Whales, deers and northern lights: an extreme journey to Murmansk with the updated Haval Jolion

“Living in the North” – this is the motto of the city of Murmansk, “the capital of the Arctic”. In fact, an unprecedented spirit of adventurism awakens in the Arctic, where you want not only to live, but also to seek new experiences and the adventures that accompany them. Heading to Murmansk for the weekend to hunt for whales and northern lights is a great idea, especially since the flight from Moscow only takes two and a half hours. But remember that you cannot get around without a car. The ideal crossover for such a trip is the updated Haval Jolion with all-wheel drive, which will overcome city traffic jams and Kola off-road with equal grace. We chose this for our trip around the North Pole and we were not wrong.

The best is the friend of the good

First, let’s give some information about the car. In 2023, China’s best-selling car, the Haval Jolion, was updated and launched in its improved form at the beginning of this year. Manufacturers claim that all changes were made in accordance with the requests of dealers and users who left comments on the Internet. This customer focus is of course fascinating. It turned out that the updated Haval Jolion is so specific to the Russian audience that it will be produced only in the domestic market, many production processes are already localized in our country. It is quite risky to upgrade a car that has not yet become a sales leader in its segment, but manufacturers decided to innovate, and they were right.

Main features of the new Haval Jolion

  • Minimum chrome parts on the exterior, updated black radiator grille, black rear spoiler and roof rails (all this makes the car visually sportier and much more practical to use).
  • Adjustable steering column for reach and height, rear parking sensors and tire pressure monitoring system on all trim levels.
  • Adaptation to the Russian climate: electric heated windshield, ventilated driver’s seat, remote heating of the vehicle
  • Updated My Haval application, whose navigation has become much more convenient and has wider functionality.
  • The interior now features a decorative panel with atmospheric lighting in up to 64 color options.
  • The highest trim level, Tech Plus, featured a panoramic sunroof with a sunroof for the first time (a wow effect for passengers is guaranteed).
  • It is the automatic parking function that all those who hate parallel parking dream of, including the author of this material.

Travel to the North Pole

The ideal time to travel to Murmansk is the end of winter – the beginning of spring. The deafening northern frosts are receding a little, but the snowy charm of the Arctic has not yet had time to give way to half-season dirt and gray. We recommend staying at the Azimut Hotel (4 stars), whose building is considered the tallest building in the Arctic Circle. Each window offers panoramic views of the city and the harbour.

There is also a convenient parking space for your updated Haval Jolion.

On the ground floor of the hotel is Gaston, one of the best restaurants in the city and famous for its local seafood varieties.

Things to do in and around Murmansk

1. Catch whales and watch Zvyagintsev in the village of Teriberka

One of the most popular places around Murmansk. Many groups come here immediately and stay in the capital for only a few hours. Here you can take a boat trip and go out into the Barents Sea in search of whales. The bright northern lights can be seen here under favorable weather conditions. “What does Zvyagintsev have to do with it?” – sensor. The tragic and gloomy skeleton of the whale from the movie “Leviathan” is located exactly in Teriberka.

2. Go looking for the northern lights

It is best to go out of town to do this because the lights of Murmansk make it difficult to see this natural phenomenon. The ideal time is between 22:00 and 03:00. A clear sky is also a prerequisite, but this does not guarantee success. Popular spots among northern lights hunters are the villages of Pechenga, Lovozero, Khibiny and the already mentioned Teriberka.

3. Feed the reindeer in the Sami village

Sami village is a kind of eco-park and farm located 115 km from Murmansk. Here you can not only feed moss to timid and incredibly touchy deer, but also ride a snowmobile, perform a shamanic ritual and try homemade dishes from local products prepared by the farm owner (we highly recommend the rich mushroom soup, blackberry jam and blueberry pie).

4. Try local delicacies

Caviar, crabs, oysters, scallops, sea urchins. Murmansk is a paradise for gastrotourism. Many seafood is caught here, some is brought from Karelia (trout caviar is the best from there, for example). There are many local shops in the city center offering an excellent selection of the freshest delicacies that you can take home as souvenirs. Note that, just like liquids, you cannot carry caviar in jars larger than 100 ml in airplane carry-on luggage.

5. Visit the nuclear icebreaker “Lenin”

Our country’s most famous nuclear icebreaker is docked in the port of Murmansk and currently serves as a historical museum. Since the entrance of tourists is possible only on certain days and by appointment, we recommend that you read the information on the official website of the icebreaker.

6. Climb to the observation deck of the Alyosha monument

Actually, the official name of this pedestal is: monument “Soviet Arctic Defenders During the Great Patriotic War”, but people call it in a short and familiar way “Alyosha”. “Alyosha” is a 35.5 meter statue of the warrior who is the defender of the city. The monument is the second tallest monument after the Volgograd Motherland monument. And from the platform at his feet there is a picturesque view of the entire city.

Source: People Talk

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