Guide “Kandalakshsky area – the gateway of the Kola Land”

kandalaksha_putevoditel Information about the transport and tourist routes, fishing rules, settlements Kandalakshsky district. Mode of the border crossing “Salla” and the other.

Lots of really useful information but it is in Russian only. However, the author of the guide is our good friend and we will work with her on English-language edition of the guidebook.

Staritsa photos, part 1

Part 1 of my attempt to consolidate the Staritsa stuff scattered around. Here are some photos of the town and the surrounding countryside, and much more are on their way.

Rolling hills, semi-forested, largely abandoned or used for grazing, still mostly free access. Ideal for hiking or camping. In recent past (till shortly after the war) the area was densely populated (three times the density and probably 10 times the economic activity compared to present). A stroll with a metal detector is certain to get you something from the past.

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Skiing and snowboarding competition in Kandalaksha. April 13 2013.

krestovaya_goraAn alpine skiing and snowboarding competition will be held on April the 13. Location: Krestovaya gora (Cross Mountain) ski slope out of Kandalaksha as you go along the Tersky edge of Kola.

Watch for similar events in the future.

THE WEIGHT OF THIS RESOURCE IS GRADUALLY SHIFTING NORTH, TOWARDS THE KOLA PENINSULA, THE SOUTH EDGE OF IT, AND IN PARTICULAR THE CITY OF KANDALAKSHA. BOOKMARK STARITSA.INFO IF INTERESTED IN THE AREA.

See also Downhill skiing in Kandalaksha>>

 

Tver

My old Tver page is hopelessly outdated but you may still be able to eek if not specific information then the general feel for the place. Doubt I’ll be doing any major update on Tver. I confess it is not among my favourite places in Russia. A factory town full of gloom but of the sort that somehow fails to excite a connoisseur of anti-aesthetics I am. The only business reason to promote Tver is “Russian brides”, up to around 2004 were a major industry. But I’m much better connected in Ryazan and am nicely equipped to assist you in this futile task there rather than in Tver. The city is, however, in the middle of interesting territory. Close to Staritsa, where my Dacha & Horses project is still alive and well without my presence. Close to Torzhok, which is on my personal favourites list. If asked about Tver regularly I may do a proper update. After all this project is to entice clients, not to share my tastes and preferences.

Downhill skiing in Kandalaksha

Krestovaya Gora (“cross mountain”)Skiing Center. Slope length 1000 meters [over half mile], width 50-100 meters [150-300 feet].

[Pasha’s comment: Please use imperial measures. Metric is an invention of the French. Be sensitive to my hard-won prejudices.]

Good conditions for snowboarding. Rope tow. Rent skis and snowboards. New motel also named “Krestovaya Mountain” on site.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

trassa

See Ski Centre website (in Russian)

I hope Pasha will translate it soon.

And my information about hotels Kandalaksha too..

Bologoye (Bologoe)

bologoye_n_areaOne of these nondescript industrial towns (transportation,  railroad ties tarring operation, armature factory, furniture factory, agriculture). Population 25 th. Its claim to fame in being located exactly halfway between Moscow and St. Petersburg. It is also know by the highly annoying 1980s Veselyye Rebyata (Fun Guys) hit that’s still heard around a lot. If travelling between Moscow and St. Petersburg stay either in Torzhok or Valday unless of course you are after industrial landscapes that define Russia no less than gold-plated onion domes. Vyshni Volochek and Bologoye section of the Moscow to St. Petersburg highway is famous for traffic collapses. Being stuck for 3-6 hours is entirely common. In the beginning of winter 2012 traffic stood still for two or three days. Most images in the videos below seem to be from middle section of Highway 10 often called the Road of Death for its highers per mile accident rate of all of Russian roads. Watch this and this in preparation for your trip and keep distance! Train derailing are also common in the area. The last one happened in 2009 and was officially attributed to evil Chechen terrorists but if you ask me 200km/hour is a bit excessive for tracks laid over a swamp.

Hotel

  • Only one, as it should be for a town of this size. BOLOGOYE HOTEL, ulitsa Kirova 22, +7 (48238) 22377. $30-50/night. The official standard 2-3 start type hotel.

Other accommodation (and entertainment) options

  • VALDAYSKAYA USADBA, derevnya Kotovo, Bologoye rayon, tel. +7 (903) 807-4222, +7 (495) 790-8307. Banya, horse riding.
  • ZAIMKA, derevnya Glubochikha, Bologoye rayon, +7 (48238) 24706. Special attraction: banya “po-chernomy”, old-style, without chimney.
  • KINOGORODOK, selo Mikhailovskoya, Bologoye rayon, +7 (916) 162-96-10, +7 (915) 717-7925. Lake, sailboats.
  • OZERNY HEALTH RESORT, Bologoye, +7 (48238) 2-29-59.

Lots of undocumented guesthouses scattered around. I personally would not bother planning for accommodation if travelling in this area. The Moscow to St. Petersburg highway, the country’s main road, is full of passable and very inexpensive hostels that cater to truck drivers.

I haven’t found any active Bologoye sites. The biggest cluster of Bologoye ads, mostly apartment and land sales, is at

  • bologoe.tve.slando.ru/list/?page=3. Russian bride seekers may want to advertise there. Bologoye is one of these gloomy places where young women are motivated to get out. But no, I have no connections there. If you want my assistance, it will be Ryazan and only Ryazan, where I know the scene.

Speaking of advertising, there are two messages from me.

camp

  • First, ask about a trip, possibly camping style, between Moscow and St. Petersburg, and possibly further north. Gold Ring tours also doable. I personally am available to drive you around, to ask something of a guide, and generally keep you safe and comfortable. Even to act as a cook if you are into things bright, crispy, spicy, and full of sesame seed and olive oil! I come equipped with a truck, a camper, and a bunch of camping equipment. 3-4 can travel very comfortably, and what you’ll save on hotels and restaurant meals will be almost enough to cover costs. 

moonie_fall_2

  • Second, my former horse riding establishment near Staritsa, 250km from Moscow and about 600 to St. Petersburg, is still in business. Authentic isolated village setting, Upper Volga hills. Horse riding or Gypsy-style trips. Rafting. Catacomb exploration. Experienced riders can go unaccompanied. $50 per person per day includes accommodation, food, and horse riding! See www.russian-horse-rides.com