Week 4: June 1 to 8

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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June 5 – Oslo day 1

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June 7 – Last day in Oslo, last day in Norway

Wow! This internship has FLOWN by!!

Today was a full day of seeing some sights and having meetings. My plane leaves in a few hours for Ottawa, I can’t believe it!

The day started when my 7:45 a.m. wake up call came on my hotel telephone. It was a glorious morning; the sun was shining, the breeze was warm and when I turned on the TV-Music channel Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was playing! How much more awesome could your last day in Norway start than that? I have to admit, I woke up dancing today 🙂

Chantaie and I had morning coffee with the man who started the Barents Observer, now that was really neat. What an inspiration!! We had great conversation and some good laughs about being in the high north.

(more blog below)

1180-year-old Viking Ship
1180-year-old Viking Ship

We’ve seen the Olympic ski jumping complex, the Norwegian Parliament, the Viking Ships Museum and Vigeland Sculpture Park. Now seeing the Viking ships in person was really neat. I can’t believe how well-preserved two of the three are! They look as if they were just made 100 years ago, never mind 1100+ years. I learned that the Vikings, much like the Egyptians, buried their deceased with all sorts of belongings, including servants and animals. Two of the three ships in the Viking Museum are burial ships, where as the very decrepit one is thought to have been a sailing ship. So neat to see! They are HUGE!

Another beautiful landmark was the Vigeland Sculpture Park. The sculptures are incredibly life-like. Their faces can be filled with sorrow, joy, disdain, anger or happiness. It’s amazing that someone can convery such emotion in a statue!

The Vigeland Sculpture Park is famous for the “Angry Baby,” which in fact, has been stolen a few times! But, it’s safely back and apparently reinforced with anti-theft measures.

Well my plane leaves in a just a few hours for Canada. I better finish packing!

This internship and experience has been like none other. I feel so lucky, so blessed and so grateful. I’ve learned a lot about journalism and reporting in Norway and the high north, I’ve grown a lot as a person and I’ve gained some great friends and contacts 🙂

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Responses

  1. Congratulations Margaret on your outstanding sucess!! I very much enjoyed following you on exciting trip.

    Hope to see you soon, your parents must be very proud of you!!! We are!

    Take Care, safe trip back home.
    Love the Del Re’s

    • Hey there!!
      Thank you 🙂 I’m happy you enjoyed the blog!
      See you soon!
      Margaret


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