On her way from Chupa my mate Alexandra was given a ride back to Kandalaksha by a Moscow couple who recently built a hotel in the village of Golubino, Pinega District, Arkhangelsk Region, and spoke of their project with such delight that it made me want to share the information on the Golubino Forest Hotel with the rest of the world. If you want to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of an old Russian North village, and yet stay there with comfort, that seems to be indeed it. The owner of the place speaks fluent English, and their site has an English version which is not quite complete at the moment but should give you an idea of the place.
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.
Below are travel notes from the first two days on the road. These are useful (facts) and useless (beautiful sights). more >>
Nicodemus 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
It 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.
About 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.
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.
Volostnaya Hill, about 2 kilometers from the city and 350 meters above sea level. Such incredible colours can be seen only in September.
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:
“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.