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.
One every few days we hear a report of a bus full of Chinese travelers stuck on this road. Not surprising. Conditions here, in the south of the Kola Peninsula, are much milder. Bare ice everywhere is the biggest of our road problems.. A recent photo by Alexander Popov
A few days ago I received the following letter from a Polish traveller to this neck of the woods. I’m reproducing the letter in its entirety, with author’s permission, in the hope it may be of use to other potential travellers here.
2 months ago I asked you some questions before the trip to Teriberka, Tumanny and Sredny peninsula. I returned home recently.
I want to tell you, that all your informations were correct. I wasn’t
arrested there. Also, there are no gas stations, tire services nor car
services at the road to – and in – Teriberka and Tumanny. Nature is
astonishing there, and Teriberka is really magic place. I saw Kandalaksha
too, and many other towns, like Kalevala, Belogorsk or Kirovsk.
When trying to drive to Sredni peninsula, despite being careful, I destroyed
exhaust in my car after just few hundred meters. It was huge mistake, this
road is exclusively for SUVs and 4×4s. I’ve been in workshop in Zapolyarny,
but damage was so severe, I was forced to leave to Norway with broken
exhaust, because my visa (and temporary car importation) was about to
expire. Nobody in low cars should try to go there.
Also, while going to Teriberka/Tumanny, I noticed as low temperatures, as 2
deg. C. (5 – 8 was typical). The temperature sensor was at a mirror, so just
above the ground, near 0 was possible. So, driving there, at the end of
June, with water in radiator was possible, but risky.
A few months ago somebody asked me for a review of the local fish market.
An often-heard complaint about the local fish scene is that it has very little locally caught fish. Recently, however, a weekly fish and sea product fair has opened in Murmansk.
It is supposed to be held every Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm at the Forum Trade Center. The address is Kolsky Proyezd 134. One can get there by a free bus that is said to be leaving every hour starting 9:30 am from Ulitsa Gadzhiyeva in the city center.
Sounds like a good place to get a glimpse of the local fish scene, including the fishermen who, it is said, bring their catch straight to the market.
A recent expedition by the Russian Geographical Society, the Northern Fleet, and the “Verman” group of the Russian War Artefacts search movement have pulled a bunch of war-related stuff out of a Salla Border Crossing point area swamp.
Things found included tracks and other fragments of two Soviet VT-7 and one German T-II tanks, a part of the Soviet 44mm gun, a number of household items (like flasks), and remains of one Wehrmacht soldier.
A couple of days ago I heard a report that the Murmansk to Teriberka road is open to the joy of crowds of Chinese travellers for whom this, apparently, is a popular destination.
Now, the beginning of April, may actually be the best time to visit these places. There is still snow and you can enjoy winter thrills like skiing and snowmobiling but it is not that cold (around freezing in the daytime) and the daylight lasts from 7am until after 8pm. Truly, the best of all worlds.
A moose is said to have been stuck in the hydroelectric canal of the Niva hydroelectric station, about 10km north from Kandalaksha, on Sunday morning. Apparently the animal tried to swim across but could not get out on the opposite side. The moose was successfully pulled ashore..
A bear – and a huge one – is said to have been noticed in the outskirts of Polarniye Zori, 20km north from Kandalaksha. It seems to have been attracted to the town by garbage and caused quite a panic in the community, judging from social networks.