Karelian Cycle Expedition 2003

After a ten-year break from Russia it was time in summer 2003 to return and cycle through an area that was not included in the original Trans-Siberian epic. This time the route started in the far north-west, a long way above the Arctic Circle in the port of Murmansk. Even in June the temperature there was only 5 degrees C, but there was 24 hour daylight and the traditional warm hospitality of the Russians. Technically the people who live here are called 'Pomors' - a race that has evolved out of a mix of native Saami and the Russians who moved north from Novgorod some hundreds of years ago.

Follow the line on the map below and then have a look at the photos to share the experience of travelling through the land of the midnight sun (and mosquitoes and bears and vodka...)

This trip was part of the Britain in St Petersburg celebrations, helping to mark the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg (and also of Petrozavodsk). Manchester and St Petersburg are twin towns, and when I arrived in St Petersburg I presented a letter and club jersey from Manchester Cycling Club to members of the St Petersburg club.

Click here to see the Manchester & St Petersburg Friendship Society website, with information on cultural and business news.

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Adventure - Expeditions - Inspiration