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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Another Russian mega-project: a monster 6-wheeled truck to the North Pole

burlakIt goes over deep snow and floats, and is said to carry in it enough fuel to make it to the North pole and back.

See more (in English) at the site of the Arctic State University.

And here is a little film showing how it floats and gets back on ice:

 

Crossing Finnish border by bicycle may soon be banned

no-bikesRumours have reached me that Russians and Finns are presently discussing closing the Salla and Raja-Jooseppi border crossing points to bicycles as a response to crowds of Syrian, Afghan etc. refugee status seekers. These fulfill the formal requirement for travellers wishing to get across to have some form of transportation other than their feet by getting on bikes.

Arctic Trophy – 2015

arctic-trophyArctic Trophy-2015 motor rally starts in Kandalaksha on Sunday August 30 at 12 noon from the main square.

Participants will register in the Belomorye hotel on the 29th from 10am to 10pm, and have their vehicles inspected.

The race is towards the Barents sea coast, it will last a week, and is 500km long. The event has been held for ~20 years.

Here is a video from Arctic Trophy-2013 to give you an idea of what it looks like:

 

 

 

Shared auto travel

blablacarLess than $20 will take you from St. Petersburg to Moscow, and under $40 will drag you all the way from Murmansk to the capital. Check out www.blablacar.ru/. Rides are often available even to destinations that don’t have a good train connection. Based on my impression of their site and the hearsay I’d recommend this service fully, and will be personally testing it at the first opportunity.

Sredny and Rybachy Peninsula Nature Reserve

sredny-n-rybachyIt is in near plans, with “access for organized group tourists only”. Private travellers watch out as you may be kept out.. Lots of complaints floating around to the effect that the borders of the proposed reserve have been drawn in a manner that does not protect anything of value. In short, if planning a trip there don’t assume anything other than that a little local scandal is brewing.

rybachy-peninsulaPS. WeirdRussia.com has recently published a series of photos of Rybachy that I recommend.

 

Court case in connection with the death of Haruhisa Watanabe

On 26 Dec. 2012 Japanese cyclist Haruhisa Watanabe was killed in an auto accident near Kandalaksha. Recently Boris Rozhansky, the driver of the car that hit him, got a 3-year suspended sentence, with prohibition from operating a motor vehicle for 1.5 years.

“Around Barents”

around-barents-truckLet the team behind the project introduce themselves:

“Around Barents” is a northern countries car journey to show the interesting people of the region.

..We want to tell about the people who live in the North, about the way they live, work, love and create something new, tell you about different people beginning with the craftsmen living in remote settlements to the managers of the major international projects. And, of course, in the framework of our journey we are going to show the beauty of the northern nature which is well-known all over the world.

The first part of our project is the Kola Peninsula. Within a month we are planning to visit various places of the Murmansk region and write about our journey in the blog on the website of the project, in social networks, as well as through our media partners.

Project page >>