The ugliest night in a long time. Late fall 50% off on all my services.

Rain, melting snow, and wind – we were treated to the classic late fall weather last night. The ugliest it has been in a long time. Most definitely this is not the time of year to travel to Kandalaksha.

But I make a living off you travellers, thus the late fall special on all of my services in an effort to entice you here: 50% off, or $12.50/hour and I’m yours to act as a guide, driver or translator.

Or, if you have business here but can’t attend the place in person, I can be your errand boy. Information gathering of any sort, people and grave searches, press reviews, whatever. It’s like having your feet and eyes and hands, and even a part of your brain here.

Norwegians in Murmansk, Lovozero and around

Here is a story by Kristin Evju from her Norwegians’ group September 2017 visit to the local cultural Sami events in Murmansk and Lovozero, with a detour to Seidjavr Lake, with the assistance of Mikhail Barakovsky, with whose support I took two Swedish journalists to see reindeer keepers a couple of years ago.

The story is of the “atmospheric” type, with not much in the way of practical details, but a would-be traveler can, and are encouraged to contact us for these.

The owner of travel agency Orange of Kandalaksha reported to be arresed in Sweden for the theft of a fur coat

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.

From Kandalaksha to Zapolarny

Just returned from a trip to Zapolarny on an interpreting assignment. Here are some useful bits pertaining to the logistics of travelling from Kandalaksha to Zapolarny cheap and easy.

The annoying thing is that there is no direct link, either by bus or railroad, between Kandalaksha and Zapolarny. You’ll have to travel through Murmansk. But it turned out easier than anticipated.

To get to Murmansk fast and cheap hop on a minibus that leaves at 5:30 am and 6:30 am off the train station parking lot. To reserve a seat call 8 911 349 9000. The trip will take about 4 hours and as of the moment, it costs 700 roubles ($12US). The train is slightly slower and considerably more expensive ($20-35) but there are several during the day. See tutu.ru for the train schedule.

Another option of getting to Murmansk is by arranging a ride through blablacar.ru. My first experience with the system was highly positive. Lots of traffic between Kandalaksha and Murmansk, and the “standard” cost is 500 roubles (under $10) per passenger.

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Buddhist stupa near Apatity vandalized

Someone has recently written “Russia is an Orthodox country” on the “Stupa of Enlightenment” by the Apatity to Kirovsk road, one of the two stupas near Apatity built by local entrepreneurs brothers Igor and Oleg Belyayev. This is of course a far cry from the Taliban blowing up centuries-old statues of Buddha but still..

Had one too many beers, climbed the horsie, survived

On returning from the Village of Kuzomen found the little horse hanging by our camper again. This time, with more than one beer inside me, I thought it a good idea to get on the animal that, apart from attempting to bite at my legs, took this abuse quite calmly and gave me a ride around our camp. 

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Rye dough figurine celebration in Kuzreka

Rye dough ritual figurine celebration took place in Kuzreka yesterday, August 8. That was the 8th event of this sort, and this time it attracted a crowd of 2000, including the representatives of the regional authorities and a bunch of folk music groups.

Part of the festival was the scarecrow competition. The only part of the festivities that made me regret I wasn’t there in person.

Here are some pictures of the event borrowed from hibiny.com:

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Intense hail fell on Kandalaksha today

Never before have I seen a hail so dense. Pieces of it were still around two hours after it ended. Lights blinked but otherwise there is no apparent damage.

The invasion of artists to the Ter area of the Kola Peninsula

25 artists, mostly from the north-western parts of Russia, plan to work on the White Sea coast between Kandalaksha and Umba from July 25 to August 5. Sketches will be exhibited on August 4 at the Local History Museum in Kandalaksha. Works based on the collected materials, when ready, are promised to be presented to the public from September 21 to November 18, 2018, in the Regional Art Museum in Murmansk at Ul. Kominterna 13.

Russian-Finnish Festival in Vyborg August 5-6 2017

The Kukushka festival of Russian and Finnish culture and music is taking place in Vyborg (Finnish: Viipuri), Leningrad region, some 100km northwest from St. Petersburg, on the weekend of August 5-6, on the Central Market Square of the town. 

More at www.kukushkafest.ru/suomeksi, in Finnish and Russian.