Ice invasion

“In the winter of 1888, on the 5th (new style: 18th) of January, at about three in the morning, the residents of Kashkarantsy were awakened by a strange and terrifying noise of ice mountains of huge size moving onto their village from the sea, destroying barns, houses, and boats..”

Saw the same thing in its miniature version yesterday:

Beginning of Spring in the White Sea

It’s just a few pictures of our walks around Kandalaksha during March.

more >>

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.

sunrise-1 more >>

A small mid-October camping trip

This last weekend I was made to drag my ass along the south edge of the Kola Peninsula to the so-called Nos (“nose”) Cape, just east of the Golden Gate and Tetrina fishing base and ~3 miles to the village of Kuzreka. The latter is famous as the site of the Pomor ritual cookie festival and is, incidentally, open to foreign travellers despite Russian submarines regularly surfacing in the bay.

14

A popular summer destination among the locals, in the middle of October it was populated only by us, a fishing family from Apatity, and a bear who left numerous footprints

18

and other evidence of its presence. more >>

The Aurora Borealis season is here..

aurora-1

The Cross Mountain, just east from Kandalaksha, last night

Sightings of Aurora Borealis had been reported on August 30 and today, Sept. 2. Here they are, from the VK page of Kandalaksha photographer Igor Prozorov.

more >>

Hills over the Kolvitsa village

Here are some photos from the recent trip to the tundra hills over the village of Kolvitsa, thanks to two Finnish travelers I took there. During a good half a day in the hills we met no one and saw not a single piece of trash. I think I’m starting to understand what draws people up there.

kolvitsa-hills-1
The white stuff is lichens. No reindeer here, thus lots of lichens.kolvitsa-hills-2kolvitsa-hills-3
Picking cloudberries..

kolvitsa-hills-4
On top of one of the highest hills in the area..

If Kuzomen is not far enough for you, cross the Varzuga river

varzuga-ferry-1On Thursday we witnessed an UAZ van ferried to the other side of Kuzomen, to the true “beyond”. That’s the only way, except the helicopter, to get to places like Chavanga, Strelna, or Chapoma.

Here are a few photos to show you how it happens, with the floating platform being pushed by a motor boat. The cost of this adventure across the river is ~5000 roubles ($70) per crossing. more >>

Day of eared jellyfish

74

There are two types of jellyfish living in the White Sea: Aurelia aurita and Cyanea capillata. Aurelia aurita is also called “Eared jellyfish” even though it has no ears. It got its name from its bright and clearly visible reproductive gonads.

Aurelia sometimes comes close to the coastline and gets stranded on the beach, or is thrown out by the storm. But never before have we seen so many jellyfish as we did yesterday.

62

more >>

The day of giant things

On our second day in Kuzumen we found a huge tree on the beach. Can’t imagine where it has come from. There are no trees of this size within at least 100km from here.

26

A huge root, 2×3 meters, and the trunk of at least 10 meters in length more >>

Our traditional August vacation in Kuzomen has started

This is one of the easiest yet most interesting routes around the Kola Peninsula. You can do that alone or by hiring Uncle Pasha as your driver, guide, and translator.

34

Below are travel notes from the first two days on the road. These are useful (facts) and useless (beautiful sights). more >>