Epiphany ice bathing in Kandalaksha Jan. 18 and 19

This year the Orthodox Epiphany ice-hole dip will take place near the fish breeding operation’s dam between ulitsa Naberezhnaya and ulitsa Rybovodnaya, east end of town.

The authorities promise to equip the place with heated tents and lighting, and provide police and ambulance presence.

The hole in the ice will be sanctified at 7:30pm and made accessible to the adventurous from 8pm to 2pm next day, Jan. 19 2017.

Clouds over the White Sea Kandalaksha Bay islands

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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!

Polar night over in Kandalaksha

Yesterday I was dragged out to Luvenga by my mate Alexandra, who totally disregarded my profound desire to spend Jan. 1 in coach-glued lethargy, and was forced to observe the first true sunrise of the year.

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Santa Claus in a bird cage

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There are few things more gloomy and depressing in this country than postapocalyptic style”garage coops”. Our car has been stuck in one of these, in Niva-3, an industrial outskirt of Kandalaksha, for the last two weeks for a welding job.

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An exhibition of areal photos of the Kola Peninsula

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Opened yesterday at the Niva movie theatre in Kandalaksha, and expected to stay on well into 2017.

The author is the famous Boris Vakhmistrov, an avalanche expert from Kirovsk.

In his free time he flies around the Kola Peninsula on a deltaplane taking photos, and is one of the recognized photography masters here. 

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The 99th anniversary of the Communist revolution

A small if not to say tiny demonstration to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Communist revolution took place in Kandalaksha on November 7..november-7-3

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First snow in Kandalaksha

Today, October 26 2016, we had this fall’s first snow. Much later than in past years. On this excuse I was dragged out to the Monastery Cape and told to stop whining about local wet and cold climate, or else sit in the warm car and wait. I chose to fake cheerfulness.

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My English students seek conversation practice

Here is a letter from one of them:

irina-2I’m desperate for English conversation practice!

In exchange, I can be your guide in Kandalaksha.

I can meet you at the train station, help you check into a hotel, recommend a place to eat, suggest places to visit, take you there, keep you from getting lost, and in every other way make you stay in Kandalaksha pleasant and comfortable. All totally free if you speak English to me and encourage me to do the same.

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Finally, an all-asphalt road to Salla, Finland

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The last 15km long dirt and gravel section of the Alakurtti to Salla (Finland) road has finally been covered with asphalt. The ceremony of opening the road took place yesterday. Travel between Kandalaksha and Finland is now even easier.