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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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.

The Kola Planet calendar for 2017-2018

It has just been printed and is available for 650 roubles ($10) plus the cost of shipping. Images were provided by several local photographers while my mate Alexandra wrote the text. My own humble role was that of a translator.

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For a preview of the calendar, with most of its photos, see alexandragor.livejournal.com/527238.html.

To order it contact her at alexandragor4@yandex.ru

A small mid-October camping trip

This last weekend I was made to drag my ass along the south edge of the Kola Peninsula to the so-called Nos (“nose”) Cape, just east of the Golden Gate and Tetrina fishing base and ~3 miles to the village of Kuzreka. The latter is famous as the site of the Pomor ritual cookie festival and is, incidentally, open to foreign travellers despite Russian submarines regularly surfacing in the bay.

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A popular summer destination among the locals, in the middle of October it was populated only by us, a fishing family from Apatity, and a bear who left numerous footprints

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and other evidence of its presence. more >>

The Aurora Borealis season is here..

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The Cross Mountain, just east from Kandalaksha, last night

Sightings of Aurora Borealis had been reported on August 30 and today, Sept. 2. Here they are, from the VK page of Kandalaksha photographer Igor Prozorov.

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A video of Kandalaksha and area

Found on the VK page of Yura Nikitenko, a Kandalaksha photographer and rap singer.

Warning: the image of the place presented in the video somehow looks better than ground-level reality, where all the trash and tack and grot can’t be easily ignored. But with the end of the tourist season approaching I cannot miss this opportunity to promote tourism, even by somewhat misleading methods.

Day of eared jellyfish

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There are two types of jellyfish living in the White Sea: Aurelia aurita and Cyanea capillata. Aurelia aurita is also called “Eared jellyfish” even though it has no ears. It got its name from its bright and clearly visible reproductive gonads.

Aurelia sometimes comes close to the coastline and gets stranded on the beach, or is thrown out by the storm. But never before have we seen so many jellyfish as we did yesterday.

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The day of giant things

On our second day in Kuzumen we found a huge tree on the beach. Can’t imagine where it has come from. There are no trees of this size within at least 100km from here.

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A huge root, 2×3 meters, and the trunk of at least 10 meters in length more >>

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 >>

I hate gnats!!

666These are much worse than mosquitoes. Unlike the latter, gnats slice off a patch of your skin. On Wendesday I got bitten by some during the trip to the hills, and my arms are still swollen and it still itches three days later. The all-knowing Alexandra says these will last about a week. One of the worse thing about gnats is they don’t really hurt when they initially attack you. ALWAYS WEAR LONG-SLEEVED SHIRT TO THE WOODS AND TAKE SOME INSECT-REPELLANT WITH YOU!!