The Arctic melted our hearts and made us fall in love forever.
What are the first associations you have when you mention the city of Murmansk? Perhaps the first and most popular of these: “Brr, it’s so cold there and the people there are tough.” Also, perhaps, that it is a fishing town, and the most obvious is that in winter there is a constant polar night. I decided to check with my own eyes what was true and what was false.
Previously, I had a constant dream – to celebrate the new year in a warm place. Beach, sun, sand and a bottle of champagne seemed to me the perfect image for the watch. But as time went on, my values and desires changed. And instead, I wanted to meet the main night of the year in the snowiest city.
From thoughts to action, and favorite tickets to the Arctic capital have been purchased. While flying for 2 hours on a Moscow-Murmansk flight, there were many experiences. Will the warm clothes I got keep me warm? By the way, I’m still this bastard. Will we see the northern lights? Yes, yes, that was the main goal of our whole trip, but the organizers carefully warned that this is a natural phenomenon and no one can guarantee it even with clear skies.
But as soon as we left the airport, all the fears went away on their own. The weather was quite like Moscow, averaging -15 ° C.
And then Murmansk never ceased to amaze us every day. It started in the morning, which was clearly not typical. Since it was possible to understand that a new day had just started from the clock. As you may have guessed, we felt the polar night in all its glory. But looking ahead, it does not take 3 months, as many believe, but an average of 40 days, starting around December 2nd and ending on January 11th.
On the first day, it was very unusual to observe this natural phenomenon, the body resisted and constantly wanted to sleep. It seemed like we had a long night that would never end. But from the second day, we started to distinguish what it means, the dawn in the city, the sky became really lighter.
But let’s move quickly from the prologue to the main thing.
On the first day of our trip, we went for a photo hunt for the northern lights. And if on all trips you have to be on excursions early in the morning, then here everything is the other way around. Our meeting with the group started at 21.00 and, as we were warned at the hotel, we had to return only at 1.30 in the evening.
Leaving behind an hour and the city lights, we finally arrived. And since we were traveling with experienced drivers, we quickly saw what everyone had gathered for. But I will say right away that the northern lights do not actually look as bright as in the photos and with the eyes it becomes more gray and white than green. The fact is that the human eye perceives less sunlight than the camera lens. The photos are taken at a shutter speed of 3 seconds, so the lens and the camera “absorb” more light than the human eye.
But not everything is so sad. Locals said that when the temperature in Murmansk drops below -30 degrees, the northern lights in green and even purple can be seen with the naked eye. So it seems that we have to move to a northern city for a year, so as not to miss it for sure.
And the next day, we went to the village of Sami. In short, it is a group of Finno-Ugric languages, which remained in small numbers, the indigenous peoples of Northern Europe.
Here we not only met the representatives of the Sami, their culture, way of life and traditions, but also made friends with reindeer, looked into the beautiful eyes of the husky, fed the rabbits and returned to childhood for an hour, riding snowmobiles and groups of reindeer. And after all these activities, finally, having felt the northern frost, they warmed up with hot fish soup and deer (unfortunately, such an unpleasant truth of life).
When we got back to the room, everyone was looking forward to meeting him the next day, handsome – the Arctic. But then, unexpectedly, we receive a message with the following content: according to the UGMS of Murmansk, on January 1, 2022, a strong wind with snow and blizzard is expected in the Murmansk region.
Then we receive a message from the organizer, who says that tomorrow the road to Terimberka may be closed and that there will be a traffic police station and no one will enter the village. We were offered an alternative in the form of Mysterious Forest or Snowy Village locations. But how can this be compared to the majesty and power of the ocean?
On New Year’s Eve, everyone thought of an open road to the ocean and the Universe listened to us, and the passage was open. But we had no idea what difficulties we would face.
In one of the sections of snow, there was so much snow that the car did not move, the driver was nervous and offered to return. Then all the members of the group got up and everyone started to contribute to the cleaning of the road: someone handled a shovel, someone pushed the car and with joint forces, we managed to overcome the bad weather.
On the way to the ocean we crossed the tundra. When I looked out the window, it seemed to me that I was in some kind of unreal world: the sky completely merged with the snow, the horizon line disappeared and the sky became one with the earth’s surface.
I looked at it with my mouth open and thought at that moment simple things, about how all human problems are so insignificant compared to the power of nature. It was complete meditation. I also thought that if the tundra captured me so much in the winter, then what will happen to me in the summer, when you can pick berries in the taiga and it becomes bright like a rainbow.
We reached the ocean in snowmobiles, the road lasted about 7 minutes, but it was so cold that they seemed like an eternity. We covered ourselves with a sheepskin coat, but at the end of the tour it was all icy, so we did not feel warm at all.
But when we saw the ocean, it immediately became clear what the purpose of all this was. The power, the energy of the ocean captivates you with such power that after what you see you want to conquer the world, you make a wish and you do not even doubt that it will come true. By the way, if you think that the Barents Sea coast is unsuitable for a beach holiday and may only be of interest to city explorers and extreme athletes – whatever it is! It has not only a picturesque environment, but also a large crib, on which you are like a child.
The next day, when we woke up and read an SMS that the road to the village of Terimberka was closed, we just exhaled and thought about how important luck is in life.
What’s the result
Of course, Murmansk is not only a postcard view, but also gastronomy, especially for seafood lovers. From the restaurants, my recommendation is White Rabbit, Gray Goose and Tundra. But the fish itself in the local market is much more expensive than in Moscow. By the way, the locals themselves do not understand why such an injustice.
Well, your program will be complete if you finally visit the Lenin Museum of Icebreakers. There you can see how the crew lived when they went on a mission, and I will tell you, a whole life was in full swing. It is like a city within a city.
In general, if someone else neglects travel to Russia, then I will tell you, in vain. It’s really worth it.