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'I've grown fat, got a tan & now look like a Siberian'
Vladimir Lenin, 1897, in Siberian exile

Salekhard smells like cool water

25 February 2014

A nenets granny walks into the mobile shop, where I'm getting a local sim, puts a wrinkled hand on the counter and says ‘I need an iPhone'.

'I feel an enormous pride for people that came here and built this nice and comfortable city'. Pictures here and below: Kate Baklitskaya

Yesterday morning in the bathroom of the guest house where I’m staying I found the bottle of Davidoff Cool Water perfume - and of course managed to spill it all over myself. Unintentionally.

Maybe that’s why my Salekhard is fresh and sharp and very manly. 

People here walk like they know something that you would never learn. They look determined. Like a nenets granny that walks into a mobile shop where I am getting a local sim card, puts her small wrinkled hand on the counter and says: 'I need an iPhone. Its for my husband'. 

Even the houses here stand tall and proudly, be it a wooden hut or a newly-built apartment block, after winning a battle against the cold. 

Smoke from the chimneys in Salekhard

Girl walking along the street

New houses in Salekhard

Even the houses here stand tall and proudly, be it a wooden hut or a newly built apartment building.

The color of Salekhard is blue. The light blue sky reflects in the white snow, which sparkles in the sun, and when the sun sets the blue mist wraps the city. I dont know why but every evening the city drowns in fog.

You do not feel like you are on 'the edge of the earth' when you are in Salekhard. BeerLine restaurant was packed with people last night live, everyone was watching hockey, discussing work and having dinner. But being in this crowd I thought just for a second that there are only 516,000 people in the whole Yamalo-Nenets region. 

Yamal is one of the least populated areas of Russia, with the population density of 0.7 persons per square kilometer, which is three times less than the average in Western Siberia. And if there’s around 40 people sitting with me in the restaurant, that means that means that outside of the city there’s kilometers of empty Tundra.

Right there I felt enormous pride for the people who were able to come here, build this nice and comfortable city, develop this land and make it accessible for the travelers like I am. There’s a lot of hard work behind what you see in Salekhard now, but no one boasts with it. 

The sharp wind blows them in the face, but it’s their friend, not an enemy anymore. They tamed the north.

Salekhard in evening smog

Industrial cranes in Salekhard

Comments (1)

Beautiful
I like Siberian Women Too,
19/06/2015 21:37
0
0
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