Weather and nature
On the map Solovki can be found in the White Sea, at the entrance to the Onega Bay. The islands are an archipelago and include: Solovetsky Island, Anzer, Bolshoi Muksalma, Malaya Muksalma, Big Zayatsky Island, Maly Zayatsky Island. The entire population lives mainly on Solovetsky Island, not counting several monasteries on other islands in which hermit monks live.
The climate here is peculiar, different from the weather conditions in the whole Arkhangelsk region. So, despite the fact that the archipelago is located in the polar latitudes, the weather here is much milder than in the same Arkhangelsk. And all because the Solovetsky Islands are under the softening influence of the White Sea, there are no cold currents here, and the proximity of the mainland has its “warming” effect. Therefore, the summer in Solovki is cool, but the winter is mild. Some, arriving for the winter, are brought with them a pile of warm clothing, which often remains unused. The main trouble is wind and humidity, which is also caused by the sea. The White Sea does not freeze, forming around the coast line of the surf with ice floes floating around. Because of this, the population is cut off from the "mainland" from November to May.
However, even though the sea is close, the population of Solovki lacks macro and microelements. Many residents here prematurely part with their teeth, because there is not enough fluoride in the water. To be honest, not only fluorine is missing here. Due to the fact that the island is still at a distance, food and household goods are not often brought here, hence the high price of them. For example, a piece of some dubious sausage costs here as much as a representative of elite varieties. The population, wanting to save money, during trips to the mainland is purchased not only goods, but also products. In the summer with this is easier, you can make a trip not only on the plane, but also on boats, motor ships. In winter, only the plane remains, tickets for which are not available to everyone. Therefore, if your money is tight, it is better to take a backpack with essential supplies to the island. This bowl passed me this way: the good family, which sheltered me, all week long treated me to Solovki-like "delicacies."
The history of these "delicacies" is very interesting. Once upon a time, there was a goat on the island, whose name was Vaska, Petka, or Mitka. The animal is wayward, bristling and terribly unclean. He fought off this goat at the hands of his mistress and blithely waded all day around the island. And not anyhow where, but all the time I tried to stick my nose in a grocery store or in a cafe, shake a little beard in pots over a saucepan, bleat, shout, butt a couple of sluggish aunts. What just did not do with it, as soon as they drove, but the goat got up his regularly.
Over the years, the beast has grown to the eyes with long, felted wool hanging from the icicles - poured musk ox, not a goat. The smell of it flew forward for three miles. Exhausted population turned to the hostess with an ultimatum - they say, or we or a goat. The hostess as a social creature, of course, chose society, seeking the help of my friend's husband. He, without thinking twice, solved the problem by setting the goat for meat. To be honest, we had long doubted about this goat meat, we thought the meat would be hard and odorous. However, Yuri so magically over him conjured that the Mitki kebabs came out excellent - soft, juicy, not at all goaty. Yes, and fried liver pleased with tenderness. Though it was a pity the goat, but such, apparently, is life.
Another delicacy is freshly caught flounder that is caught in Solovki with a spear. They go fishing at night and with a sharp lance, standing in the water, shining with a lantern, they fish in shallow water. The freshest, hottest fish is just delicious. And one more “delicacy” is the local White Sea herring. But this dish is already an amateur. Earlier, a special Solovetsky ambassador was famous - the fish should have been slightly stuffed. It is delicious and fried.
If you go in summer and autumn, the Solovetsky forests at this time are especially welcome and are ready to treat you with blueberries, strawberries, and cranberries with lingonberries, and, of course, mushrooms.
Entertainment and holidays
If you wish to explore the island in an organized way, it is possible to book excursions to local tourist attractions at the travel agency. If this is your first time in Solovki, you should visit them. Because the works of the monks of the past centuries are truly amazing. What is the cost of a dam, artificial canals, a botanical garden in which monks used to grow even watermelons, ancient stone labyrinths, one of the first hydropower plants in Russia, and much more. If you are lucky, you can see a white whale from Cape Beluzhiy. Belugas in Solovki are constantly monitored - students of the universities of Arkhangelsk are trying to do this.
In general, students on the islands are often found like mushrooms after rain. These are biologists and humanists who come here for materials for scientific work and just for holidays.
There are many artists who draw inspiration. You can purchase a picture with the Solovki views in the souvenir shop.
In the summer of Solovki fun, a lot of people come, among them famous people, foreigners. Entertainment can be found for every taste and color. In July, the Solovetsky Herring Festival and the Solovetsky Regatta competition of sailing ships, folk crafts fair, representing weaving, felting, wood-carving and bones, ornamental knitting, gingerbread, roe, birch bark and others. In August, the festival of the author's song “On the Solovki Islands” takes place, in September - the festival “Days of Jazz in the Solovki”, at which famous musicians from Russia, Europe and the USA perform, in the winter there are competitions in ice fishing.
Interesting is the atmosphere on the islands - a leisurely kind, conducive to reflection and contemplation. It's great if after all the main excursions you can just walk around the island. To see the unsophisticated life of the Solovchan, old wooden buildings, some of them from the time of King Pea, walk along the Makaryevsky desert road (Botanical Garden), meet clean water on the lake, eat handfuls of blueberries, wander along the shore of the White Sea, get stuck in the waves brought kelp, inhaling its specific "iodine" smell, circling in the labyrinths, measuring its height with the curve of a coastal birch, finding the watery berries of a crowberry under a juniper bush, in short, merging with nature together.
Before leaving, Solovki residents usually say to the guests, as if they are bewitching: "He who has visited Solovki wants to come back here again." And after all the truth, and pulls, and why - I do not know ...