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.

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

Lighthouse on the edge of the world

4Nicodemus Lighthouse(Nikodimsky Mayak). One of the most remote and gloomiest places of the Kola Peninsula. Some people seek to get there nonetheless. Perhaps they are looking for exotic or rare shots or want to understand the “mysterious Russian soul”. Ilya Zheltyakov, traveler and filmmaker making a documentary about Nikodimsky lighthouse

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.

 

Another book: Nature and Natural Resources of the Murmansk Region

natural-resources-of-murmanskAbout 500 photos from 30 Murmansk region photographers. Photos from hard-to-access places on the shores of White and Barents sea, along the Ponoy River, on the Rybachy Peninsula etc. Photos of unique natural phenomena (aurora borealis and others), rare plants and animals, mineralogical monuments, culturalnd historic sites (labyrinths, Saami seids, stone carvings of Kanozero and paintings of the Rybachy Peninsula), and also photos of the Kola Peninsula from space.

 

natural-resources-of-murmansk-2The text was written by the members of the Kola Center of Nature Preservation. Well-known scientists and regional history experts acted as consultants in the course of developing the text.

Extensive illustrated material does not simply describe natural objects but helps in understanding northern ecosystems. The book shows just how succeptible to human influence northern nature is, calling to reader’s attention to the significance of many phenomena often left unnoticed.

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And that’s why I dragged Pasha onto the mountain

Volostnaya Hill, about 2 kilometers from the city and 350 meters above sea level. Such incredible colours can be seen only in September.

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Off to Kuzomen

Photo by Snowman_pro from Kirovsk. Recommend.

kuzomenVillage of Kuzomen, Ter coast of the White Sea, about 300km east from Kandalaksha. This polar desert is a favorite place of Uncle Pasha on the Ter edge of the Kola Peninsula.

Campsite “Golden Bay”

A new tourist camp (“turbaza”) discovered near Umba. Not easy to access but appears to be damn attractive of a place. Guests are put up here:

zol_buxta_1 more >>

Escapism..

“Internal escape”, suppose, is as typically Russian as “internal exile”. Let me add the New Way Collective Farm, a tiny anarchist community near Boksitogorsk, ~200 miles east from St. Petersburg, to my collection. Established in the late 80s or very early 90s, at the hight of the “back to earth” sentiment.

 

Another American in the deep Russian countryside

26631_originalSomewhere near Bryansk, close to the Belarus border, lives and has apparently found herself an perfectly sane American woman. She could make a case study – a reare one with a positive outcome – of interest to someone contemplating a move here.

Her blog Under the Stork’s Nest >>