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The city of Norilsk is located in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. This forms a whole industrial area, which has no analogues in the world.
But at the same time, such a powerful production also affects the environment - Norilsk is considered one of the most polluted cities in the world. And it got its name in honor of the Norilsk River and the neighboring Norilsk Mountains. The man learned about the rich deposits of minerals in this area a long time ago. Even in the Bronze Age, primitive people smelted metal here. And the construction of large industrial plants began in the 1930s by the forces of the GULAG prisoners.
In 1953, the settlement received the status of a city. Today it is home to 175 thousand people. The remoteness of Norilsk from large cities has served to form numerous misconceptions about this city. We will try to debunk these myths.
There is eternal winter in Norilsk. Winter and cold in the city are not always - about 9 months a year. Winter begins here in mid-September, and surrenders in mid-May. It is customary in the city to divide this season into seasons, distinguishing not just autumn, but also early, late autumn and the same spring. At the same time, the temperature can drop to -20 degrees, a strong wind is raging, there is deep snow and you cannot do without warm clothes. The average temperature in July is 18 degrees, and in August - 11 degrees.
There is no summer in Norilsk. Summer still comes here, albeit not for long. In July, a hot season usually comes for a week or ten days, when the air warms up even to 30 degrees. This happens quite abruptly. The temperature can rise from 12 to 20 degrees in just a couple of hours. Norilsk residents put on shorts and T-shirts, sparkling with white bodies. At a time like this, when the wind is not blowing, even the asphalt seems to begin to melt. But who will be offended by the long-awaited summer? People try to spend more time outdoors and even sunbathe. Surprisingly, summer can come while people are at work. As a result, you have to return home in ridiculous demi-season boots with your jacket removed, meeting people in shorts and flip flops. From the outside, you can immediately see who has already been at home, and who the heat overtook at work. Summer is so fleeting that even the drifts in the courtyards sometimes do not have time to melt. And the pieces of ice are just there, waiting for the autumn rains. It's funny to watch people walk next to them in sandals. But there is no such thing on the sunny side of the street. There is even a joke in Norilsk: "It was summer, but I worked that day."
In Norilsk, you can freeze on the street in winter. But this is really true - the air temperature in winter drops to -50 degrees. Death from hypothermia can occur as early as 3 degrees below zero. So the natural conditions are life-threatening. But in fact, such extreme temperatures are completely smoothed out by the rules of behavior and norms, it is not customary to joke with this in Norilsk. So, on the street, a stranger can report frostbite on the cheek or nose, rubbing the whitened tip of the nose. And even a stranger will not be left on the street just like that. The victim will either be called a taxi or taken to the room to warm up.
Snow is quickly removed in Norilsk. It is worth understanding the local specifics. Here the concept of "snow fell" and "remove snow" received a completely different meaning than in the European part of Russia. In Norilsk, drifts above the knee immediately form. And every day the same amount of snow will fall. And so on for six months. The snow does not melt, and the low temperature and strong wind makes it hard and dense. The white mass is compacted and not into lumps or snowballs, but directly into boulders. No one is trying to remove the snow that has fallen in the courtyards. In Norilsk only sidewalks, roads and passages to entrances are cleaned. And because of the blizzard, it is not the janitor who does this work, but the whole tractor.
In Norilsk, chemical reagents are used to combat icing. In fact, no one here at all knows anything about chemicals, how they can help in the fight against snow or ice. To prevent sidewalks and roads from being slippery, slag is used here. This is the name of the black squeaky crumb, waste from the rock. It doesn't look very presentable, frightening the visitors. They sometimes ask themselves the question - is the plant's harmful emissions really deposited on the snow? But in fact, the slag is perfectly safe for shoes, tires and pets.
In Norilsk, everyone goes skiing and skating. Traditional winter sports in Norilsk can hardly be called "folk". Unfortunately, this is not the most favorite pastime for the townspeople. Probably, at such low temperatures and strong winds, the experience of skiing is completely different.
In Norilsk, deer can be found right on the street. These beautiful northern animals do not walk along the city streets. They are delivered to Norilsk by helicopter specially for the Big Argish holiday. This allows you to create a special atmosphere with a northern flavor. Well, the residents are happy to take pictures with deer, allowing this myth to strengthen.
In Norilsk they even eat raw fish. It really is. A popular local dish is called sagudai. It is prepared just from raw fish: omul, muksun, whitefish. This dish is considered a real delicacy here and is served in the best restaurants in the city. However, it is difficult for visitors to fall in love with such an original food, and some cannot even look at it. Sagudai is a typical northern cuisine and has little in common with Japanese sashimi.
No trees grow in Norilsk. There are quite a few trees in the city, however, many of these plants still live in warm rooms. There you can find ficuses and even palm trees. Some offices even grow lemons. Trees are found in the streets, albeit infrequently. These low tundra plants are more like bushes. So it is the shrubs that act as local trees.
Norilsk is similar to St. Petersburg. Romantics will always find something similar in two northern cities. The similarities can be found in some elements of the architecture. To do this, on Oktyabrskaya Square in Norilsk, you need to go into the arch of houses No. 1 or No. 2 of Leninsky Prospekt and look at the opposite side of the street. And in general, many buildings are similar to those in St. Petersburg, this can be explained by the participation of architects from Leningrad in the construction of Norilsk.
