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jimmyb78
27-03-2012, 11:40
So, I'm off to the chilly north for 10 days at the end of this week and wouldn't mind meeting or chatting with some English speakers about the city. Be good to get a feel for the place and find out what's best to see and do.

Anyone based there let me know!

FatAndy
27-03-2012, 11:54
Murmansk (former Nikolaevsk-na-Murmane) is relatively new city, built in the beginning of 20th century, and later on during USSR times as main (military) seaport and initial base for Sevmorput (Arctic Ocean Way of transportation to NE areas of USSR/RF)) and North Navy.

So main monuments and sightseengs there are connected with Arctic polar explorers and Navy officers/ marines/ commercial seamen who made a great contribution into "opening" and defense of our Arctic pathways.

http://www.komandirovka.ru/dostoprim/list.php?ID=1293 - here is a short list of them in komandirovka.ru portal

http://www.murmantourism.ru/sights - Murmansk area sightseeng (mostly natural surrounding ones, but including the city's list above).

As it is a seaport, I think there should be enough foreign seamen in the pubs/restaurants there ;)

Sparafucile
27-03-2012, 12:54
I was sent on an EU-funded delegation to Murmansk two years ago, and we were shown all over the town. As the only Russian-speaker in the group, my face got plastered all over local tv for a while.

It's not an attractive place. But due to the horrible climate and depressing darkness, they've tried to build-up as many pleasant facilities as possible within the city, and there's been a lot of large-scale recent investment. There's a clutch of brand-new 4* and 5* hotels, mostly excellent.

It's primarily a business and shipping centre - there is painfully little to do in the sphere of tourism and recreation. There is a nice Botanical Garden. But since the EU twits were in charge of our trip, they took us there in 100% darkness ;)

If you are at a loose end, there is a local excursion to Lovozero - a Sami village where there are still some traces (not very obvious ones!) of the original native Sami culture that was there before the Russian settlers arrived. Outside Lovozero there is a kind of hokum tourist centre where you can have lunch in a choom (wigwam) and go for a ride on a sleigh drawn by reindeer.

Avoid the dolphinarium - unless you enjoy cruelty to animals :( Really disgusting and shameful.

andymackem
27-03-2012, 13:26
Went there a couple of years ago. http://elementmoscow.ru/main.php?article=1446 was written by one of our party. And the leopard-print was truly eye-opening!

robertmf
27-03-2012, 16:18
:evilgrin: As a tourist destination, what about the Gulag Museum (http://www.barentsobserver.com/gulag-museum-to-open-in-murmansk.420808-16180.html) :question:

Population transfer in the Soviet Union - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Judge
27-03-2012, 16:37
If you're interested in ships,take a walk to the ship graveyard...It's a real eye opener... Best thing about it is what's written high up on the hill over looking the graveyard..It's also free,bit of a long walk from the centre, but a walk along the path(shipyard) and railway track is breathtaking..:)
After spending some time looking at the ships walk up the steps towards the flats on the hill(best during the day),here catch the bus to the centre, takes you around Murmansk the cheap way.

robertmf
27-03-2012, 16:52
If you're interested in ships,take a walk to the ship graveyard...

6 photos (http://djwilkes1.smugmug.com/keyword/murmansk/1/317626318_oGovJ#!i=317624740&k=eavzV) :floating:

The Russian battleship, Murmansk, didn't fare much better :(

Judge
27-03-2012, 17:13
There are less ships there now...

FatAndy
27-03-2012, 17:20
Went there a couple of years ago. http://elementmoscow.ru/main.php?article=1446 was written by one of our party. And the leopard-print was truly eye-opening!

I'd replace this: the easiest route to the frozen north is via the Skyexpress budget routes out of Vnukovo - it is too simple for people trying to convince your peers that you’re hardcore ;) - with "Arktika" train (Moscow Leningradsky - SPb - Petrozavodsk - Kem' - Kandalaksha - Apatity - Murmansk, 36 hours, platzkart) ;)

robertmf
27-03-2012, 17:22
There are fewer ships there now...

Makes sense. Steel salvage is a big business.

robertmf
27-03-2012, 17:32
There are fewer ships there now...

How about UFOs ? Did you see any UFOs in Murmansk (http://www.ufosonearth.com/site/multiple-ufos-descending-over-murmansk-russia/) :question:

:goblin:

Judge
27-03-2012, 17:32
"Arktika" train (Moscow Leningradsky - SPb - Petrozavodsk - Kem' - Kandalaksha - Apatity - Murmansk, 36 hours, platzkart) ;)

The best and only way to travel inside Russia..:7534:

Judge
27-03-2012, 17:36
Makes sense. Steel salvage is a big business.



There's not much else to do up there...

robertmf
27-03-2012, 17:36
The best and only way to travel inside Russia..:7534:
Vocabulary: masochist (masokist)

someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment.

mas·och·ism (ms-kzm)
n.
1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.

2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.

3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

[After Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895), Austrian novelist.]

masoch·ist n.
masoch·istic adj.
masoch·isti·cal·ly adv.

