Murmansk. Alyosha.

I waited my five days in three different places, with three totally different kinds of people, who were all so kind. The last two nights I stayed at Evelyn’s, a member of couchsurfing and a German who teaches Russian in Norwegian (!). So I enjoyed a conversation about linguistics, history, politics, which nourished my mind and prepared my for the huge country I will be going to. Evelyn told me a lot about Russia and the Ukraine, for example about the historical towns of the Golden Ring around Moscow, of which I was ignorant, and about the 3th class in trains called “platzkart” where traveling is not only cheaper, but also funnier since you meet many talkative Russians. I will go and see for myself.

Without problems I got my visa (someone at the consulate told me, I should have brought a confirmation of my payment, but it was already lying on his desk, right in front of him. Puh-ha! So the topic of the “dokument” and “your papers are not in order” was safely overcome), and I took the minibus to Murmansk. We arrived at the border when it was already dark and had to go to several cumbersome checkpoints, just like in airports. Our bags were driven through a machine that bleeped, but the officers didn’t care. We got back in the minibus and drove another three hours to Murmansk.

Alyona picked me up with her mother, and I was invited to their flat (which was somewhere away from the center on the 9th floor with the elevator broken) like a special envoy. I gave her my small gift, a box of chocolates and was shown around her place. Together with the rat Gonzales I had some Soljanka with Mayonaise, and was shown my own room. This could not have been better…

Thank you so much! Alyona and two friends showed me around Murmansk during a nighttime stroll, and I got a glimpse of the atmosphere of this rather large arctic town. Murmansk is a relatively young city (in fact, the last Russian city to be founded, in 1916). A lot of sailors live here (Alyona’s father was at sea). They showed me a huge statue with an eternal flame in front of it. It was a concrete soldier standing 35 meter tall, watching out over the bay of Murmansk, and the monument for the marines who died in the submarine accident with the Kursk in 2000.

It was cold and windy, and we decided to walk back home. A very good night.

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Murmansk. Alyosha.

I waited my five days in three different places, with three totally different kinds of people, who were all so kind. The last two nights I stayed at Evelyn’s, a member of couchsurfing and a German who teaches Russian in Norwegian (!). So I enjoyed a conversation about linguistics, history, politics, which nourished my mind and prepared my for the huge country I will be going to. Evelyn told me a lot about Russia and the Ukraine, for example about the historical towns of the Golden Ring around Moscow, of which I was ignorant, and about the 3th class in trains called “platzkart” where traveling is not only cheaper, but also funnier since you meet many talkative Russians. I will go and see for myself.

Without problems I got my visa (someone at the consulate told me, I should have brought a confirmation of my payment, but it was already lying on his desk, right in front of him. Puh-ha! So the topic of the “dokument” and “your papers are not in order” was safely overcome), and I took the minibus to Murmansk. We arrived at the border when it was already dark and had to go to several cumbersome checkpoints, just like in airports. Our bags were driven through a machine that bleeped, but the officers didn’t care. We got back in the minibus and drove another three hours to Murmansk.

Alyona picked me up with her mother, and I was invited to their flat (which was somewhere away from the center on the 9th floor with the elevator broken) like a special envoy. I gave her my small gift, a box of chocolates and was shown around her place. Together with the rat Gonzales I had some Soljanka with Mayonaise, and was shown my own room. This could not have been better…

Thank you so much! Alyona and two friends showed me around Murmansk during a nighttime stroll, and I got a glimpse of the atmosphere of this rather large arctic town. Murmansk is a relatively young city (in fact, the last Russian city to be founded, in 1916). A lot of sailors live here (Alyona’s father was at sea). They showed me a huge statue with an eternal flame in front of it. It was a concrete soldier standing 35 meter tall, watching out over the bay of Murmansk, and the monument for the marines who died in the submarine accident with the Kursk in 2000.

It was cold and windy, and we decided to walk back home. A very good night.

