Tourists discover the Arctic

This time will go down in the history of the development of our tourism as an era of massive development of the northern expanses of Russia and the Arctic as a whole. An example of the Murmansk region is the most vivid confirmation of this. Who would have imagined just ten years ago that the Kola Peninsula, the provincial outskirts of the country, would become a tourist mecca? Of course, there is enough exotic here, but where is it not enough on the planet? But attractions that are attractive to tourists, sometimes it is necessary to take here by storm, overcoming frosts, blizzards, fogs, the darkness of the polar night, sometimes interrupted only by the mysterious flashes of the northern lights … However, maybe this is just one of the reasons for an unprecedented wave of interest tourists from all over the Earth to the polar land. Let’s try to figure it out.

Tourism is one of the forms of recreation for people. It has its roots in the depths of centuries, but the past centuries were for the majority of earthlings materially not very prosperous, everyday life required from them great physical efforts necessary to ensure existence. In addition, the average person was largely led by fear, the danger of robberies and attacks in remote, little-explored territories. Therefore, tourism was seen rather as an opportunity to rest, recover strength in areas suitable for these purposes and relatively safe, where it is warm, comfortable, satisfying … And it was hardly different in mass. The current person’s needs have changed dramatically. Modern high-speed vehicles have removed the problem of accessibility of remote areas not only for wealthy people, but also for middle-income people. Tourism has become global in scope. And when everything is available, I want something unusual, original, exceptional. For the sake of acuity and freshness of feelings today even Everest is stormed by crowds, not taking into account the fact that someone is destined to find eternal peace in the snow-rock crevices, because not everyone can travel like this. Thrills from the risk category turn into the category of original entertainment, the hardships of the path now seem to be a peculiar form of psychological relaxation and even relaxation, aimed at replenishing the forces sucked by civilization. Finally, the same civilization in large resort centers begins to tire of cultural abundance, I want newness, pristine wildness of nature, the condition for which is difficult to access. And, it happens, one quite extraordinary event is enough to provoke a wave of tourist invasion, comparable to the South Asian tsunami. Something similar happened in the Kola North.

In 2015, Andrei Zvyagintsev’s film Leviathan was released, the events of which unfold in the Pomeranian village of Teriberka, remote from Murmansk. With the release of the film, the flow of tourists from all over the Earth to Teriberka, once forgotten by God, sharply increased. Bus caravans with tourists arriving in Murmansk stretched along a dirt road with a length of one hundred and twenty kilometers to the coast of the Barents Sea. Someone wanted to see a wooden village dying among hills, someone was attracted by a coast cut by rocky bays where from time to time flocks of killer whales frolic schools of fish into the bays, or even the opportunity to go out to sea fishing, since the unemployed local residents willingly respond to the request to provide guests with their little boats, idle idle. But everyone, without exception, wanted to see the glow of the northern lights, the proprietary natural meta of the Arctic. The trouble, however, is that the season of the most intense emerald-ruby radiance falls on the dark winter months, weighed down by frosty days. However, natural disasters do not stop thrill-seekers now, sometimes transport gets into drifting drifts in the endless bare tundra, which is why the local service of the Ministry of Emergencies noticeably added trouble.

Some Teriberians, who at first met Zvyagintsev’s movie drama with hostility, soon exchanged noble indignation at the mercy of uninvited guests, generously endowing old-timers with the benefits of civilization taken with them, or even contributing to their way out of prolonged unemployment. Cinema gave only the first powerful impetus to interest in Teriberka. Then, after the Russians, foreigners frequented here, their leaders outlined in this stream. Today in Teriberka most of all there are Chinese tourists, they often travel in pairs. They say that a sign has appeared among the Chinese: children conceived under the flashes of the northern lights are born healthy and happy. It turns out that not much is needed for happiness …

On the way to the distant Pomeranian village, guests can’t avoid the polar capital of Murmansk, where they are delivered mainly by air. It has its own sights, among which the world’s first atomic icebreaker “Lenin” stands out, the only cultural object of federal significance in the city. The capacity of the nuclear-powered ship is small, it is permissible to stay on board tourists of no more than eighty people, and the flow of people wishing to get acquainted with a unique ship-museum is sometimes off scale. Especially in the days after the New Year, when guests are added to tourists who have come to stay on holidays to the Murmansk residents. The line of thirsters stretched out in front of the icebreaker’s pier is easier to measure these days by hours of waiting for access to the icebreaker, sometimes in severe frost or blizzard. And what to do, there will be no other possibility …

Thus, the exotic primitiveness of Pomor villages coexists with world-class achievements in the development of Arctic civilization. The numbers falling on the heads (or heads) of tourists are staggering: unique Russian nuclear powered ships only at the North Pole visited about one hundred and twenty times (icebreakers from the rest of the world visited the top of the planet only twelve times)! And what did they lose there? – the guests of the first nuclear icebreaker are wondering. Guides’ answers produce an unexpected effect: most of the high-latitude flights of nuclear icebreakers are cruises, again with tourists. Safe, reliable, comfortable, return to Murmansk is guaranteed with an accuracy of one hour, delays are unacceptable – an airplane charter delivering tourists for a new trip in the ice should pick up the participants of the final cruise. By the way, in the entire twenty-eight-year history of cruise flights to the North Pole, only once did the atomic icebreaker Yamal reach its desired goal … tourists are informed about the possibility of such a force majeure, just in case. However, the facts are a stubborn thing: the Yamal did not reach the pole only because otherwise the super-tight schedule of summer cruises would be violated – twelve days on the road from Murmansk to the pole and vice versa, otherwise it is possible. But within these days, sometimes tourists are waiting for adventures that are hard to imagine. The author of these lines was convinced of this from his own experience …

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By visit / Administrator, bbp_keymaster

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on Aug 16, 2019

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