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Looking for english speaking driver with car for Kola

Dalton...
Level Contributor
65 posts
4 reviews
Looking for english speaking driver with car for Kola

I am planning a trip for May or June 2019 to Murmansk and will be traveling solo but want the freedom of having my own rental car, or hiring a car and driver. Can anyone recommend a local person with car for hire who speaks English? I dont speak any Russian. I'm a photographer and would like to visit many areas of the region over an 8 day stay to photograph landscapes, and other areas like Teriberka, Lovozero, Revda and possibly White sea areas of Varzuga. I'm interested in photographing old places on the Kola that have not been changed since Soviet times, architecture, cities, towns, landscapes, villages, mining areas, and Saami areas.

Am I best off waiting until I arrive to find a local driver, or hire through an agency before? My budget is not large so am leaning toward a local person rather than having tour agency charge a higher price.

2 replies to this topic
Nittedal...
Level Contributor
314 posts
8 reviews
1. Re: Looking for english speaking driver with car for Kola

Hello! I remember you, from before summer maybe. after that I was travelling and quite busy, not here around for a while. Not so many people explore Murmanskaya by car and I remember you asked about it.

So:

>want the freedom of having my own rental car, or hiring a car and driver.

I think you will be fine renting and driving by yourself. It's totally like anywhere. Not many roads, you can't get lost and you can easily explore without any translator. In order to get the best of some place, you can hire a local guide, though. I think of Khibiny, it's worth it, because a guide will take you to the most beautiful and interesting places.

The hike Revda to sacred lake Seidozero, you are fine by yourself.

If you really can/want to spend the money for a car with driver, you can just ask any tourist agency in Murmansk and in Apatity/Kirovsk, they speak english and will find you someone. I think a driver speaking english is possible, but basic english... Even the guys who ride the marshrutki Kirkenes-Murmansk don't speak english, most of them.

> interested in photographing old places on the Kola that have not been changed since Soviet times, architecture, cities, towns, landscapes, villages, mining areas, and Saami areas.

not much has changed since soviet times, excepted some new shiny shopping malls here and there, few new municipal buildings. And out-of-town "cottages" for the new riches.

It's much more colourful, progressively there was maintenance and exterior paint jobs on many housing and buildings, so there's no longer the grim shades of grey and black famous in the 1990's. Streets and roads redone and maintained. Mines, foundries and smelteries also. For instance even Nikel has become pretty. Murmansk displays very well all architectural periods of soviet era, excepted very early wooden houses. (settlements and towns to be build, where first tents camps of displaced workers, supplemented sometimes with sentenced people from a nearby small camp, few wooden houses for pioneers/volunteers, party people, military and police people. The labor force did build wooden houses and the mining infrastructure, then they moved into the wooden houses, and further the brick and mortar town was build... Over the years wooden houses have disappeared)

Few smaller places may still have a semi ghost town aspect. I was in Teriberka in 2010/11, long before the hype and hipsters after Zvyagintsev movie. The town had two parts, "old" and "new", it was in an advanced state of decay and the one part abandoned. The renovations done elsewhere hadn't reached. End of the world and the road maybe not redone since Gorbachov times... A fenced area at the end of the town, after the cemetery, had Gazprom offshore materials and machines, for expected initial work on Shtokman gas field, which was in limbo.

Revda also was quite depopulated. there was even rumors about closing down the mine and the town.

Btw, about Revda, it's Lovozero area, and the sacred lake Seidozero over the mountain and it was the home of two (deceased) Sami poets, Bazhanov and Voronova.

Sami culture lives in the language, all sami people were absorbed into the local society in the last couple centuries: scandinavians, finns or soviets/russians, with few original settlements mostly purely sami remaining in Finnmark county, Norway: Kautokeino, Karasjok.

There's a museum in Lozovero, but it's really small stuff compared to what is in Tromsø.

On the other hand quite some places with sapmi names, like Kykisvymchorr by Kirovsk, or hybrid names, like Monchegorsk and many topologic sites (moutains, lakes, rivers).

Edited: 04 November 2018, 04:05
Benin City, Nigeria
7 posts
2. Re: Looking for english speaking driver with car for Kola

Hello , I'm also looking for a car that can cross me over EU country if anyone have the connection please do let me know as soon as possible.

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