The ugliest night in a long time. Late fall 50% off on all my services.

Rain, melting snow, and wind – we were treated to the classic late fall weather last night. The ugliest it has been in a long time. Most definitely this is not the time of year to travel to Kandalaksha.

But I make a living off you travellers, thus the late fall special on all of my services in an effort to entice you here: 50% off, or $12.50/hour and I’m yours to act as a guide, driver or translator.

Or, if you have business here but can’t attend the place in person, I can be your errand boy. Information gathering of any sort, people and grave searches, press reviews, whatever. It’s like having your feet and eyes and hands, and even a part of your brain here.

The owner of travel agency Orange of Kandalaksha reported to be arresed in Sweden for the theft of a fur coat

Severpost.ru reports that Olga Galanchik, the owner of one of Kandalaksha’s travel agencies, Orange Tours, located at no. 3 ulitsa 50 let Okryabrya, was arrested in Sweden on Sept. 19, 2017, for stealing a fur coat. The court date is set for October 6, and Olga is said to be under arrest before the court. 

I wonder if this is a true story or a typical Russian “drive your competitor out of business” ploy.

Buddhist stupa near Apatity vandalized

Someone has recently written “Russia is an Orthodox country” on the “Stupa of Enlightenment” by the Apatity to Kirovsk road, one of the two stupas near Apatity built by local entrepreneurs brothers Igor and Oleg Belyayev. This is of course a far cry from the Taliban blowing up centuries-old statues of Buddha but still..

Moscow’s “renovation” plans. Why many residents are unhappy.

I’ve been asked several times over the last month what’s the big fuss about the proposed plans to knock down several thousand of Moscow’s outdated (mostly from the 1950s and 1960s) buildings. Here is an article, in English, summarizing what’s wrong with mayor Sobyanin’s project. And here is another one from The Moscow Times explaining why scores of Muscovites are not that happy about the authorities’ big plans.

Alexandra is now a member of a “foreign agent” organization

A few days ago, on April 20 2017, the Ministry of Justice declared the Kola Ecological Center, of which my mate Alexandra is a member, a “foreign agent” for receiving foreign financing and being engaged in political activity.

Its “political activity” appears to be taking part in public hearings where government officials were present.

The “foreign agent” status means, in addition to a serious stigma, a significant increase in the amount of reporting paperwork the NGO has to do.

The Kola Ecological Center is behind the eco-trails east of Kandalaksha and near Kolvitsa. They also orchestrated the construction of a WW2 memorial in Kolvitsa. These are the sort of things that stand out in their work, not attempting to influence Russian government officials using foreign funds.

Spring is here: Two kids off to the sea on an ice floe

Spring’s traditional misadventure in the form of an unsceduled trip to the White Sea distances has apparently taken place today, with two kids taking off on an ice floe. Apparently it all ended well but I have no details.

Happens around this time of the year to quite a number of fishermen..

 

Flooding in Kovda

flooding-kovdaHeard a couple of dramatic reports that water dumped from a reservoir up the Kovda river washed off the bridge in the village of Kovda downstream thus leaving the residents cut off from the mainland, and is threatening houses.

Complaints of no response from emergency services.

Kovda is some 80km south from Kandalaksha. See my small overview post on Kovda.

Perishing in the Kola Peninsula woods and hills: the probability is 20 our of ??????

"Don't panic. There's another sign up ahead."The Murmansk Region section of the Ministry of Emergencies reported yesterday that since the beginning of 2016 43 persons were lost in the woods and hills, of which 11 were found dead and nine not located at all.

What level of risk these figures represent I know not since the total number of those venturing out was not told. Still, before leaving tell someone you are off, and indicate the route and the expected return time to make the search easier.

Norwegian news site calls the Sam Syit Saami village “a circus of nonsense”

sam-syitNo harsh words were spared in this article in the Norwegian nrk.no to describe the Sam Syit Saami village near Lovozero in the center of the Kola Peninsula. The main thrust of the angry author is that the village is as far from being authentic as one can be, and represents “a nonsensical mix of rabbits, fleece clothing, and Indian totem poles”. It is in Norwegian but auto-translates into English quite coherently.

Mass downing of Murmansk prostitution sites

site-downI’ve taken a look at the kandalaksha.su statistics and noticed that my short post mentioning Murmansk prostitution sites continues enjoying immense popularity but, alas, the resources it points to are mostly down. The only one that appears alive although not exactly full of information or activity is murmansk.sexros.net. One is disconnected, another one is for sale, and the third just wouldn’t open. Another industry appears to have succumbed to the recession.