On 19 April, after almost 2 weeks in SPB, we boarded a 2:00 AM flight to Norilsk. I have no idea why the four-hour flight left in the middle of the night, but combined with the four-hour time change it got us there at about 10:00 AM. This region is closed to foreigners (and requires travel permits for Russians), but after months of work by our Russian coworkers we received permission to go there. Nevertheless, every time our passports were checked by the police (which happened every time we got on or off a plane) we would be held up for a while as the police took our passports to verify our permission. We eventually managed to get from the Norilsk airport to the port city of Dudinka, about 50 km from the airport (Norilsk, oddly, is about 40 km from the airport in the other direction—there is nothing between the two cities but the airport). The day we arrived was an unusually warm day, just above freezing, so the streets were wet and the sidewalks slippery. Here I'm standing in front of an overpass for the water and sewer lines, which run above ground because the ground is permanently frozen. The sign above me says I love you Dudinka (pronounced roughly: Ya lublu teba, Dudinka).

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Page created 16 August 2007, Last modified 16 August 2007 19:36 Pacific Daylight Time