Shaman drums

shaman-drumsOne of our favourite local artists, a painter Irina Sidtikova from Apatity, came up with a new type of product, drums.

These are 15cm in diameter and 1200 roubles ($20) a piece, which is a bargain. Said to be entirely functional.

You can get in touch with Irina through her VK page or by writing to us to

Crazy Russian closing of winter season – snowboarding in slush


A group of snow enthusiasts based in the city of Kirov have closed the winter season by trying to cross a semi-thawed lake in the hills around the city.



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Contrasts of northern nature: butterflies and aurora borealis

2 (4)Spring has begun. The snow is visibly melting every day. Grass is already growing, birds singing, butterflies coming to life.

And at the same time..

Tonight, Imandra lake, a typical deep-winter phenomenon. Photos by Valentine Zhiganov.

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Paintings by Irina Sidikova for sale

Our favorite artist Irina Sitdikova (Apatity city) offers to sell her work. The average cost of $10-25. The complete collection with description and price here >> We will help to contact the artist if you wish to buy her paintings.
Look at some of them…

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Cherri hostel, Apatity

This is how the hostel’s site looks like.




And that’s harsh reality. Complete with inebriated personages outside, within the gravity pull of “Zakusochnaya” in the same building. But they are definitely worth the price, and respond enquiries fast and to the point, and are working hard to make the place functional and cozy.

On the negative side, their potential guests need to be warned about lack of sound-proofing, which makes co-existing with a children’s sports team, as was our case, difficult, and absence of many small conveniences, such as night lights by the beds.

Still, this remains the cheapest accommodation option in the whole of Apatity. Had we not run into a bunch of overenergized teenagers the impressions could have been even better.


Formally presenting artist Irina Sitdikova

sitdikovaI got a few enquiries about her, and see her name in my site’s search stats once in a while. Thus it may be time or even overdue to present this distinguished artist formally. Here is a summary about her taken from

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Off to Apatity for two days

The main reason is to bring Alexandra’s “Trip to Kolvitsa” to the Stone Flower expo. A report on the event is to follow. There may be delays in my answering e-mails. The phone for emergency use is +7 921 155 5432.

“Stone Flower” Exhibition in Apatity Feb. 11-15 2015

A yearly exposition and fair “Stone Flower” is to be held in the city of Apatity from Feb. 11 to Feb. 15 this year.

Location: The Palace of Culture, ul. Lenina 24, 11am to 8pm. The entrance ticket is 30 roubles (50 cents).

There you’ll find stone, bone, glass, and amber articles, custom-made jewelery, books on the nature and history of the Kola north etc. reports that a series of lectures on aurora borealis and a tour for aurora borealis hunters is being planned. Book Throll-Angels is to be presented. Over 100 participants from several countries are expected there. Among the participants will be our old friends, the Bartash family from Umba, the owners and operators of the Amethyst Coast Souvenir Shop and Workshop.