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  #1  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 9:22 AM
Nantais Nantais is offline
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Siberia from North to East. Part 1 : Norilsk.

Maybe you remember my photo threads last year about my trip across Eurasia by train (if not, take a look at my signature ).
I decided to come back this summer to Siberia for three weeks. I've just returned back home.
This time, I didn't only travel by train, but also by boat and car to go from Norilsk to Vladivostok.

Here is the trip that I did in 2010 :



And here is the trip I've just come back from :


So, first step : Norilsk.
Norilsk is an industrial city, located north of the arctic circle (thus we had 24 hours daylight). It has some 200,000 people and it's officially a forbidden city for foreigners. If you are not Russian, you need special authorizations to enter the city. Needless to say, it's not a very touristic place. Me, the other three tourists who accompanied me and our guide were probably the only international tourists in the city at the time we visited it (and maybe the sole international tourists of the whole year).
Norilsk must be the most fascinating place I've ever visited. It's also very polluted, you could smell (and see) the gaz in the city.

1- Arriving at Norilsk airport :


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3- I don't know why, but 9°C in Norilsk feels a lot colder than anywhere else in the world.


4- Abandonned commieblocks on the way from the airport to Norilsk :


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7- The northenmost railroad in the world, linking Norilsk to Dudinka, the port on the Iennisseï river :


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9- Kayerkan (pop. : 27,000), just before Norilsk :


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12- The tundra :


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16- The HM3 (NMZ) plant, on the way to Norilsk.


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21- Downtown Norilsk :


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24- The northenmost mosque in the world :


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29- Monument to the victims of the gulag (Norilsk was built by people deported to the Gulag) :


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37- City views from the mountain :


38- Spot the mosque :


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43- The orthodox church :


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48- Some parts of Norilsk have been renovated in recent years, but most of the buildings remain in bad shape :


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52- Thanks to our guide who knew one of the security responsible of the plant, we had the chance to visit the HM3 (NMZ) plant (see also pic 16).
Unfortunately we couldn't take pics of the inside, which was very impressive with large melting metal tanks everywhere and a stifling atmosphere.


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56- Our hotel at Norilsk (actually it's the only one hotel in the city) :


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58- The theatre :


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77- Monument to the soldiers fallen during WW2 :


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83- Because of the permafrost, all buildings are built on pilotis in Norilsk :


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86- The mosque again :


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109- Leaving Norilsk, a little stop to take the pose in front of the sign at the entrance of the city :


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Next step : Dudinka !
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  #2  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 9:36 AM
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Awesome!

I've read about Norilsk in Nat'l Geographic but I have never seen so many photos of it.

It does look scary and dirty, but also fascinating at the same time. And nickel has to come from somewhere I guess.
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  #3  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:29 PM
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Excellent photo tour. There are some nice buildings, but overall this is a nasty-looking city. I'm suprised they allowed photography of some of these places.

I look forward to more of your trip.
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  #4  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 12:52 PM
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Truly fascinating. Excellent tour.
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  #5  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 4:26 PM
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Very eerie looking place, but still very interesting. Thanks for the tour.
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  #6  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 5:03 PM
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whoa, crazy place. I'd actually be a bit scared to live in some of those highrises, the buildings don't appear to be very structurally sound.
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  #7  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 5:08 PM
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Wow, so many interesting shots. Hands down winner of the 2011 Grit Award™. Thanks for the great tour, look forward to the rest.
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  #8  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 5:12 PM
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Terribly awful, but quite interesting nonetheless. Your photos display the dreary, desolate gloom. Lots of vodka would be required to battle through life in a place like this.
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  #9  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 5:17 PM
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Holy crap, awesome photos; but damn, what an incredibly terribly depressing place to live. What happened, did time never go past 1985 there? Do they even know the Berlin Wall fell... doesnt look like it, damn.
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  #10  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 7:07 PM
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Truly depressing.
Great job!
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  #11  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 7:36 PM
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Like the other commenters, I found much of this depressing, but all of it fascinating. Including the best and worst of the buildings.

It's worth remembering that Fairbanks is pretty dirty and lacking in streetscape too. Being that far north makes it hard to be a liveable city in a traditional sense.
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  #12  
Old Posted Aug 15, 2011, 8:09 PM
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You and I have very, very different taste in holidays, but thanks for the fascinating photos.
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  #13  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 8:37 PM
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this is too funny:

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  #14  
Old Posted Aug 16, 2011, 10:55 PM
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Awesome!!
Looking forward to more!
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  #15  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 4:10 AM
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Standing ovation for showing us locations of where we would rarely see if ever. Gritty and industrial-
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  #16  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 4:26 AM
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Wow, some amazing shots. But as others have echoed this place looks pretty grim (that may actually be an understatement).
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  #17  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 5:21 AM
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Wow, can't wait for the rest of what is sure to be a fascinating tour.

I nominate this for most depressing skyline on earth:

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  #18  
Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 5:36 AM
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Holy fuck...to say that this looks like a rough place to live would be an massive understatement...can't wait to see the rest of the trip!
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 6:08 AM
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Dismal, bathed in pastel.

Totally obscure, completely different, and seriously fascinating.

I can't wait to see the rest of this trip.

Not that you need to, but for others, Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier is a great read.
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Old Posted Aug 17, 2011, 8:01 AM
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Wow, thanks for an extremely interesting post! I'd love to go on a trip like this some day. Do you speak Russian? When you went by car, did you hire a car with a driver?
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