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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Free guide for English speaking travelers to Kandalaksha.

Here is a message from one of my English students:
 
My name is Irina and I’m studying English for the third year now. I freely read books and watch movies but I desperately need English conversation practice. If you are not afraid my bad English I will be your guide and show you around Kandalaksha.
 
I’ve been living here for twelve years and there hardly is a question about the town that I can’t answer. Where to stay, where to eat, what to visit, how to enjoy your trip – just ask.
 
Please email me mast.ruk@yandex.ru or call +7 911 3050721. I’m available on weekends.

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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Epiphany ice bathing in Kandalaksha Jan. 18 and 19

This year the Orthodox Epiphany ice-hole dip will take place near the fish breeding operation’s dam between ulitsa Naberezhnaya and ulitsa Rybovodnaya, east end of town.

The authorities promise to equip the place with heated tents and lighting, and provide police and ambulance presence.

The hole in the ice will be sanctified at 7:30pm and made accessible to the adventurous from 8pm to 2pm next day, Jan. 19 2017.

Clouds over the White Sea Kandalaksha Bay islands

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A view from the highest point of the road from Kandalaksha to Umba and Varzuga. Beginning of the cold spell three days ago, with the see quickly freezing and giving off lots of vapour in the process.

Aurora borealis expected in the next few days

A rumour is going around that, should the sky be clear, we stand a good chance of seeing northern lights around Kandalaksha from now till Jan. 6 2017. 

Warning: we are into a cold spell now, with temperatures around minus 20C.

Good news: the car is back in circulation after a major repair job. No blizzard inside the cabin, and it is much quieter now than it was before, making conversation while driving easy. Also it is kept heated when parked, so no problem starting despite the cold. I and the car are available for hire at discount off-season rates!

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.

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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.