Thursday, 29 November 2012

Siberian landscapes

 Irtysh River - Khanty Mansiysk is built on a set of low sandy hills - this is the view of one of the main rivers - it's navigable by relatively large ships, but only because they work at it constantly with dredgers, otherwise flat bottomed barges and rafts would be the norm.
 Large expanses of fir woodland cover most of the areas with any topography.
 An artists impression of the local wildlife c. 10,000 years ago.
 Wooded sandy hills, only open areas are man made or the cut banks of rivers.
 Birch forest - these are really tall, but spindly.
 Really nice Eastern Orthodox church on the edge of town
 Even big monuments like this prospect tower are lost in the trees more than a 100m or so.
The town itself - the old part by the docks and river wharfs.

Unfortunately, I couldn't photograph much on the lowlands (i.e. everything the other side of the river).  When we flew over it it comprised roughly circular lakes up to a few kilometers across surrounded by marshes with standing pools, crossed by anastomosing stream/small river channels, lined by small trees and scrub.  Any road or rail lines crossing the area were ruler straight and most looked to have been embanked or piled to raise them above the marsh.,69.049072&spn=0.712954,2.705383&safe=off&client=firefox-a&channel=np&hnear=Khanty-Mansiysk,+Khanty-Mansiysky+District,+Khanty-Mansi+Autonomous+Okrug,+Russia&t=h&z=9

If the link works it takes you to a googlemaps image of the area which gives a good impression.

Just to give you some idea of what the Siberian landscape is like.  Of course, a couple of weeks after these pictures were taken the temperature was -20C on average, dropping to -49C in extremes.

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