Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

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Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

Living constantly in a city, one could easily forget the immense beauty of the world we live in. Constantly commuting in a jungle of steel and concrete, I easily lost touch with how amazing our dear planet is. That is why when the opportunity came for me to experience not just any kind of nature, but one that is completely foreign to me, I couldn’t say no.

The arctic wild is simply natured at its purest, from the oceans of snow to its rivers of stellar water.  I could not have been in a better place when I came to Norilsk, the arctic’s crown jewel of a city, a symbol of man’s sheer perseverance and coexistence with nature.

There’s no short supply of fun things to do in Norilsk when it comes to exploring its natural surroundings; you can go hiking, kayaking,  or fishing to mention a few. And before I leave I am so determined to experience as much as I can. My stay here is one of the most memorable things I’ve ever done in my life. Here are a few of the highlights of my wander through Norilsk’s diverse array of nature at its finest

Oceans and Mountains of Snow

If I were to be asked to imagine a masterpiece on canvas, the first sight I had of Norilsk would be the first thing that comes to my mind. A brightly colored city, a rainbow display hugged on a stellar white background of its mountains covered with snow. Now that’s love at first sight! If you ever find yourself in Norilsk never leave without going hiking around some of its surrounding mountains. You will witness what I’m saying when I say oceans of snow. It made me think we might just be living on the fringes of a vast world that is yet to be conquered. The sheer vastness of these oceans of snow, go on as far as your eyes can see, till the horizon meets the sky

Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

Northern Lights

There’s nothing you have ever experienced in the world so far as witnessing an Aurora, from atop of one Norilsk’s mountains of snow or in the midst of its oceans. The dazzling display will almost numb you with amazement. Are we even living in the same world as this beauty? How much passes us by living in middle earth, how little beauty we get to experience!

Meandering Rivers

The story of Norilsk’s nature cannot be complete without mentioning the practically endless rivers that surround its nature reserves. Stellar waters from up the Arctic, veering through the land in a dazzling display of nature’s gift to us all. You can go rowing or even kayaking but just make sure you come adequately supplied because you might just want to go further and stay longer than you originally planned!

Norilsk photos and videos - Nature's Artic Buffet

Norilsk is such a buffet when it comes to diverse natural grounds. It has forests, grasslands, chilled river and even amazing hot springs. Make sure you go for a rejuvenating dip in those hot springs, you will never regret it. As a once in a blue moon opportunity I tried to take in as much as I could in a short span. But like every buffet, however much you eat you must leave some behind. It has been an absolute pleasure Norilsk! Thank You

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Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

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Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Weddings! I love weddings. Having been completely been seduced by the stunning scenery and the very warm welcoming people of Norilsk. I couldn’t wait for another opportunity to taste those sublime grills in the city that is the crown jewel of Siberia, luckily enough for me a good friend invited me to the wedding of his younger brother, and though I’ve never experienced their wedding, I was confident the sweet people of Norilsk have some special package in store for me.

As it turned out the Norilsk wedding didn’t disappoint! A fun filled series of events mark the communion, steeped in very interesting traditions and I have all that as images in my mind.

Norilsk is very proud of its identity and you can see it shining through in their family themed weddings. Here are few highlights of their wedding;

Surmount the Obstacles

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

One of the most interesting things about the Norilsk wedding is this event that is tinged with serious lessons underneath.  In order to emphasize the worth of the bride to the groom, he is subjected to a test of sorts. Before she can be escorted away, the groom must surmount a series of obstacles placed on her stairwell before he could reach her. He will be quizzed, challenged and asked swift questions for him to show he is committed to winning her. Once he passes the obstacles, the bride is free to leave her parent’s house with her new husband

A Newly Weds Shower

After small civil ceremony witnessed by the closest family and friends to the bride and groom, of which I was so graciously invited to witness. The bride and groom are showered by the wedding party in a symbolic shower of goodness. Rice, flowers, chocolates even butterflies are rained on the newlyweds in a show of goodwill and wishing them all the best of luck in their new home. This continues till the new family reaches their transport

Norilsk Photo Shoots

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

As soon as the wedding ceremony is finalized, the historical event for the new family is cemented with a series of photo shoots in some of Norilsk’s great historic site and amazing scenery. And there are plenty of those

Kiss Your Bride

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

Norilsk Images - Throwing a Great Party

One of the quick events of the wedding that got me absolutely in love and smiling at these amazing people is the “kiss the bride” part. Where the couple is challenged to kiss for as long as they could while the wedding party heartily and jokingly count the number of times they smooch while kissing. 

A fun event I don’t regret coming back for this… Norilsk I love you!

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Norilsk winter - Beauty, extreme weather and low temperatures

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Norilsk winter - Beauty, extreme weather and low temperatures

The winter in Norilsk could be very extreme, but even under dificult weather conditions and incredible low temperatures, you can find beauty.  

