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A new point on the map: a trip to the Arctic or a trip to Teriberka

Date: July 24, 2024 Time: 06:21:23

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We’ve all heard about the Kola Peninsula, the Arctic Circle, the Barents Sea in geography lessons, but did we think that this would become one of those treasured places where you would want to go not only in winter in search of the Northern Lights, but also in winter? But also spend your summer holidays there? Produced by BUREAU. Polina Vladi traveled to the picturesque Teriberka to make sure that it would be an excellent choice for traveling in the warm season.

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From Moscow, the road to Teriberka is quite simple: first we fly two and a half hours to Murmansk. It is worth staying here for at least a day to see the local attractions: the monument to Alyosha, the memorial complex of sailors who died in peacetime, the port of Murmansk and the famous nuclear icebreaker Lenin – the world’s first surface ship with a nuclear power plant. And in the meantime, refresh yourself and try fresh seafood (how could you live without it in such a place?) in the union restaurants “Terrace”, “Tundra”, “Tsarskaya Okhota” and “Gray Goose”. Then we drive another two and a half hours to the final point.

Interesting fact: in Murmansk there is a polar day from May 22 to July 22. This means that the sun does not set below the horizon, but shines at night as well. Very unusual sensations, lighter than during the white nights of St. Petersburg. Therefore, when choosing a hotel, pay attention to whether the room has blackout curtains, as without them it will be almost impossible to fall asleep.

Speaking of hotels, we stayed at Rooms&Breakfast on Polyarnye Zori Street – the very center, the rooms are clean and they offer delicious breakfasts (everyone will definitely find something to their liking). If you don’t like taking risks with new places and prefer already known hotel chains, Azimut, which is located on one of the central streets of the city – Lenin, is quite suitable. Having got to know Murmansk, it’s time to go to the cherished point on the map, from which this whole trip began – Teriberka.

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Teriberka (with emphasis on the second syllable) is a village on the shores of the Barents Sea, which flows into the Arctic Ocean. The number of residents is very small – about 500 people, and this number is decreasing every year. The economy of Teriberka is based, as you might have guessed, on agricultural production cooperatives engaged in fish processing. So why do tourists from all over the world come here? In winter (the obvious answer) it is the Northern Lights, which can be seen on the Kola Peninsula from late August to April. In summer, here you can see marine life, including whales (if you’re lucky), and just enjoy nature and feel like you’re at the end of the world. Of course, the impetus for this place was Andrei Zvyagintsev’s 2014 film Leviathan, which was filmed here. Fans can see with their own eyes the place where the main character’s house was located, and even some of the scenery left over from filming, for example, a whale skeleton.

Still, first of all, Teriberka is an amazing nature, a feeling as if you are not in Russia, but somewhere in Norway: this mist, the fjord, the sea breeze and the smell of seafood. In summer, the climate on the Kola Peninsula is not as severe as all the descriptions scare. Yes, it is not hot here, like in Moscow, you will have to take windbreakers/leather jackets or some other autumn clothes, however, the weather is quite comfortable for walking and exploring the area.

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The first point you should go to in Teriberka is the Maloye Batareiskoe lake. There are many reservoirs in the area, but only here you can swim in summer. We did not dare to try it (the water did not seem warm), but the scenery is truly mesmerizing. The Batareisky waterfall flows out of the lake and flows into the Barents Sea – a delight for lovers of the sight. The photos do not convey the whole atmosphere, but everyone should definitely see it.

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Then we headed to the sandy beach, where an incredible view opens up – imagine: rocks, the sea and the sun’s rays breaking through the mist. To say that it is beautiful is to say nothing, but knowing that you are at the end of the world gives you goosebumps. By the way, local residents said (and showed a video to verify the facts) that it is on this beach, if you are lucky, that you can see whales and orcas jumping. And recently a bear swam there (p.s. I don’t know if that’s good or bad). We didn’t see either one or the other, but this didn’t spoil the impression at all.

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Another amazing place in Teriberka is the cemetery of sunken ships. Until the 1960s, fishing was actively developing in the village, but then the regional centre was moved to Severomorsk and local fishermen were left without work. This created a place where boats that no one needed remained. Fun fact: edible seaweed, also called sea grapes, grows here. You can try it – it tastes slightly salty.

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If in winter Teriberka is associated with the Northern Lights, in summer it is associated with whales. Therefore, a mandatory point of the trip is a walk along the Barents Sea, and if not, a meeting with whales and marine inhabitants of the North. We set off on our mini-voyage on a small boat with a capacity of 15 people (there were 10 of us). And although the locals frightened us with the biting wind and cold, we spent the 3-hour walk on the open deck, without going down to the hold. Of course, you can’t do without a warm jacket, hat, scarf, gloves and raincoats, but “this way” you can easily survive for a longer period of time, especially when you have a cherished goal – to see the inhabitants of the deep sea. It is important to say that no one promises that you will definitely see them, not to mention that you will capture the moment on camera, because this is a matter of luck. So there was still some excitement before the trip: visiting Teriberka and not seeing anyone was a shame. Halfway across the Barents Sea we did nothing but look for someone. And by the third hour, already completely disappointed that not everything always happens the way we want, we encouraged each other that the trip was not in vain, but also quite a pleasant experience. And literally in the last minutes of the trip the “snout” appeared (although after so much time you can no longer believe your eyes, and it seems like these are hallucinations) of a fur seal, which was swimming very close. You can’t even imagine what you are experiencing at this moment, waiting for several hours. It looked like the most beautiful seal anyone had ever seen, with those eyes, that nose and that huge cute mustache. And a few minutes later they noticed a fin peeking out on the horizon. We swam closer and it turned out to be the back of a whale, namely a minke whale, as our captain later noticed. It is difficult to convey the pleasure felt in these minutes, but all the energy for the trip and the road to Teriberka is definitely worth these few minutes of happiness. And yes, unfortunately we did not have time to photograph it, so it simply remained in our memory for many years.

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On such trips, food should be seen as a good opportunity to get to know a place and try something that you probably wouldn’t want to buy or order in a Moscow restaurant. Sea urchins, scallops, oysters, squid, mussels, venison, jams and infusions made from berries grown in the north, blackberries, lingonberries and blueberries are exactly what you should definitely try on the Kola Peninsula. For example, in the restaurants “Rynda”, “Ter” or “Polar Whale”. I especially recommend the scallop and onion soup, venison with lingonberry jam and Olivier with crab.

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Hotels in Teriberka are mostly independent houses where a family or a group of friends can stay. We lived in the Barents guest complex, or also in the Barents Holiday Village, which is located away from rural infrastructure and buildings, near a reservoir where fishing boats and motorboats dock. The area is quiet, you can fully enjoy nature (and in winter you can even see the Northern Lights from the window), and as a bonus, very close is the Rynda restaurant, where you can taste seafood and more.

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A trip to Teriberka seemed like a rather strange and non-obvious idea for a summer holiday. Despite all the prejudices, this is certainly one of the most interesting and unusual trips of recent times. Will I come back here again? – Definitely yes, and I recommend it. But now let’s go to the Northern Lights.

Polar day: May-July, Northern Lights: August-April.

Always check the weather in advance and a spare jacket will come in handy.

Stock up on mosquito repellent, it will come in handy.

You can pay everywhere with cards and QR codes – no cash required.

Watch Andrei Zvyagintsev’s film “Leviathan” for a deeper immersion in the atmosphere.

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Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.
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