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vagabonds3 "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow mindedness." Mark Twain

Kamchatka

RUSSIAN FEDERATION | Friday, 26 July 2019 | Views [41]

May I help you? Petropavlovsk market

May I help you? Petropavlovsk market

EVEN OUR “TRAVEL AND CRUISE DIRECTOR, LANCE” — as he refers to himself — found Petropavlovsk a mouthful to pronounce.  It begins to make sense when one realizes the city is named for Peter and Paul — not the saints actually but for the discoverer of Kamchatka Vitus Bering’s ships of the same name.  

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  Hut, dup, trup...                              Russian Nuke

The Kamchatka peninsula is barely a part of Russia.  It lies eleven time zones east of Moscow, nearly half the earth’s circumference away.  Nor roads or trains connect it with the rest of Russia and if it weren’t for the Russian navy and the plentiful salmon, Kamchatka would be unpopulated.  As it is the population density is less than one person per square kilometer.  Outside of Petropavlovsk, brown bears outnumber humans.

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   Russian Immigration with flying saucer hats

But this is still Russia.  Visas are expensive and are issued grudgingly.  Except for the Russian citizens aboard, most everyone going ashore had to be part of an official shore excursion and even then had to deal with flying-saucer-hatted Russian immigration officers.

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   Avacha Bay and volcano                  Trinity Chapel and volcanoes

Petropavlovsk has fewer than 50 days of sunshine annually and today was one of them.  We could see all three of the snow-capped volcanoes that surround the town, providing great backdrops for Avacha Bay and Trinity Cathedral.  This is a navy town and the sailors were practicing for the Navy Day celebration.  Two Russian nuclear submarines were in the harbor as part of the spectacle.

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     A taste of smoked salmon, please

The local lore museum wasn’t much to see but we enjoyed ourselves at the market.  Everything one could want was on sale but the seafood market was really humming.  Fresh salmon on ice, salmon egg “caviar,” crabs, halibut, smoked salmon, salted salmon, dried salmon were all available.  Anna, our guide, wrote out “May I have a sample” for Connie who surprised me by trying each type of smoked salmon.  I followed her politely saying “spasiba” — “thank you” — in my best Boris Badinov accent. 

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    3 Brothers, Kamchatka

Since Maasdam arrived before dawn, we missed the chance to see the many birds and the famous “Three Brothers” rock formation in the bay.  We were an hour late leaving — bureaucracy, don’t you know — but still braved the cold wind on the way out this evening for a final look and some photos.  Dosvidanya, Kamchatka.

 

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John and Connie, Sheikh Zayad Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi

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