The most awaited ESN event  – Murmansk trip – is over now, so let’s refresh our memories a bit and recall all the amazing experiences we have had at the edge of the world!

One of the main Murmansk’s sights is the atomic icebreaker Lenin. Launched in 1957, it was the world's first nuclear-powered surface ship! The icebreaker’s been turned into a museum by now, so we got a chance to get into the engine room and had a look at a real nuclear reactor! Another place in Murmansk worth visiting is the monument for the defenders of the Soviet Arctic, commonly called Alyosha. Although it was snowing quite heavily when we got there, the statue looked even more impressive in that weather, rising over the city in its silent greatness.

Our next destination was Kirovsk – a small town located at the foot of Khibiny Mountains. It is also a rather well-known ski resort, that is why most of the attractions there were connected to winter sports. When you go snowmobiling along the glacier valley, surrounded by the giant mountains completely covered with the whitest of snow, it really gives you a thrill! Some of us were also very lucky with the weather and were able to enjoy a sunny afternoon at Mountain Kukisvumchorr, skiing or riding vatrushkas!

After a jouful day in Kirovsk, we set off to Teriberka. This little village is considered to be the only place in Russia where you can get to by car and get so close to the Barents Sea and the Arctic Ocean at the same time! Although it was freezing cold, the views of the ocean and the surroundings were so incredible that we risked getting our fingers frostbitten to take the best pictures!

The Sami people or Laplanders is the people that originally inhabited this part of Russia. In our visit to their village we got to know some of the shaman practices and even participated in a few shaman rituals ourselves! Friendly reindeer were glad to enjoy the moss we kindly offered to them. Drinking traditional Sami tea (actually made of the same kind of moss that we fed reindeers with) and eating a special Sami pie while getting warm near the fireplace was just the perfect ending of our visit!

We hope all of you experienced something you had never tried before during ESN Murmansk trip! Simply seeing the Northern Lights - nature's winter magic - already made it worthwhile, didn't it?

ESN HSE Moscow team would like to thank you all for going on this amazing adventure to the end of the world with us and to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. We can't wait to meet you at our trips and events in 2017!

Author: Alina Baranova
Editor: Anastasia Sazonova