There are no cellars in the houses of Norilsk. And this statement is also true, although partially. It is customary to call a basement here not at all what in warmer cities. Houses in Norilsk are built on concrete piles. To dig a pit in the permafrost is simply unrealistic. Accordingly, there are no basements or basements here. Citizens cannot store vegetables or old junk in a secluded cool place. A basement in Norilsk is usually called the space between the ground and the first floor. The height of such an opening is up to two floors. This was done so that the wind could walk under the house and the cold did not freeze the floor. The permafrost, into which the piles are driven, will not thaw due to the "cold cushion". But there are houses in the city with real cellars. They were built in the 1950s. In those days, basements were planned as potential bomb shelters in case of war.
In Norilsk, you can get poisoned by mushrooms. Mushrooms grow here not in the city itself, but behind it, in the tundra. And in the summer, the townspeople go there to collect the poor, but the gifts of nature. And inedible mushrooms do not grow in the tundra. True, one cannot find boletus, boletus and porcini mushrooms there. But any wave and russula are quite edible.
Norilsk can only be reached by air. This is complete nonsense. There is a train from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk. The road of 4165 kilometers will take three days. Then from Krasnoyark to Dudinka you can sail 1989 kilometers by motor ship in four days. From there it is already close to Norilsk - only 90 kilometers, an hour and a half by car. But such a picturesque trip is possible only in summer, when navigation on the Yenisei is available. In winter, motor ships no longer go along the river, only the plane remains. The flight from Moscow to Norilsk takes 4 hours.
In winter, there is always a polar night in Norilsk. There is indeed a polar night here, but it does not last all winter, but only 45 days. It starts around November 30 and ends on January 13. Its offensive does not stand out in any way - the day is the same as the previous one. By that time, for almost a month the nights, if not polar, then already twilight. The day is gradually decreasing, the lights are constantly on in apartments and offices. The streets are illuminated constantly and beautifully. The onset of the polar night is not particularly noticed. But the townspeople begin to sleep worse, feel tired, emotional stress. At this time, the day lasts only an hour, but even this time cannot be spent at home without turning on the light. And after the end of the polar night, gray twilight will last for another month. For the first time the sun will come out for 5 minutes only in February. Then the full power of the polar night is realized, what fatigue it gives. Still, psychologically it is very difficult for a person without sunlight. It is believed that the polar night is the only natural phenomenon that a person cannot get used to. So every year the painful sensations are repeated.
In Norilsk, you cannot eat ice cream on the street. Why not? People eat ice cream on the street at -20 and -26. However, there should be no wind, it will ruin all the pleasure and generally make eating the delicacy unsafe.
In summer, you can get up to the bottom of the lake. Residents of Norilsk love to relax outside the city at tourist centers. But at the same time, everyone knows that it is not safe to swim in the lakes even on the hottest day. And all because the bottom of the reservoir is ice. The water has time to warm up during the warm time only so much that you can swim in it. But the bottom remains icy, it is better not to get up on it - otherwise you can freeze your feet.
Norilsk falls asleep at night. They say that this city never sleeps. And this is a literal expression. The city-forming enterprise, Norilsk Nickel, operates in three shifts - production here is non-stop. That is why life is in full swing in the city at any time of the day - some get ready for work, while others return from it. There will be lights in some windows, a bus or a taxi will pass by. Grocery stores are open 24/7 and even flowers are sold. In this aspect, a small city is more comparable to megalopolises than to its counterparts in terms of population.
In winter, you cannot leave the city by car without a shovel. Compliance with this rule is even monitored by traffic cops. Now Kayerkan is considered to be the Norilsk region, and earlier it was a separate city. You can reach it in 25 minutes. The way to Dudinka will take one and a half to two hours. The distances seem small. And the roads are flat and straight, on both sides of the road lies a snowy empty plain. But as soon as the wind blows out and a blizzard begins, the snowy desert in a matter of minutes begins to seize such a "safe" road. The lines quickly seize the asphalt, any landmarks are lost, and the driver simply does not understand where to go. In such a situation, it is impossible to continue moving further. The car stops at the curb and awaits the arrival of the tractor. Already he paves the way along the swept road. In such a situation, the driver cannot do without a shovel. While waiting for help, in a blizzard you will have to work with a tool, otherwise the car will simply be swept up in snow.
Education in the Norilsk scales is carried out according to the standard schedule. In the lower grades, in fact, training is conducted only for six months. For a long time already, local meteorologists have created a special table with indicators of temperature and wind strength, dangerous for children on the street. It is believed that the temperature even at -36 degrees is considered safe, but if the wind rises to 20 meters per second, then it is better for children not to leave the premises. The current weather is checked against the table, if it turns out to be dangerous, then the day is called activated. There are limit indications for primary grades, for junior and middle grades. And when the weather starts to rage, all classes in schools are canceled.
People drive to work at Norilsk Nickel in columns. It is not always possible for Norilsk Nickel employees to get to work by private vehicles. When a serious blizzard begins, driving is simply not safe. In this case, a solution has been invented that allows you to calmly get to work. For this, a column of buses is formed. The first along the road are bulldozers removing snow, then a traffic police car with a flashing light follows, and a series of buses are already behind them. An unsightly sight is seen from their windows - one white fog.
In Norilsk all house numbers are of normal size. It is customary to write house numbers in huge, almost two-meter numbers. And all because in a blizzard it is not always possible to come close to the house and examine its number. Today, all the nine-story panel buildings in the city are numbered with huge numbers.