In this awesome timelapse video of storm_188, we can see images of Norilsk with a different and original point of view.  The vision of an artist.  We already enjoy another work of this proud man original from Norilsk.

Living in Norilsk under -55ºC may sound a complete suicide.  Some journalists even think this is the most depressing city in the world, but they may have to think twice after seeing this beautiful images of this Russian city.

Norilsk people invade the streets even during the coldest winter

Norilsk winter - Beauty, extreme weather and low temperatures

There are always good reasons to go out and have some fun in the streets of Norilsk.  Even with very low temperatures and harsh weather, we always find something new and exciting to do. 

For those who only are able to learn bad things about our beloved Siberian city, you may be interested that we even have outdoors festivals to celebrate our traditions like Great Argish.  But there is also modern music made in Norilsk flooding the dance floors, like the one created by Proket and many other Russian artists born here.

Despite extreme weather and temperature, we find a number of reasons to live in Norilsk

I can imagine people thinking that this is not true, that we are a closed city, a real hell on earth, but I might think the same of some urban centers where poor people are starving, trying to survive cold winters with no blankets or anything to protect themselves from low temperatures.  Some of them even die of hypothermia.

Maybe if we compare the number of poor people who die every year in big Western cities a lot of people will be surprised to learn that there are more deaths in London or New York, than in Norilsk.

But I don't want to criticize others while there are so many things to be grateful for living in Norilsk, because we may find beauty under extreme weather conditions and low, freezing temperatures.

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Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

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Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

Touching down at the Alykel Airport from Saint Petersburg I could not help but giggle with excitement at finally arriving at what is the most northern city in the world and one of its most unique cities.

Norilsk is no ordinary Russian city 

It is quite unique, not only in its location sitting on the summit of the crown of the world, but in its history and enduring culture. Despite its very arctic climate attracts some of the brightest young professionals from all over Russia and other neighboring countries. So what is the secret? I was eager to find out, and could hardly hide my impatience to go seeing at some of its historic sites.

Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

The 35km trip to the city is a swift one, and the first ting thing that hit me as we approached this mesmerizing place is the bright colors of its buildings from afar, a rainbow display that captivates the eyes. Massive but neatly arranged blocks that look like a masterpiece on canvas against the background of the grey and White Mountains.

The roads are wide, and neatly tarred. The lights have already come on anticipating the coming night.  Our short drive ends at the Hotel North Star, a very cozy place with a good restaurant, a bar and good internet access in case you want to inform loved ones you arrived safely. 

Norilsk and its exciting tourist attractions 

Chief among my interest is where it all began. The first building ever erected on the arctic, a wooden cottage built in 1921 by explorers over a decade before the town was founded.  I was pleasantly surprised at how sturdy it still looks even after almost a hundred years. The cottage is now a museum for the geological expeditions, an amazing and enduring evidence of human triumph over adversity.

Norilsk location - Sitting on the Crown of the World

Next we drive across town to the Arctic Ice center, a bubbling public recreational facility with dozens of children running about playing hockey, the sport of choice here. Beside it is the Northernmost Mosque in the whole world, the Nurd Kamal, a striking green and wide building capped with a golden dome and minaret, a pleasant surprise that diversity thrives here so far from the rest of the world. Next up we drive to see the impressive monument that is the Norilsk Polar Drama Theatre, a reminder to me that this is like any other city in the world.  It loves its arts and culture as well.

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Norilsk, Russia - Siberian man pulling car

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Norilsk, Russia - Siberian man pulling car

Pulling a car may be a kid entertainment in Norilsk, and some may have dreamt been in the Guinness Book of World Records.

This Siberian man pulled the car 100 meters while the campers cheered him on.

He might not be a professional, but he does this to show that everyone is good at something.  And that he is good pulling cars.

He said, “For me it’s just like every day after breakfast.”

The Guinness Book of World Records may not review this video proof, but he may make it and put his name in the book one day.

What other men have accomplished motivate him:

  1. Montystar A. pulled a truck weighing 2,700 kilograms with only the pinky finger of his left hand.
  2. Ryan Stock pulled a vehicle weighing 3,740 pounds using a swallowed sword.
  3. Juli Moody pulled an 11,339.80-kilogram (25,000 pounds) semi-tractor a distance of 75 feet. She did it in 35.48 seconds.
  4. Kapil Gehlot pulled a car a distance of seven kilometers (22,965.87 feet) while on roller skates. 
  5. Michael McCastle walked 22 miles in 24 hours while pulling a 2.2-ton Ford F-150 truck

He may want to cross Norilsk from east to west during the winter, with a temperature of -50ºC, and then, maybe, he will put his name in the Guiness World Record Book.

