The most striking piece of bad news is the collapse of the railroad bridge near the City of Kola on or around June 3, thus cutting the railroad connection to Murmansk. This was caused by high level of water in the Kola River. The governor apparently declared it will be restored within five days which, of course, is totally unrealistic.
Motivated by greed, I’ve conceded to give an overview tour of Kandalaksha and area on the night from Saturday to Sunday, starting at 1am and ending at 6am. Now, as the day or, rather, night, approaches I’m starting to have doubts about the wisdom of my decision. Somehow staying up all night is something that no longer seems easy although I worked as a night watchman for a considerable time in Canada in my younger days. We’ll see if I’m still capable of pulling it off..
Kandalaksha Online reports, without indicating the source, that the average wage in Kandalaksha as of April 2019 is 28,600 roubles per month, or just under $500/month. The current exchange rate is in the area of 66 roubles for one dollar US….
(The rest of this post went south after site restoration.)
The Officers’ House, built in late 1930s, was abandoned in 2010, suffered from a series of fires, and up to now has been standing as the most spectacular of local ruins. Recently a decision to bring it down by a series of explosions and demolish it starting October 15 was announced. I’m truly sorry to see this monument to the Soviet epoch go. Here are a few photos by Alexandra from our last visit there in September this year..
The facade is there. I’m neither an architect nor a civil construction economist but isn’t a building restorable as long as the facade and the walls are there? Perhaps restoration takes more subtlety and flexibility, compared to leveling things and building anew, than we Russians are capable of?
The roof is gone, and the central stage is exposed..
Yet another of these silly events… As much as I dislike motors and vehicles and other activities that take me away from my couch I’ll share this piece of news because this sort of happenings does attract viewers, among whom an occasional client may materialize.
Starts on Sunday, September 2 2018, on the Kandalaksha’s main square, and proceeds to an undisclosed location somewhere on the Barentz Sea shore, probably ending up in Murmansk.
The race lasts a week, and participants are, in addition to Russia, from Norway and Finland. The Norwegians will be riding their ATVs.
This is the 25th race of this sort.
Here is a video from one of the past Arctic Trophy events to give you an idea what it looks like.
Severpost.ru reports that Olga Galanchik, the owner of one of Kandalaksha’s travel agencies, Orange Tours, located at no. 3 ulitsa 50 let Okryabrya, was arrested in Sweden on Sept. 19, 2017, for stealing a fur coat. The court date is set for October 6, and Olga is said to be under arrest before the court.
I wonder if this is a true story or a typical Russian “drive your competitor out of business” ploy.
A few days ago, on April 20 2017, the Ministry of Justice declared the Kola Ecological Center, of which my mate Alexandra is a member, a “foreign agent” for receiving foreign financing and being engaged in political activity.
Its “political activity” appears to be taking part in public hearings where government officials were present.
The “foreign agent” status means, in addition to a serious stigma, a significant increase in the amount of reporting paperwork the NGO has to do.
The Kola Ecological Center is behind the eco-trails east of Kandalaksha and near Kolvitsa. They also orchestrated the construction of a WW2 memorial in Kolvitsa. These are the sort of things that stand out in their work, not attempting to influence Russian government officials using foreign funds.