Around Monchegorsk

Until the mid-1990s the region south of Monchegorsk suffered extensively from appalling levels of air pollution from the nickel works, which produced a black snow of soot. In addition, a catastrophic fire left much of the area's forests looking like skeletons in horribly blackened surroundings. Regrowth is just starting to hide the scars. However, further from town nature becomes much more appealing. Stretching north and west of Monchegorsk towards Norway and Finland is the 2784-sq-km, Unesco-listed Lapland Biosphere Reserve (Laplandsky zapovyednlk; ยงยง 50080). It consists of virgin tundra, alpine grasslands, marshes, lakes, and five small mountain ranges, peaking at 1114m. Photos on www.sll.fi/mpe/laplandski give you the idea. Founded in 1930 to protect local herds, today it holds one of the most concentrated reindeer populations in Europe. Brown bears, elks, wolves and 30 other mammal species also make their home in the reserve. There are several waterfalls on the territory and even a German war plane, resting where it fell during WWII. However, visits to the park are mostly restricted to a few ecological trails around the handful of reasonably comfortable guest cottages at the reserve's main base on the quiet banks of Lake Chuna. You must arrange visits in advance, ideally directly or through travel agencies. The scenery is arguably nicer in the unrestricted areas around Lovozero or on the White Sea coast.

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Digital Cameras For Beginners

Although we usually tend to think of the digital camera as the best thing since sliced bread, there are both pros and cons with its use. Nothing is available on the market that does not have both a good and a bad side, but the key is to weigh the good against the bad in order to come up with the best of both worlds.

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