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Old 10-24-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
skandero OP
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Joined: Aug 2012
Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
Oddometer: 125
Short trip at Far North Russia

Hi there. That's my first ride report here (and in English), so, excuse me for grammar and so on...
The idea of the trip was to visit the SAM site, where I was on duty in Russian army (2003-2004). But just before the ride my grandfather told me, that his brother was fighting nazi troops at the Rybachiy semi-island. He was Soviet marine))
So, I could not miss the chance to visit the WW2 historic place, and see the conditions at the theatre of war.

The way was:
Saint-Petersburg -> Petrozavodsk -> Belomorsk -> Monchegorsk -> Murmansk -> Zapolyarniy -> Rybachiy (the farest northern point in the west russia).
The one-way ride is about 1700 km, and almost 800 of them is off-road / hard off-road. So, the complete trip is about 3800 km.

I was riding 5 days. Alone.
I've started from Saint-Petersburg and ride for Belomorsk. Spent some time to see the legendary Belomor channel.
The weather was quite windy, and the road was quite good - asphalt. I was riding at about 120-140 km/h.

A gateway for the ships on the channel.

Just a piece of nature

After Belomorsk I've crossed the Polar Circle. It's a tradition to put a stripe, ribbon or a short part of a rope on the Polar sign - a gift to the spirits of the North.

The road became shitty... And it is really the only way for the cars and trucks to reach Murmansk. Federal track M-18 "Kola". But I have Katoom - so, it's not necessary to slow down)) 90-100 km/h.

At the end of the day I placed a tent in the forest, and fell asleep.
The next day I've visited Murmansk and Kola. The weather was fine, but the temperature was about 5-6 C.
Kola is not a big city, it is the satellite of Murmansk.

Northern nature:

And now I approach the place of duty.
Pechenga city, and WW2 memorials.

The memorial of Far North Defenders:

The memorial of Polar Division (and also the mark of the battle front line, the nazi were stopped here):

The memorial of Northern Tank Troops (it is called "Komsomoletz"). This T-34 was built in Leningrad an the Kirovsky mechanical plant, and was fighting nazi during all battle for the North (3 years). It was hit 13 times, but the crew survived all these years!

I'm almost at "my" SAM site...
No roads, abandoned towns...

The memorial of Yuri Gagarin (the first cosmonaut) in Korzunovo. As You know, he was a pilot and he was on duty at the interceptor squad based at Korzunovo airfield.
No more airbase here.

And no more SAM sites. My military unit doesn't exist anymore... It was on duty up to 2005...

I stopped my bike at the place, where I swore to Serve and Protect my Fatherland.

Then I started for Rybachiy. The weather become very bad.
Fog, rain, hills, rivers, moors and muddy roads...

And, finally, the place of great 3-years fight. Not directly, of course, but the mark.
A memorial...
You can see the shells and other metal objects in front of it. There are some places on Rybachiy, where the ground is completely covered by shells, splinters, bent parts of firearms, pierced helmets (both Russian and nazi)...

The nature:

And the marks of bombs and shells on the rocks... It's about 3-4 meters between the marks. It was Hell during the war, I think.

It took me two days to ride over Rybachiy. There are many interresting places there.
The next two days I spent riding home...

Hope, the report is not looking boring. Feel free to aks any questions.

skandero screwed with this post 11-13-2012 at 05:01 AM Reason: missing photos, more fixes, grammar fixes
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:58 PM   #2
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Wow! Love the pictures and the personal story.
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:06 PM   #3
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Very interesting, cool pictures.

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Old 10-27-2012, 06:17 PM   #4
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Dude! This is AWESOME!

There's something about Russia that just calls to me...I've never been there but I want to go SOOOO bad!

I love seeing the pictures and hearing about the history of the area....just incredible. Someday I hope to get to Russia and spend hopefully many months just exploring it and meeting the people / learning the history.

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Old 10-27-2012, 06:21 PM   #5
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This was great! I love seeing the far and frozen bits of Russia!
I don't say we all ought to misbehave, but we ought to look as if we could. - Orson Welles
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Old 10-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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NICE! Beautiful wilderness, thanks for sharing
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:58 PM   #7
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Very cool, well done.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
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Not boring at all, in fact your report was very interesting.
Never been to Russia, but I want to go and visit very bad.
The history, nature and photogenic churches are second to none.
Thanks you for sharing.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:37 PM   #9
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thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-27-2012, 08:45 PM   #10
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Great pictures. Your English is better than many native speakers that post on the internet! Russia is pretty high on my list of places I want to eventually ride.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #11
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Hi skandero

Great first report and pics with interesting informations

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Old 10-28-2012, 01:40 PM   #12
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short but sweet report. thank you for sharing. awesome pictures.
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Old 10-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #13
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Thanks for the report. Lovely photos. Murmansk brings back memories of that great WW 2 novel "the Cruel Sea".
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:01 PM   #14
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hi skandero
great report, pictures and story are top quality!
Since my grandpa was on duty in the northern marine fleet for 3 years back in the Soviet Union times I wanted to get there someday also
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Old 10-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #15
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Thumb Far North

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