attend the place in person, I can be your errand boy. Information gathering of any sort, people and grave searches, press reviews, whatever. It’s like having your feet and eyes and hands, and even a part of your brain here.

Intense hail fell on Kandalaksha today

Never before have I seen a hail so dense. Pieces of it were still around two hours after it ended. Lights blinked but otherwise there is no apparent damage.

Ice invasion

“In the winter of 1888, on the 5th (new style: 18th) of January, at about three in the morning, the residents of Kashkarantsy were awakened by a strange and terrifying noise of ice mountains of huge size moving onto their village from the sea, destroying barns, houses, and boats..”

Saw the same thing in its miniature version yesterday:

Beginning of Spring in the White Sea

It’s just a few pictures of our walks around Kandalaksha during March.

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Clouds over the White Sea Kandalaksha Bay islands

white-sea-clouds

A view from the highest point of the road from Kandalaksha to Umba and Varzuga. Beginning of the cold spell three days ago, with the see quickly freezing and giving off lots of vapour in the process.

Aurora borealis expected in the next few days

A rumour is going around that, should the sky be clear, we stand a good chance of seeing northern lights around Kandalaksha from now till Jan. 6 2017. 

Warning: we are into a cold spell now, with temperatures around minus 20C.

Good news: the car is back in circulation after a major repair job. No blizzard inside the cabin, and it is much quieter now than it was before, making conversation while driving easy. Also it is kept heated when parked, so no problem starting despite the cold. I and the car are available for hire at discount off-season rates!