After six days at sea trying, not always successfully, to avoid gale force winds, we were glad to arrive at this outpost on the Kamchatka Peninsula though most of the day was cold and rainy. We are following the “ring of fire” around the Pacific. The Aleutian Islands have hundreds of volcanoes, many of which are still active. I managed to photograph through the mist, one such island which you will see below left. Kamchatka has over 300 volcanoes of which 30 are active. At the right is an example of the spectacular mountains that frame the harbour at Petropavlosk.
This sign says it all and reflects the changes that have taken place since the cold war when a Korean airliner was shot down over the peninsula. The city has a long history having been visited by Vitus Bering who they will tell you discovered America from the western side. Captain Cook visited here as did Charles Clerke who took over from Cook after he died in Hawaii. Today it is a major fishing port and while parts of the town still have old soviet style apartment buildings which look quite decrepit, there are many brightly coloured houses overlooking the harbour and modern apartments and shopping malls in the newer part of the city. Unlike other parts of Russia which have consigned statues of Lenin and Stalin to the graveyard, they still proudly have a statue of Lenin (below left) in the main square and the main street is called Leninskaya. The Orthodox Church has many adherents here and a large new church has just been consecrated. There are many small ones and we visited one of the oldest churches in the city which contains many beautiful icons (below middle). The sun came out after I returned to the ship and I managed to get a picture of the coloured houses (below right).
We are now en route to Sendai Japan. I will do a post for each port in Japan, but Japanese law prohibits the use of satellite internet while in Japanese waters so unless I find wifi hotspots near the harbours where I can use my laptop, these posts may only appear after our departure from Japan.