Volostnaya hill accessible by foot

I’m pleased to share with the world that Volostnaya Hill overlooking Kandalaksha has, unlike it was the case last March, well-packed trails, and can be accessed on foot without skies, snowshoes, or other contraptions and ceremonies.

Here are some photos from our trip there today..

Trees are fully packed in snow, a local “March” phenomenon, a consequence of wind and high humidity..


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A review article in English: The White Sea – an Exotic Sea of the Russian North

“The White Sea, now the only inland sea in Russia, is a semiclosed basin connected with the Barents Sea through Gorlo and Voronka. Voronka and the Mezen Bay are also assigned to the White Sea. The geographic bound ary of the White and Barents seas passes along the line Svyatoi Nos Cape – Kanin Nos Cape.
Throughout the ages the White Sea have played an important role in economy of the North and North West of Russia. Many important events and stages in formation of Russia as a sea-power are associated with the White Sea”.

An article, in English, about the White Sea and scientific research on the White Sea, by A. P. Alekseev and V. G. Kulachkova “The White Sea – an Exotic Sea of the Russian North” (PDF: Alekseev_Kulachkova_The White Sea – an Exotic Sea of the Russian North_1999)

White Sea in late November. Photo by Gennady Alexandrov

The first sun of January in the mountains near Kandalaksha

Just a few photos that made these days the local photographer Artyom Kovalev. 10 minutes from the city by car, 30 minutes on foot, and voila …

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A new no-words film on the Kandalaksha nature

The new film, entitled “This Cold North”, was shot by our friend and colleague, a biologist, photographer, and local history expert Gennady Alexandrov back in 1996 but just was released now. The focus of it is the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve..

“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.