Naryan-Mar

Naryan-Mar is a small city of about 19,000 people. It is fairly new, having been established around 1930 as the Soviet Union began to exploit natural  resources in the area, so most of the architecture is twentieth century. It is located on the Pechora River, not too far from the Barents Sea. It is a port city in the summer when the river isn’t frozen.  This is the federal building.

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This  is a boat frozen in the ice on the river, waiting for spring.

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Some things about this part of Russia were surprising.  It is north of the Arctic Circle, so it is very cold two-thirds of the year.  However, the Russians keep their building interiors very warm.  If you bring only warm clothes, you will be way too warm indoors.  Not knowing this, we were uncomfortably warm a lot of the time.

Because of the snow, ice and mud, it is customary to remove your boots indoors.  People often have a collection of slippers for guests to wear. This is me in Nelmin Nos.

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Thid is our hotel. It was very comfortable, and the staff were very nice.

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We were treated very well in Russia, and no asked us about Trump.

One of the main things I learned about Russia is that it is difficult to be an entrepreneur there.  In the U.S.  it’s basically pretty easy. Rent space, get a permit from your city and you’re in business.  I know this because we have done it (not successfully, mind you).  In Russia, not so much.  There are so many regulations and layers of bureaucracy, that it is really discouraging. Nevertheless, there are lots of small businesses and shops. Humans like to buy and sell things, so we do.

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