Posted by: Margaret Cappa | June 6, 2010

June 1: Murmansk, Russia

Previat! As I would say in Russia for “Hello!”

Murmansk Russia was sure an experience. It’s the largest city above the Arctic Circle at 330,000 inhabitants and it’s one of the few ports up here that doesn’t freeze in the winter – very valuable.

Murmansk port

Murmansk port

I was surprised at how much the people of Murmansk did not match their surroundings. People were friendly, accommodating and hospitable, but the city looked as if it were 15 years over due on a facelift. From what I can understand, when the Soviet Union fell in 1991 there wasn’t a firm plan in place for to rule the country after. There were some hard times in the early 90s, but things seem to have settled now for the most part. Infrastructure is probably the most apparent area where many funds haven’t been spent for a decade or two. It does not seem to bother people though, I guess because the insides of buildings are quite modern and trendy. In this city, you must really live by the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!”

Rectangular apartment blocks mark the city’s dwellings, there aren’t homes with backyards. People are always dressed to-the-nine, which is a sharp contrast from Norway, where it would be uncommon to come to work in high heels and pants suit – unless you’re a big cheese in Oslo. Women wear high heels everywhere and all-the-time; walking the kids to school, grocery shopping, strolling with friends.

(more blog below)

As I said a few times in my vlog, the food was delicious in Murmansk. Everything seafood was so fresh, tender and tasty and all the Russian specialities – Borsch, Meat Soup, desserts – were mmmmmm so good!

Chantaie and I had a GREAT time with our colleague and guide Maria. She showed us around her city with such pride and happiness, you couldn’t help but like it too. Her husband Evgeni, somewhat of a well-known name in western Russia, is a playwright and musician. He comes from a talented family – his brother won Russian Idol a few years ago! Here is a link to his brother on Russian Idol: ALEKSEY

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