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Found Love in Norilsk

Found Love in Norilsk

Found Love in Norilsk

Before I tell you my story, I’m going to tell you some Norilsk facts; Norilsk is a northernmost city on the polar circle. This means my city is really cold. We have more than 170,000 population, which is not many, but that’s a lot for a city that is so cold .

Now that you know the complications of this city. I’m going to tell you how I found love amidst everything.

I was born in Norilsk, but after I finished high school, I left for a bigger city, which I enjoyed by the way, but I missed my cold city. I missed how I used to ice-skate with my friends in deserted factories. One day, I made a brisk decision to go back and stay for some months.

Now, I was used to a more bubbly city, and I looked for ways to have fun despite the usual confinement. 

Norilsk Siberia apartments are built in such a way that you could go from apartments to apartments until you get to an indoor sport palace, or a shopping mall.  The underground tunnels are better means of transportation than walking on the cold windy street.

We organize social gatherings in our apartments and invite each other, Norilsk people are always pleased to grace social gatherings. .

Some fun loving Norilsk people like me have started an interesting experience, they come once a month and organize a night club, just like you have it in other cities.

While night club is for grownups, there are indoor facilities built to give people outdoor experience, this where you would find children cycling and running around, even during the winter.

Norilsk Russia is also a place of the intelligentsia, there are several universities in this small city, and museums and theatres. And the number of Norilsk people with university degrees is probably the highest in Siberia. Norilsk people feel a sense of contributing to build the city, that’s the major reason they have stayed back.

One day, I decided to go to the “museum night" in Norilsk  

I’m not much of a art person but I like having fun and I love new experiences.

The museum nights is like a culture festival, musicians come to one of the museums and people will come around and have fun.

In one of the nights I went, I met a guy who looked new; in Norilsk Russia we know each other.

After some glances, he decided to come to me, maybe he thought I was new too, maybe my glances were awkward.

Found Love in Norilsk

Found Love in Norilsk

It wasn’t that after all, what he asked first was about my school, my high school. He asked if I knew him from school, well I didn’t. He then narrated how he was a senior and noticed me, how he had traveled to other countries, and he’s a photographer now, he only came home to Norilsk to capture life in Norilsk Siberia.

And then he found me in Norilsk

Our first date was in the summer. So we rented a house and had barbecues. It was different. The barbecues tasted sweeter than all the times I’ve eaten there.

After this, we decided to visit as many restaurants in Norilsk Siberia as possible.

We went to Yasen Perets, Polyana, Pogrebok, Chiakhona, Carl’s Jr, among others. We enjoyed Norislsk Siberia together. We took portraits of each other in the wind, standing against the tall snow.

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Norilsk city at night

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Norilsk city at night

Norilsk city at night

Norilsk city at night

Norilsk city after midnight is a night stroller’s dream.  A friend told me that he would often take a short nap and go out at midnight to enjoy a sleeping city filled with atmosphere, deserted spaces, panoramic vistas, and distant expanse of water.

Time is different at night in sleeping Norilsk

Norilsk is so crowded during the day that is hard to enjoy it, At night the real city is laid bare, seemingly forgotten and empty, even while occupying the same physical space of the daytime Norilsk. I came to think of the city after midnight as “night city” with its own culture and realities. But this Norilsk is inviting.

Norilsk city at night

Norilsk city at night

It’s a wonderful feeling , going out in the dark, and having Norilsk gradually reveal itself. I’ve enjoyed most in spaces which are crowded during the day.

I walk miles in Norilsk at night and love it. It’s very peaceful, and it is a very safe city. Walking in the daytime here can be a difficult. I still love this city though, and walking through it after dawn is one of my favourite pastimes – especially during the summer when I could walk the streets freely without tons of clothes covering my body.

I had insomnia in Norilsk... and loved it!

Norilsk city at night

Norilsk city at night

The best part of exploring a Norilsk at night is the slight sense of being in an alternate world. The night smells different. It’s nice to be rewarded with the discovery of new places even if it’s only an all-night cafe.  I am something of an insomniac. My sleep pattern is very disrupted but I just embrace it and love enjoying Norilsk city at night.

The empty Norilsk at night feels like it’s yours

I love the neon whirl of Norilsk during a night stroll through older parts of the city, teeming with old neighbourhoods winding down for the evening. In the midst of all the activity, there is always this sense of calm.

I write now and then and I find I get so much inspiration from the ebb and flow of Norilsk in the night-time. I love wandering between streets, finding the hidden connections, and all the hidden neighbourhoods and goings-on that exist in between.

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The Loving Norilsk People

The loving Norilsk people

The loving Norilsk people

If you search Norilsk on the internet, one of the first results you will get  is “Norilsk is one of the coldest city in the world”. But this is not the story of the Norilsk people.

