Kandalaksha, Russia: The Place Where The Sun Never Sleeps!
My Kandalaksha photosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hello!!! Hola!!! Ohayo!!! Ni Hao Ma!!! Aloha!!! Hoy!!! Wherever you go, working or travelling in another country, one greeting, along with smile and enthusiasm of the giver, will help you feel at ease. Any anxiety to a particular country will evaporate. I'm sure of that.
PREVIAT!!! A cheerful greeting from the tug vessel's crew in Kandalaksha, Russia erased my doubts about my negative impression of the country. You see, this was my first (ever) hands-on experience to travel in this place after the collapse of Russian government that paved the way for the separation of its states.
People in all walks of life are still adjusting to their newfound self-governance (away from communism) and they're surviving. The downtown area are always thronged with people who are ready to reach out with strangers or visitors like us (seafarers).
You can never experience long nights (only two hours or so) in the Arctic Circle, during summer season, where the city of Kandalaksha is located. Our bulk carrier (load with fossil coal) stayed anchor for six days at the White Lake (that's full of suprises). Beluga whales and bottle-nosed dolphins thrive there. We were surprised to see dolphins hovering at the port's bank and one did a somersault signalling for food! Whew! Beluga whales were never left behind, showing their white backs, just ten meters aways from our vessel.
The tourism industry of the city should really give a boost to some of it's spectacular finds: the orthodox church, beluga whales, it's people. I wish, I could go back there and say, Previat!!! Da!!! That means, yes, I will!!!
From Past to Present
Note: I've seen the looks of the workers at the coal port in Kandalaksha. As if they were still hesitant to greet us or mingle with us. The guy in the picture with two dogs is also a seafarer and he knew that Filipinos are very hospitable. I fed the dogs during nighttime, so, he's very grateful about it.
The settlement has existed since the 11th century. In the 13th century along with the southern part of the Kola Peninsula it became a part of the Novgorod Republic, and in 1478 was annexed to Muscovite Russia. In 1915 building of a seaport started, and in 1918 a railroad connecting Moscow to Murmansk running through the town was opened.
During World War II in July 1941, the town was a primary target of an unsuccessful German-Finnish offensive which attempted to cut the strategic Murmansk-Petrozavodsk railway.
Since 1995, the oil port Vitino operates near the station Beloye More (Белое Море) a few kilometers south of Kandalaksha.
Kandalaksha Mayor Nina Varlamova was murdered in an attack in December 2008.
At present , the richness of Kandalaksha had been salted away by several members of the politburo or former communist government.
People are surviving and happy to be independent. They are being assisted by the former neighboring states to sustain its failing economy.
Going ashore at Kandalaksha, Russia c/o MrMusicman1971
Feeling 'happy' at Kandalaksha
With my new video-camera (a JVC model), I was able to take photos of the beautiful sceneries in the area. The birds, old structures, even flowers and people who eagelrly smile when I asked permission to have some photo-souvenirs from them.
Although, they cannot speak English fluently, gestures help. When my fellow sailors and I went ashore, a simple hello from them, young and old with curious but happy gazes, was enough that made us felt welcome.
Port stevedores advised us to go to the city by, whether by walking or renting old (but still functional taxi cabs. This advisory was to avoid being punched or bullied by some rogue bystanders.
I searched for souvenir items at the local stores. I settled for some imported chocolates (Belgian ones) and some DVD movies (the one's content or disc was missing! I had to refund it when I went ashore agin the next day.).
I did some beluga watch for hours, an interval I did while doing my chores in the galley.
I documented our stay through the amateur videos I posted here.
P.S. This is my first hub on HubPages. I just updated it's title after a year and hope you'll also admire about this peaceful place in the new Russia...it's Kandalaksha!
Whalewatching Beluga c/o MrMusicman1971 (my account)
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