Heavy fog accompanied National Geographic Orion in the harbor in the city of Provideniya, Chukotka today. With a population of just under 2,000 inhabitants, this former town was once a bustling farming and leather tanning location. Just a few years ago there were almost 10,000 people living between both sides of Provideniya Harbor.
The changes in government brought huge changes here, and there are signs of the slow demise of the physical buildings all around. The spirit of the people that live here, however, is as vibrant and strong as it perhaps ever was! With open arms and hearts, we were greeted at the harbor and each of us was shown the parts of town we set our sights on.
Personal highlights for me included an amazing natural history museum with truly dazzling displays of natural and cultural history. There was even a four-tusked walrus skull on display, perhaps one of the very few to be found in the Arctic!
Traditional local people in full regalia as well as Russian dancers performing more European style dances capped off our day with performances. Along with scrumptious local cuisine, the afternoon offered many opportunities to truly experience this part of Chukotka! Spaceba!