Norilsk is an arctic city in Russia, and the most attractive thing about this place is its people.

Have you met the Norilsk people, who hold hands while walking on the streets, the bond, the oneness, and the shared sense of responsibility?

Falling in love in Norilsk, Russia is amazing. The people cherish integrity, the Norilsk people have a sense of duty towards one another.  Children and adults walking on the streets have to support each other in the cold wind. They often allow the wind to carry them, they let go and glide in the wind.

The Loving Norilsk People

The Loving Norilsk People

Well, of course you have to wear thick warm clothes all the time, because it is always winter in Norilsk Russia.

Can you imagine the beauty of white nights? Snow blocks as thick and high as monuments.

Children often play ice-skating, football, or ice hockey in the snow.

Children going to school in Norilsk is daunting but fun, sometimes the school would be covered up in snow, adventurous children would have to climb the window to get in. While some others pass through the warm underground tunnels.

The people of Norilsk also enjoy some social benefits and welfare programs such as school allowances, housing waivers, maternity grants and benefits, supplementary pensions, and guaranteed jobs for young adults.

Little wonder why foreigners have chosen Norilsk Russia as one of their favorite travel destination.

Places to visit in Norilsk

The architecture of the Norilsk building is delicate and beautiful. This is one of the most fascinating things that tourists enjoy in the artic city.

The State Museum of Exploration and Development History of Norilsk

The State Museum of Exploration and Development History of Norilsk

The Norilsk people enjoy art.  This is why in the city you would find the State Museum of Exploration and Development History of Norilsk.

The Norilsk people also enjoy the art of the Norilsk Polar Drama Theatre. If you love classic art, you should find your way to the theatre whenever you’re in Norilsk.

The Norilsk Polar Drama Theatre

The Norilsk Polar Drama Theatre

If you are a lover of sports and games, Norilsk has some fun in stock for you. As already mentioned, you have enough ice to skate on, and play any of your favorite ice sport.

The Kayerkan Region Ice Sport Palace, Norilsk is beautiful.

The Kayerkan Region Ice Sport Palace, Norilsk.

The Kayerkan Region Ice Sport Palace, Norilsk.

You should also visit the Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of all who Sorrow.

The Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of all who Sorrow

The Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God Joy of all who Sorrow

However, these architectural structures are not what makes Norilsk Siberia fun and loving, it’s the people who watch out for themselves despite the challenges of climate and stereotype media reports.

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Norilsk didn't need to be saved by Deadpool

Norilsk didn't need to be saved by Deadpool

Norilsk didn't need to be saved by Deadpool

Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool, arrived in Norilsk after a pleasant journey. 

He have read awful things about the city, and he wanted to help its poor inhabitants.

He believed that he could survive in all the extreme conditions that Norilsk suffers, as told by several media.  He once survived in a hyperbaric chamber that took him to the verge of asphyxiation periodically over a weekend.

"I can manage the cold temperatures at Norilsk", Deadpool said.

He also had a personal interest in this trip.  

"If all the people from Norilsk could survive under this extreme conditions, they may have a cure for me", he thought. "After being cured, Vanessa will love me again".

"People may think that I am here as a spy, but quite the opposite.  I am here to help you, guys", said to a bunch of teenagers who wanted a selfie anyway.

Deadpool had horrible expectations about Norilsk, and found other things that really surprised him: friendly people, warm weather and good living conditions.  He may want to ask people about all the problems, but he was not able to speak and understand Russian.

Anyway, Deadpool was happy that he didn't have to save Norilsk and just enjoy the rest of his time there.

He even had a good feeling with a girl who may not only want a selfie but maybe something more ;)

"Oh, I love Russian girls, but this one is from Siberia!  Even better!", he whispered to himself.

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Norilsk autumn night timelapse

In Norilsk, when we need to say goodbye to the summer and welcome the new season, we usually don't have too much time to loose, as the weather changes very quickly.

In a matter of days, or even hours, the snow covers it all in Norilsk.  It may be a beautiful for some and horrible for others, but it is always something a change that should make us think about how fast the time goes by and that we have to enjoy every second of our lives.

The video artist storm_188 made a beautiful timelapse of an autumn night in Norilsk.

In the video, you can see the changing colors of the afternoon turning into night, a magnificent green Aurora Borealis, the clear blue skies with some clouds crossing and fading silently, andenormous amount of stars that can't be seen easily in other big cities of the world.

Norilsk autumn

Norilsk autumn

Norilsk autumn night timelapse is a splendid piece of art, and the videoartist has done a terrific job combining a music with piano and chello.

Take a break just for two minutes to enjoy beautiful scenes that could only be seen in Norilsk during the autumn, combining incredible images of nature and city landscapes.

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