See a series of Varzuga photos at varandej.livejournal.com/393308.html. The photographer, the famous Varandej, managed to capture the whole village on both sides of the Varzuga river in one shot. My hat off!
To us Russians the village of Varzuga, with its old log church and and active and vocal priest Father Mitrofan (Badanin), an ex-military officer and the author or many books on the subject of religious history of the region, positions itself as the center of Kola Peninsula spirituality. To you foreigners, it is said to be a salmon fishing mecca popular with the VIP crowd. Film makers will find there all the standard iconic rural Russia scenery, including a well-preserved Kolkhoz full of all the available muzhiks around one old diezel generator. One in in charge of fuel. Another one is responsible for pulling the starter rope. The third one is there with a tester to see if it puts out any voltage. Everyone has a job, and the true community spirit reigns. I am likely to think of Varzuga as the Kola version of Sergiev Posad or Suzdal, and an epitome of bad taste. But I make a living promoting this land, and will thus lay my hand on my mouth and invite you to sign up for a trip to Varzuga, with a stopover in Umba (that I find tolerable) and a detour to Kuzomen (that I actually like). It can be a luxury trip with accommodation in the best hotels along the south edge of Kola, or I can organize a budget camping trip for losers like me.