FatAndy
27-03-2012, 17:41
The best and only way to travel inside Russia..:7534:
And it goes at very convenient schedule - departs 1 AM, so you may either lie down and sleep in СВ or drink all night long in platzkart with occassional people going to SPb. Then sleep a bit, recover from hangover, make some nice photos while going through Karelia and White Sea coast, then make some night pics of Imandra lake from the train and... again start to drink with another occassional people going from SPb or Petrozavodsk to Murmansk, and arrive there at noon, suffering of healthy hangover ;)

Judge
27-03-2012, 17:43
And it goes at very convenient schedule - departs 1 AM, so you may either lie down and sleep in СВ or drink all night long in platzkart with occassional people going to SPb. Then sleep a bit, recover from hangover, make some nice photos while going through Karelia and White Sea coast, then make some night pics of Imandra lake from the train and... again start to drink with another occassional people going from SPb or Petrozavodsk to Murmansk, and arrive there at noon, suffering of healthy hangover ;)

Don't forget to mention the fish you can buy from the locals...

Judge
27-03-2012, 17:46
[COLOR="DarkRed"]

3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

:jester:

Got my ticket sorted for a nice train ride to Vladikavkaz 1700ru one way..Russian Rail can't be beaten for price..

yakspeare
27-03-2012, 17:55
Plazkart for the win, only did it on a return trip krasnodar-volgograd...loved it...my dream is to know Russian better and then write a book 1 year on a russian train(perhaps shorter but 1 year sounds more impressive)...write about my experiences and stories from the people I meet. I am never happier than when I am on a Russian train, really. Just need to know the language better and work out some hygiene routine for so much travelling...the idea would be to plan it out so minimal stops so literally live on the train.

robertmf
27-03-2012, 18:00
...write about my experiences and stories from the people I meet. I am never happier than when I am on a Russian train, really. Just need to know the language better and work out some hygiene routine for so much travelling...

When you can put together the time, try the :10806: Trans-Siberian.

FatAndy
27-03-2012, 18:09
Vocabulary: masochist (masokist)

someone who obtains pleasure from receiving punishment.

mas·och·ism (ms-kzm)
n.
1. The deriving of sexual gratification, or the tendency to derive sexual gratification, from being physically or emotionally abused.

2. The deriving of pleasure, or the tendency to derive pleasure, from being humiliated or mistreated, either by another or by oneself.

3. A willingness or tendency to subject oneself to unpleasant or trying experiences.

[After Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895), Austrian novelist.]

masoch·ist n.
masoch·istic adj.
masoch·isti·cal·ly adv.

Try it at least once in a good company, and your opinion will be turned 180 deg. ;)
BTW that Leopold never traveled by Russian train. :)

Judge
27-03-2012, 18:13
When you can put together the time, try the :10806: Trans-Siberian.



As much as I enjoy Plazkart , I wouldn't do that trip Plazkart style .For more than 3 days it's worth splashing out a few extra $$$...

FatAndy
27-03-2012, 18:14
Don't forget to mention the fish you can buy from the locals...
Not only fish, but boiled kartoshka with butter, chicken, beer (dark one, Kol'sky pivzavod... mmmmm!)
;)

robertmf
27-03-2012, 18:16
Try it at least once in a good company, and your opinion will be turned 180 deg. ;)


I have - on the 3d tier ;)

Judge
27-03-2012, 18:22
Not only fish, but boiled kartoshka with butter, chicken, beer (dark one, Kol'sky pivzavod... mmmmm!)
;)

And,hard boiled eggs to smell out the train.... For sure a cooked chicken shared between 4 or more people.

I wonder how jimmy is getting to Murmansk?

robertmf
27-03-2012, 18:26
As much as I enjoy Plazkart , I wouldn't do that trip Plazkart style .For more than 3 days it's worth splashing out a few extra $$$...

Oh sure. Call the TS 7 days for the complete run. But it's a very nice train with a dezhurnaya taking care of the 24/7 samovar. Compartments with 2-tier bunk beds (mattress & sheets, not plazkart bench). Dining car.

Judge
27-03-2012, 18:34
Oh sure. Call the TS 7 days for the complete run. But it's a very nice train with a dezhurnaya taking care of the 24/7 samovar. Compartments with 2-tier bunk beds (mattress & sheets, not plazkart bench). Dining car.

Plazkart,yes depends what train you get..... You are given something that resembles a mattress and clean sheets..True though, it's a hard bench,but you're usually too intoxicated to bother about the finer things in life..
TS 7 days is something look into later on..

robertmf
27-03-2012, 19:41
... TS 7 days is something look into later on..

Unless you have business in Vladi, then IMhO the 7 days is too long. Best to make stopovers for washing & replenish vodka supply :) I could get wines in the dining car, but not vodka.

Judge
27-03-2012, 19:48
Unless you have business in Vladi, then IMhO the 7 days is too long. Best to make stopovers for washing & replenish vodka supply :) I could get wines in the dining car, but not vodka.



Someone mentioned once on this forum that it's best to get the train to Lake Baikal and fly to Vladi, not much to see after Lake Baikal ..