Murmansk. Alyosha. was originally published on Meandering home

Murmansk. Alyosha.

I waited my five days in three different places, with three totally different kinds of people, who were all so kind. The last two nights I stayed at Evelyn’s, a member of couchsurfing and a German who teaches Russian in Norwegian (!). So I enjoyed a conversation about linguistics, history, politics, which nourished my mind and prepared my for the huge country I will be going to. Evelyn told me a lot about Russia and the Ukraine, for example about the historical towns of the Golden Ring around Moscow, of which I was ignorant, and about the 3th class in trains called “platzkart” where traveling is not only cheaper, but also funnier since you meet many talkative Russians. I will go and see for myself.

Without problems I got my visa (someone at the consulate told me, I should have brought a confirmation of my payment, but it was already lying on his desk, right in front of him. Puh-ha! So the topic of the “dokument” and “your papers are not in order” was safely overcome), and I took the minibus to Murmansk. We arrived at the border when it was already dark and had to go to several cumbersome checkpoints, just like in airports. Our bags were driven through a machine that bleeped, but the officers didn’t care. We got back in the minibus and drove another three hours to Murmansk.

Alyona picked me up with her mother, and I was invited to their flat (which was somewhere away from the center on the 9th floor with the elevator broken) like a special envoy. I gave her my small gift, a box of chocolates and was shown around her place. Together with the rat Gonzales I had some Soljanka with Mayonaise, and was shown my own room. This could not have been better…

Thank you so much! Alyona and two friends showed me around Murmansk during a nighttime stroll, and I got a glimpse of the atmosphere of this rather large arctic town. Murmansk is a relatively young city (in fact, the last Russian city to be founded, in 1916). A lot of sailors live here (Alyona’s father was at sea). They showed me a huge statue with an eternal flame in front of it. It was a concrete soldier standing 35 meter tall, watching out over the bay of Murmansk, and the monument for the marines who died in the submarine accident with the Kursk in 2000.

It was cold and windy, and we decided to walk back home. A very good night.

Murmansk. Alyosha.

I waited my five days in three different places, with three totally different kinds of people, who were all so kind. The last two nights I stayed at Evelyn’s, a member of couchsurfing and a German who teaches Russian in Norwegian (!). So I enjoyed a conversation about linguistics, history, politics, which nourished my mind and prepared my for the huge country I will be going to. Evelyn told me a lot about Russia and the Ukraine, for example about the historical towns of the Golden Ring around Moscow, of which I was ignorant, and about the 3th class in trains called “platzkart” where traveling is not only cheaper, but also funnier since you meet many talkative Russians. I will go and see for myself.

Without problems I got my visa (someone at the consulate told me, I should have brought a confirmation of my payment, but it was already lying on his desk, right in front of him. Puh-ha! So the topic of the “dokument” and “your papers are not in order” was safely overcome), and I took the minibus to Murmansk. We arrived at the border when it was already dark and had to go to several cumbersome checkpoints, just like in airports. Our bags were driven through a machine that bleeped, but the officers didn’t care. We got back in the minibus and drove another three hours to Murmansk.

Alyona picked me up with her mother, and I was invited to their flat (which was somewhere away from the center on the 9th floor with the elevator broken) like a special envoy. I gave her my small gift, a box of chocolates and was shown around her place. Together with the rat Gonzales I had some Soljanka with Mayonaise, and was shown my own room. This could not have been better…

Thank you so much! Alyona and two friends showed me around Murmansk during a nighttime stroll, and I got a glimpse of the atmosphere of this rather large arctic town. Murmansk is a relatively young city (in fact, the last Russian city to be founded, in 1916). A lot of sailors live here (Alyona’s father was at sea). They showed me a huge statue with an eternal flame in front of it. It was a concrete soldier standing 35 meter tall, watching out over the bay of Murmansk, and the monument for the marines who died in the submarine accident with the Kursk in 2000.

