Tourist attractions in Lovozero

The Sami Center

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The most conspicuous building in Lovozero is the Sami Cultural Center. Can’t miss it. The main street (ul. Sovetskaya) starts at the Sami Center. Exhibitions and events are regularly held there but you can’t count on these being there at the time of your visit. According to their site you can order workshops or other sort of entertainment. But we haven’t tried. We’ve walked in with a dumb questioin “What’s there to see for a tourist”. After a short talk about the center and how it works we were escorted to what appeared like the key authority on local life – Mikhail Barakovsky.

mix_barakovskymix_barakovsky_vizitkaThis man is remarkable because he is the only sourcce of full and clear tourist info in Lovozero we’ve found. If you turn up in Lovozero and don’t know whom to turn to and where to go, talk to Mikhail.

The Sami Museum

The next attraction is the Museum of Kola Sami >>. Don’t expect to see a sign pointing to it. As you could have learned by now there are no signs pointing to tourist attractions here. Just follow the main (ul. Sovietskaya) street. Pass the Saami Cultural Center and the Tundra cafe, and keep on walking for another 5-7 min.

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Waxwings on ashberry that line up the main street.

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Walk till take you to this traveller-friendly banner.

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Not everyone will be able to see this info because of hight and fine print. Based on what it says about hotels the info is outdated anyway.
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The museum is a few steps further, across the road from the banner.

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Plastic siding is a bit strange choice of material but, given Lovozero temperatures, it’s use is understandible.

No, the museum is good, especially if you have an elevated intererst towards the Sami. Detailed. A bit too traditional and smooth for my tastes. My perverse preferences are more in favour of something more amateurish, like the one in Revda, with but one attendant who opened the door for us, turn on the lights, and disappeared without a trace. In the Lovozero, on the other hand, there was a whole bunch of them herding us a bit.

I will not bore you with too many photos. Some of them ended up on the St. Nina site (st-nina-kandalaksha.org has been permanently deleted – April 11 2015). Here I’ll share only informational or those that appeared particularly neat.
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open 9am-5pm lunch 1-2pm Saturday 9am – 4pm, no lunch closed Sunday, Monday

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School notebook, a page with a Russian-Sami list of words.

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Sami is an ethnic group living in the north-west extremity of Europe. The total number of Sami is about 30 th. Scientists think that Sami is a relic of a very ancient Europeoid population that preserved their anthropological type (laponoid). Their language belongs to the Ural Finnish-Ugoric group. Their self-name has been lost. Ethnonyms “sami” or “lapps” are either ethnographic terms or are based on neighbouring languages: Lape, lappea – Fin. side. Lapp – Swedish, place. Sami – samla, sabmo – Baltic land, lowland.

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The number of Sami on the Kola Peninsula (left) and in Lovozero (right).

This reindeer has been photographed a million times. Alexandra took this shot because this animal and the yurt was used as a symbol of our quest for accommodation in Lovozero.

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The museum also has a souvenir shop full of refrigerator magnets, brouches, books and such.

================================================The other, bigger souvenir shop was found in a small green house at the side of former Hotel Koavas. Don’t know the address but it is between ulitsa Sovetskaya and Pionerskaya. No identifying signs whatsoever. We found it purely by accident in our search for food store in the same building. But inside..
Deer skin boots 12 thousand a pair, vs. 9 th. in the Tundra Workshop. (Three thousand savings is the prize well deserved by anyone who managed to find Tundra in Lovozero!)

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Events

The North Celebration, Rainbreeders Day. It is held yearly on the last Sunday of March. The main attraction is reindeer races.

Another time the North Celebration, as it is often called, but more properly Sami Games >> are held on the second Sunday of June. Please note that there is no deer at the Sami Games. In the summer the deer are grazing far from the village.

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