A series of vivid photos of the bunkers and of Medvezhyegorsk in general >>

Info on cemeteries, which are numerous in the region, is coming up. So is the story of my trip through west Karelia in 2011, which was the closest the old materialist me has ever come to seeing ghosts.

Medvezhyegorsk is spelled “Medweshjegorsk” on German maps. For Karelians and Finns Medvezh’yegorsk is Karhumägi, which probably is its original name.

Stolovaya №12, my official favourite

Also see Bar Okolitsa

My penchant for time capsules takes me to places like that. Just “stolovaya”, and to make it unique give it a number. In this case “12”.

In Moscow this plate would be in an antique shop

The sign merely informs, not entices.

“Stolovaya” is from “stol”, which means “table”. No effort to build identity. These days such refusal to try to be unique as everyone else is almost an offence. A statement for sure. An identity in itself when the battle cry is “be unique like everyone else”. Someone please point to the stoning scene from Life of Brian.

The only non-functional element of the interior is plentiful live plants.

No TV. It’s been a while since I encountered a public space without the screen.

Open 11am to 3pm which is neither constraining nor imposing on you the need to chose when you have lunch. Lunch is to be had during lunchtime.

The menu does not force you the need to make decisions either. Two types of salad, meat and fish, boiled rice, mashed potatoes, one kind of soup, white bread, brown bread, buns, tea with or without lemon and sugar already in either case, and “kompot”. (“Kompot” is not “compote” but more like tea made of dried fruit.) Just enough variety to make it more than a school canteen from the 70s.

If you wish to wind down, it is only vodka and only one kind. Last time I saw a place with just one drink option was in 1993 somewhere in the Voronezh province.

Even if for only 40 minutes but today, Tuesday, October 29 2013, Pasha was pleased with life and his place in it.

Yes, Stolovaya No. 12 at the corner of Pronina and Novaya utterly failed to annoy me.

The last detail that turned the old grouch me to near euphoria was a pot-belied figure on the washroom door.


When done put the tray with dishes and utensils on this belt.







15Less than a full meal but much more that a snack for two was 228 roubles ($7).


A view onto the railroad in a late fall. Gloomy alright but this gloom is somehow easier to take when it is in pure form. Add some colour and light, and will only get worse.


Looking for pre-perestroyka scenery? That’s it. See more character scenery under Filming locations. Also, since most of you travellers will find the arrangement appauling, I’m putting this eatery into the Russian Misery Tourism (c) category.


This short film is about the “Japan” area of Kandalaksha, possibly called so because of its remoteness from the rest of the city. In the days prior to railroad construction however is was “the” Kandalaksha. The film is in Russian but images are almost realistic except that the operator had chosen an unusually sunny day and took care to keep piles of garbage out of the camera’s range. In reality it is a gloomy cluttered place.


Also see the story by Marina Bevko >>

Post-apocalypses scenery

Making a film and need anti-utopian scenery? Kandalaksha and area may be just what you are looking for. Below are some random photos illustrating the sort of backdrops you’ll easily find here.

See also Categories > Filming & photography.

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