The largest spruce in Fennoscandia

Adding this story in line with Pasha’s request to show that the way from Moscow to Kandalaksha is packed with things touristy..

It is believed that the biggest spruce Fennoscandia grows in the Zaozersky national park near Petrozavodsk.

spruсe
Photo by
Igor Podgorny

Height 36 meters, the age of about 170 years. Finnish tree experts say they haven’t seen a spruce tree bigger than this one. I wonder how they know. Did they inspect and measure **every** tree in Fennoscandia? Doubtful.. The claim smells fishy. Anybody aware of a bigger spruce? Tell me!

Petrozavodsk

Petrozavodsk
(the capital of Karelia, pop. 266 thousand)

Getting there

Murmansk trains from Moscow and St. Petersburg stop at Petrozavodsk. Ask Alexandra about train advice on Murmansk trains or see her Kandalaksha Nature Reserve site (soon to be translated into English).

WHERE TO EAT

There is a lot of praise floating around about the Suomi restaurant at ulitsa Engelsa 13 (+7 911 408 4111). Finnish and Karelian cousine. The restaurant positions itself as a Finno-Karelian cultural center. Ethnic music and celebrations. The restaurant lives by the Finnish calendar and celebrates Finn national holidays. See http://suomi-restaurant.ru Next time I’m in Petrozavodsk I’ll stop there to celebrate the fact that I’m out of Russia. Or to mourn the return to bland and gloomy Vologda lands.

Where to stay

Jigovatt Hostel, tel. +7 926 295 4950

Severnaya. Central, said to be inexpensive. Prospekt Lenina 21, +7 8142 762224, 765681

Belyye Nochi (White Nights), ul. Khalturina 13? +7 921 228-0002, bn.hotel@onego.ru, www.hotelkarelia.ru

Belyye Kluchi (White Springs). A hotel and a health resort. Ul. Sudostroitelnaya 30, +7 8142 525919, 525838.

Karelia Tourist Complex, naberezhnaya (embankment) Gyullinga 2, +7 8142 558897, 552306

Lesnaya Polyana (Forest Clearing). A health resort type establishment with hotel functions. Ul. Shel’shakova 23, +7 81457 21886

Maski (Masks), prospekt Marksa 3a, +7 8142 761478, 766139.

Metro, ul. Dzherzhinskogo 11

Onezhets, ul. Volodarskogo 24, +7 8142 558060, 552979.

Petr, Shuyskoye shosse 16, +7 8142 743039, 748588.

Fregat, naberezhnaya Onezhskaya 1, +7-8142-764163, 796263.

Machine Building Plant hostel, ul. Kalevaly 2, +7 8142-741169. These guesthouses that belong to industrial entities are usually inexpensive and quiet.

Karelian Scientific and Research Institute of Forestry hostel, ul. Meretskova 7. Another one I would expect to suit the quiet and poor.

Prionezhsky Club Hotel. Ul. Fedosovoy 46, +7 8142 765271, 765281. When you see “club” as part of the hotel’s name you can expect a strip bar, a casino, and karaoke whatever it is.

What to do

The Island of Kizhi and the Kizhi Museum of Wooden Architecture is recommended in you are interested in Old Russia.

Time to relax

By the time you reach Petrozavodsk you will be tired from the road. At the same time there will be very few people and lots of place to camp. Time for a pause, which brings us to the next logical subject:

Petrozavodsk has an excellent distillery that will help you to fill this pause. Two notable products in Karelsky Balsam if you prefer to sip it slowly or add to your evening tea. Use Onezhskaya Vodka if you want to go down fast, Russian style. By the time I got to the Petrozavodsk page I too needed something which I proceeded to pour down my throat. Before passing away into peaceful sleep I heard a comment that “after Onezhskaya he does not stink the way he usually does when in one of his moods”. No hangover from either of these either. Probatum est and recommended highly. Karelsky Balsam can be easily bought in Moscow too.

PETROZAVODSK INFO IN ENGLISH

Petrozavodsk State University

A rather extensive discussion on Petrozavodks on VirtuaTourist.com

Tourist Information Center of Karelia

Karelian Holidays, a Petrozavodsk-based company that specializes in Karelia and offers individual and small group tours.