Submitted by andre on

Take a trip to the north of Russia to dive? For most people this doesn’t sound very attractive. Our friends immediately declared us insane. Travel to that scary, unfriendly and grey country? And even go diving there? But we went towards our adventure. And what we would find here, we could not have imagined. We arrived at the northwest of Russia and we stepped back in time. Friendly people welcomed us in their world. The Arctic water was cold but impressed us with a beautiful under water landscape. Travel along with us to this strange world and enjoy the beautiful underwater world!

The White Sea is an inland sea in the north of Russia.  It is a sea-arm of the Barentszzee in the north. On the south-, west- and eastside this 90,000 km2 large seaarm lies next to the mainland of Russia. The White Sea is located close to the Arctic Circle. In the North West a little piece of the White Sea lies just above the Arctic Circle. Thanks to its northern position the White Sea is frozen a large part of the year.
We visit the North western part of the White Sea, also called Karelia. This area is also known for its landscape of rocks, lakes and forests. We arrive in September after a short flight in Moscow. At the airport we meet Anna, our Russian guide. The train is the best way to travel further. After a short drive through Moscow we park the car at the train station. We have a 28 hour train ride ahead of us and honestly said we are not looking forward to that. We put our bags in the train and have the feeling that we have gone back in time. This train will go in a 36 hour ride from Moscow to Murmansk.  The train compartments are subdivided in cabins in which you will sleep with four persons. Each train coupé has its own conductor who, at entering the train, gives every traveler their own set of sheets.

The train trip is a true experience. All passengers are clearly set for to a long trip.  In order to manage this trip comfortably most people carry a bag with delicacies. Although the train contains a dining car, for most passengers it’s a habit to sit in the couchette with something to eat and drink. While we are still fascinated with everything around us our Russian fellow traveler - who will travel the whole way to Murmansk -  invites us for a glass of self distilled vodka and a piece of homemade cheese. We really enjoy ourselves in spite of the fact that we cannot understand him due to language problems.  The train leaves at twelve at night from Moscow and after one and a half hour we decide to go to bed. During the trip the train stops at several stations. These stops are sometimes only for a few minutes, sometimes up to half an hour. During the longer stops you can come off the train to walk around or to do some shopping.  The local people come to sell their freshly smoked fish, cranberries, bread, beer and soft drink at the platforms. It’s like a small market.



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