On July 31 1996, Yanek from Belarus, Angela from St. Petersburg and I traveled overland by bus from Murmansk to the remote village of Teriberka. We went to visit our friend Marina who was a student we met in Murmansk. These two areas are circled in red on the map below. The distance is a bit more than 100 KM or 60 miles, but it took 5 hours by bus on dirt roads. Though it was summer, we could still see patches of snow on the ground! Most of the area in between these two areas is tundra. There is nothing growing higher than an inch or so from the ground due to the permafrost just underground.
Remember the Russian submarine that sank last year 2000? It wasn't very far from here. The city next to Murmansk called Severomorsk is a Russian Navy base. Only Russian military and the local town's people have permission to enter this city. And believe it or not, even the tiny village of Teriberka is part of a military restricted zone. I didn't know that before arrival. On the 3rd day border guards came to Marina's apartment and told me I had until the next morning to leave or be incarcerated!
A map showing the relationship of this area to the rest of the world. You're probably thinking, "What's so special about that village anyway?" It's special to me because it probably is the most remote area I've ever been in the world -- a place only missionaries and National Geographic people would want to visit!
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