flight to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

You may easily spend a month in Kamchatka without seeing all you want: there is too much to see! Yet, the place to start with is always its capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and its surroundings. Then you may go to Esso, Tolbachik volcano, Mutnovsky volcano, or Mutnovskaya geothermal power plant.

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

was dark and moody when we came in July. The weather was bad, which was obvious even before landing.
Koryaksky volcano

airport

In the airport, we bought the sim card. MTS has the best signal: even the geothermal power plant Mutnovskaya has its antenna. There are two public buses every hour from the airport to the city center. The advertising in the airport immediately offers lots of tourist experiences.
tours in Kamchatka

To be honest, we did not have many certain tourist plans. We had tried to contact several tourist guides before the trip, but they had refused to plan anything because of the terrible weather. Yet, on the way from the airport to the city center, we met another tourist from Moscow Altynai and her Kamchatka host Victoria. After a short conversation, we learned we have mutual acquaintances in Estonia (which is a bit far from Kamchatka) and Victoria promised to organize the trip to Mutnovsky volcano for Altynai and us the next day. That is how the business in Kamchatka is done 🙂
Now we could relax. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky met us with thick fog, yet, with no rain. The locals told it had been raining for a month every day before our visit, with no sun seen. Usually, in this time of the year, the summer starts in Kamchatka. When we came, there was the feeling of starting spring, and wearing winter coat felt comfortable.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky streets

Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

On the bus, we saw the first sight of Kamchatka laughed at by the locals. Someone had a lot of money to decorate his or her house:
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

We were hosted by couchserfer Sveta and, after having some tea with her, we went to pick up her car and buy caviar in the central market. The place is really great, since they let you try the caviar and are ready for bargaining. Another place to buy fish and caviar is the shop Ocean, it seems to be even cheaper than the market. We bought caviar there two days later and even locals confirmed that it was good. In general, unless you have been to Japan, you have never tried fish and caviar like this. They are so good that you will want to move to Kamchatka. By the way, the locals will laugh at you in case you say you want to buy salmon: salmon is an umbrella term for lots of actual types of red fish.
Fish market Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

caviar

First of all, we bought the tickets to Esso – a starting point for the trip to Tolbachik volcano (because the buses are usually full). Another point of interest was the shop Start where we bought flares and sprays against bears (200 and 600 rubles correspondingly). Both are rather for calming the tourists, you never know if you use them on time and if they help.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

The City has many hills, each of which has its name.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Most of the cars in the city are 4WD. Most of the beauty in Kamchatka are only accessible by such cars, sometimes upgraded with chains on the wheels and other devices.
auto in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

The street names are very romantic, like, for instance, the street of the Fisher’s Glory.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Many churches:
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

Khalaktyrsky beach and ocean.

Thanks to Sveta we went to the famous Khalaktyrsky beach by car. You can also make half a way by bus and walk another half. Yet, this place is rich with bears: locals often find their footprints on the beach. Getting there by non-4WD is also not easy since the road is in bad condition. Nevertheless, we made it and reached the Pacific Ocean beach covered with volcanic sand.
Khalaktyrsky beach

Khalaktyrsky beach

Khalaktyrsky beach

Khalaktyrsky beach

This is a good place to enjoy caviar bought at the market.
caviar

The place is popular among the surfers and other sportsmen. Indeed, it is beautiful. We made a good walk and enjoyed meeting a young husky. Husky is a very frequent dog in Kamchatka, and the usual grey color is not so valued anymore as the rarer brown huskies.
husky

After the beach, we drove to the central bay marked by the monuments to Batman and Peter and Paul. It is probably clear from the monument of Lenin why it is called Batman; the monument to saints Peter and Paul is here due to explorer Vitus Bering who sailed to this bay in 1740 and suggested to name it after the saints.
monument of Lenin

Peter and Paul

Petropavlovsk

The bay is also the largest in the world, at least that is what we heard at least twiсe from the locals. The weather started to improve and the volcano opened up.
volcanoes in Petropavlovsk

volcanoes in Petropavlovsk

Then we visited another bay Seroglazka and drove towards home.
Seroglazka

Seroglazka

Food and drinks.

We spent the evening in the bar and drank some local beer. We really recommend it, you may bring your fish and caviar here too. After several following visits we made good friends with the bartender 🙂
bar

At home, Sveta treated us to homemade frozen stroganina: freeze a thin piece of red fish for a couple of weeks, cut it into thin pieces, soak in soy sauce, it is indeed good!
frozen fish

After several days we also made it to the hot springs Antarius not far from Petropavlovsk. To say the truth, there are quite many cultured and wild hot springs around Petropavlovsk, yet, the latter are often visited by bears too…
hot springs

The next point after the first acquaintance with Petropavlovsk was a powerful Mutnovsky volcano.
Weather in summer