exploring Russia, online for now…


Arkhangelsk: The Skolkovo of the NorthArkhangelsk: The Skolkovo of the North

ARKHANGELSK — With a name that means “Archangel” in English, the Arctic city of Arkhangelsk is sometimes dubbed “Russia’s Los Angeles.” But in fact they are poles apart.

I’m back to exploring my pet spot online again. I am very much disappointed with myself for not having visited Arkhangelsk during my last trip to Russia.

According to the article above, Arkhangelsk is the centre for Russia’s Artic interests – and so it happens to coincide with my new interests in exploring the Artic – plans made, but time non-permitting. Let us hence focus on Arkhangelsk.

Arkhangelsk does not host ancient orthodox churches like the other cities of Russia despite its religious churches. It however boasts of many wooden houses, or “Gorods” , and a mutli-racial acceptance given its past as a foreign trading ground. It was suggested that a must-visit down Arkhangelsk would be to walk down the river banks of Severnaya Dvina. I’m not sure what others think of this – many whom I have spoken with find this a boring, pointless activity, but in all honesty I would have loved to do just that. Pen & paper in hand for sketches or writing, a simple camera to capture the transience of life, and a cup of coffee to soothe the soul. The riverbanks could occupy just about a nice breezy evening to end of a day in the city. Not to mention, Arkhangelsk is known for its most magnificent white nights, of which those that I had experienced in St Petersburg may pale in comparison. Something I could never get out of my head – how the sun never seems to set, darkness never seems to fall, and life never seems to end…

Notably, there is a statue of Peter the Great and a street similar to Arbat in Moscow, of which might be an interesting stroll for those visiting Arkhangelsk. I wouldn’t mind taking a quick photo of the statue and comparing it to the one that stands facing Moscow River. And down an Arbat-look-alike? Good option. I recalled taking a long afternoon walk down Arbat, watching street performers, artists, and picking up little curios/ornaments along the way for my loved ones. It would probably be tantamount to a stroll down memory walk, with a new environment to explore – ideal, indeed.

A museum stands nearby, the Maliye Karely Museum, an open-air museum housing 16th-20th century wooden chapels and more. Sounds like an interesting spot, but I’m really not sure if I would ever get down to visiting this city. How could I, when the article reminds frequently of bad roads, non-adherence to traffic rules and the many dangers?

I guess I’ll stick to touring this little city, online for now …

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