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 Polar Ural 2003 - Part 1 : Getting there, town and villages

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Misha and Dmitrij on the train to Ural. We got into the contact with these 3 Russians over the internet.

Misha, Tatjana and my friend Michal on the train to Ural.

Free boiling water is a very nice service provided by all russian sleeper trains. Every coach has two conductors and keeping this water hot all the time (using coal !) is one of their duties.

Russian sleeper coaches (this is a couchette coach, "plackartny" in Russian) are more comfortable than European ones. They are wider and have enough place for big backpacks because Russians have big backpacks on their long journeys usually.

Eleckaja station, the place of our start.
A special locomotive for removing snow.

Someone came by this reindeer sledge to the train...


And someone came by this vehicle (called "vezdekhod" in Russian)...

Salekhard, the capital of Yamalo-Nenetsky Autonomous Region is another world, full of brand new houses. It is very different from from everything around (e.g. Labytnangi, the railway terminal on the other bank of Ob river). It seems to thrive on oil and gas...

Aksarka port, quite a fanciful place when Ob river is frozen.

There were almost no Nenets in Aksarka, but the exploration of ships frozen into the ice was very interesting as well.

A regular bus from Aksarka to Salekhard.  Where are the local Netnets heading ?

Well, they are going to Beloyarsk. So we went there as well, 2 hours on Ural bus over the tundra. We expected a village full of Nenets (there were just Nenets on our bus), but our passengers seemed to be the only one. And there was a lot of drunken people there as well.

A Nenets man in Aksarka.

A Nenets man in Aksarka.

A knive of another Nenets man, who did not want to be photographed.

Village of Beloyarsk and the group from our bus...probably the only Nenets there.

Cars crossing frozen Ob river between Labytnangi and Salekhard.

A child "vezdekhod" in Beloyarsk.


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