It's not worth taking vodka on the trains, the police usually don't allow it..I've never been in the dining car, this time will check it out..

robertmf
27-03-2012, 20:52
Someone mentioned once on this forum that it's best to get the train to Lake Baikal and fly to Vladi, not much to see after Lake Baikal ..

It's not worth taking vodka on the trains, the police usually don't allow it..I've never been in the dining car, this time will check it out..


After Baikal, the engine switches over to steam locomotive, so you have to keep the windows closed :nut: to keep out the cinders.

IMhO the frontier town of Kharbarovsk and its wooden sidewalks is worth a visit :)

Police ? on the train ? Never saw; only the dezhurnaya who was a хорошенкая college student working during break. The closest I came to "police" was after Kharbarovsk. The train windows were shuttered along the run down the Chinese border ... (no peeking at Russian deployments)

Jack17
28-03-2012, 00:58
Where are the best tochkas in town?

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 07:33
Unless you have business in Vladi, then IMhO the 7 days is too long. Best to make stopovers for washing & replenish vodka supply :) I could get wines in the dining car, but not vodka.


To get vodka, you should ask conductor directly, not dining car ;)
And some "posh" options for Transsib include coupe with personal shower. But it costs some money.

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 12:36
How about UFOs ? Did you see any UFOs in Murmansk (http://www.ufosonearth.com/site/multiple-ufos-descending-over-murmansk-russia/) :question:

:goblin:
UFOs in Murmansk are strictly forbidden by RF North Navy.

Sparafucile
28-03-2012, 14:46
mas·och·ism (ms-kzm).

Siderdromophilia (http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/s/siderdromophilia/intro.htm)

Siderdromophilia refers to sexual urges, arousal or fantasies involving watching or riding trains

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 14:51
Siderdromophilia (http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/s/siderdromophilia/intro.htm)

Siderdromophilia refers to sexual urges, arousal or fantasies involving watching or riding trains
- Do you suffer from Siderdromophilia, patient?
- Naah, doc, I enjoy it!
;)

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 15:02
I have - on the 3d tier ;)


Me too, but in student times - my weight was 76.5 kg that times vs current 106 :D

andymackem
28-03-2012, 15:50
Siderdromophilia (http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/s/siderdromophilia/intro.htm)

Siderdromophilia refers to sexual urges, arousal or fantasies involving watching or riding trains

It must be all that going in and out of tunnels.

robertmf
28-03-2012, 16:02
Me too, but in student times - my weight was 76.5 kg that times vs current 106 :D

:drink: You are 200+ cm tall ... correct :question:

FatAndy
28-03-2012, 16:04
186 cm now. What's the purpose of your interest, comrade?! :suspect:
:D

LondonYvonne
28-03-2012, 21:05
Have you read The Big Red Train Ride by Eric Newby

The Big Red Train Ride (Picador Books): Amazon.co.uk: Eric Newby: Books@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41MZEVH805L.@@AMEPARAM@@41MZEVH805L



Plazkart for the win, only did it on a return trip krasnodar-volgograd...loved it...my dream is to know Russian better and then write a book 1 year on a russian train(perhaps shorter but 1 year sounds more impressive)...write about my experiences and stories from the people I meet. I am never happier than when I am on a Russian train, really. Just need to know the language better and work out some hygiene routine for so much travelling...the idea would be to plan it out so minimal stops so literally live on the train.

robertmf
28-03-2012, 21:38
186 cm now. What's the purpose of your interest, comrade?! :suspect:
:D

To understand if the "Fat" in "FatAndy" is correct ;)

For comparison, I am @ 180 cm height, but @ 86 kg.

jimmyb78
28-03-2012, 22:42
Some interesting replies here. Cheers guys. I'll be flying up Friday pm I think. I'm assuming no one's actually based there by the responses though?

FatAndy
29-03-2012, 17:18
To understand if the "Fat" in "FatAndy" is correct ;)
For comparison, I am @ 180 cm height, but @ 86 kg.
Correct, don't worry ;) I envy you.

robertmf
29-03-2012, 17:21
Some interesting replies here. Cheers guys. I'll be flying up Friday pm I think. I'm assuming no one's actually based there by the responses though?

Unless you are WWII German spy, then work for $$ is one and only reason to go to Murmansk.

:11157: How about a full report + pictures :question:

FatAndy
29-03-2012, 17:22
Some interesting replies here. Cheers guys. I'll be flying up Friday pm I think. I'm assuming no one's actually based there by the responses though?
There may be someone who doesn't visit expat.ru forum... check another ones too.

Anyway, have a nice flight, easy landing and pleasant time there.

Don't hesitate to drop your impressions here. ;)

robertmf
29-03-2012, 17:27
Correct, don't worry ;) I envy you.

According to BMI calculator (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmi-m.htm), you are fine at 76.5 kg ... :drink:

Sparafucile
29-03-2012, 18:32
According to BMI calculator (http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/bmi-m.htm), you are fine at 76.5 kg ... :drink:


Is that the weight at which you can board a British Midland International plane without being surcharged? :)