It was cold and windy, and we decided to walk back home. A very good night.

Quantum of Solace at World´s End

Although it is not really that spectacular, Kirkenes has been called the end of the world on several occasions. Of course, during the Cold War, it was obvious. It´s on the edge of Europe, often not on the map (I have to tilt my google maps all the time). That is why the cinema complex blew my mind, and when I was offered a free ticket for the current Bond movie, I couldn´t resist. It began with a mind-blowing chase in northern Italy, cars scratched, crashed onto rock walls, flew through the air, all before the opening tune kicked in. The movie itself has an interesting story line with a serious twist for environmentalists. I think though, that they could have gone into more detail on that particular topic (which I don´t name here because most of my readers would like to surprise themselves). What´s good about the movie? The imagery (it was shot more on location than any other Bond), the acting (Matthieu Amalric does an amazing job), the oily reference to Goldfinger, the pace, the choreography of the fighting (especially in Siena), part of the plot, the soundtrack. What was bad about it? That the story was a bit vague at times, compared to older Bond movies, the lack of humor, the absence of psychological depth when the subject of consolation is dealt with (as the title promises), and some scenes that could hurt the soul of a classic Bond fan, where his coolness becomes a kitschy caricature.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, and I have hopes for the future, that one day they could come out with an amalgamate of Connery-cool and Moore-wit.

Quantum of Solace at World´s End

Although it is not really that spectacular, Kirkenes has been called the end of the world on several occasions. Of course, during the Cold War, it was obvious. It´s on the edge of Europe, often not on the map (I have to tilt my google maps all the time). That is why the cinema complex blew my mind, and when I was offered a free ticket for the current Bond movie, I couldn´t resist. It began with a mind-blowing chase in northern Italy, cars scratched, crashed onto rock walls, flew through the air, all before the opening tune kicked in. The movie itself has an interesting story line with a serious twist for environmentalists. I think though, that they could have gone into more detail on that particular topic (which I don´t name here because most of my readers would like to surprise themselves). What´s good about the movie? The imagery (it was shot more on location than any other Bond), the acting (Matthieu Amalric does an amazing job), the oily reference to Goldfinger, the pace, the choreography of the fighting (especially in Siena), part of the plot, the soundtrack. What was bad about it? That the story was a bit vague at times, compared to older Bond movies, the lack of humor, the absence of psychological depth when the subject of consolation is dealt with (as the title promises), and some scenes that could hurt the soul of a classic Bond fan, where his coolness becomes a kitschy caricature.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, and I have hopes for the future, that one day they could come out with an amalgamate of Connery-cool and Moore-wit.

Quantum of Solace at World´s End was originally published on Meandering home

Quantum of Solace at World´s End

Although it is not really that spectacular, Kirkenes has been called the end of the world on several occasions. Of course, during the Cold War, it was obvious. It´s on the edge of Europe, often not on the map (I have to tilt my google maps all the time). That is why the cinema complex blew my mind, and when I was offered a free ticket for the current Bond movie, I couldn´t resist. It began with a mind-blowing chase in northern Italy, cars scratched, crashed onto rock walls, flew through the air, all before the opening tune kicked in. The movie itself has an interesting story line with a serious twist for environmentalists. I think though, that they could have gone into more detail on that particular topic (which I don´t name here because most of my readers would like to surprise themselves). What´s good about the movie? The imagery (it was shot more on location than any other Bond), the acting (Matthieu Amalric does an amazing job), the oily reference to Goldfinger, the pace, the choreography of the fighting (especially in Siena), part of the plot, the soundtrack. What was bad about it? That the story was a bit vague at times, compared to older Bond movies, the lack of humor, the absence of psychological depth when the subject of consolation is dealt with (as the title promises), and some scenes that could hurt the soul of a classic Bond fan, where his coolness becomes a kitschy caricature.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie, and I have hopes for the future, that one day they could come out with an amalgamate of Connery-cool and Moore-wit.