Foreigner access to Rybachy and Sredny

I’ve recently have been once again looking at the issue. It appears that the only way to get the FSB (former KGB) permit is via a local incoming travel agency. Those I’ve contacted (www.atv51.ru, snow51.ru, and www.m-tour.ru) would only arrange permits to the participants of their tours that start at ~$400/person. I’m continuing to look for one that would provide assistance with no strings in the form of tour participation attached.

Any hints or suggestions?

British cemetery in Murmansk

A couple of years ago I wrote mentioning the British Cemetery in Murmansk from the WW1 days. Recently I got a request for grave photos, and received the following story from Alexandra’s Murmansk acquaintances that I’d like to share with you:

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Stress therapy for Alexandra

Yesterday drove through 250km of snow and blizzard on the insistent request of my mate, who apparently needed some variety to clear her head off the eider thoughts. If anybody does not know, she is intensely working on a book on the relationship between humans and eider ducks. Sometimes that results in brain overheat, thus the need for a cooling trip once in a while.

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Off to Murmansk for the weekend

Leaving the computer behind. If the matter can’t wait please call +7 921 155 5432. Back Sunday evening. The Murmansk program includes visiting a Saami village with the reputation of being “authentic” near Murmansk. A report is to follow.

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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African suricate found in a snowbank in Murmansk

It remains a mystery where the animal has come from and how it ended up in a snowbank in Murmansk. At the moment is is being treated from frozen paws, and there already is a lineup wishing to adopt it should the owner fail to show up.

Long-awaited direct Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights are here

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The other day I’ve noticed a poster by Orenburzhye Airlines at the local supermarket announcing direct daily Murmansk to Arkhangelsk flights. The cost of the ticket is ~8000 roubles (about $130) one way according to their site. Before this offer became available one would either have to fly via Moscow (that would take pretty much the whole day) or spend one and a half or two days on the train.

Kola Expeditions is getting ready to receive English-speaking travellers

They ordered me to translate their site into English, and immediately uploaded these translations to snowtracker.ru/en/. Last March we ourselves took part in one of their 3-4 hour tours, were impressed, and can recommend Kola Expeditions to travellers looking for the “local spirit”.

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Exhibition train in Kandalaksha on Oct. 5

railroad-expo-trainThe history of the Karelia and Murmansk part of the October railroad, originally connecting Moscow and St. Petersburg, and latest technological advances are said to be featured.

Here is the schedule of the train:

October 1 – Murmansk
October 2 – Zapolarnaya Station
October 3 – Olenegorsk
October 4 – Apatity
October 5 – Kandalaksha
October 6 – Kovdor
October 7 – Kem

Open 10am to 6pm, closed 1 to 2pm, admission fee 70 roubles.

Flooding in Kovda

flooding-kovdaHeard a couple of dramatic reports that water dumped from a reservoir up the Kovda river washed off the bridge in the village of Kovda downstream thus leaving the residents cut off from the mainland, and is threatening houses.

Complaints of no response from emergency services.

Kovda is some 80km south from Kandalaksha. See my small overview post on Kovda.