Stories

The Kolyma Highway in the Oblast of Magadan

by Jorge Sanchez - 2 years, 8 months ago

During our journey (we were five travelers: from France, Poland and I was from Spain, plus two from USA) from Yakutsk to Magadan in a rented van we made a stop in Susuman, the second city in Magadan Oblast.Susuman was a huge gulag of 17.000 zeks (inmates) during USSR times, but presently (in the year 2009) there lived about 6.000 people, all free citizens.The city was founded in 1936 as a settlement of a sovkhoz called Susuman, named after the nearby river of the same name, to extract gold. In 1938, the settlement was greatly expanded to become a center of gold mining in the western part of what is now Magadan Oblast.We visited around and found some remarkable buildings. We also saw monuments and streets dedicated to Lenin, as in many towns in Siberia.We (four of us, the Polish did not join) ate in an Ossetia restaurant and left to spend the night in another village some kilometers further (Yagodnoye) in the Oblast of Magadan.

The next day we started our journey to Magadan city very early in the morning, stopping in the River Kolyma and for the second time we made another break in Talaya.

Talaya is a Russian kurort, or resort and sanatorium where farmers and workers are treated using local hot springs. There is a beautiful lake nearby, called Nalimnoe.It exists as from the XIX century.We stopped there for a couple of hours while looking for the rests of an old GULAG.We were treated very well and were invited to have lunch, what we appreciated because we were very hungry at 3 PM and did not have breakfast.It is located at about 280 kilometers from Magadan.After lunch and when we explored the area and found rests that probably belonged to the old GULAG, we left to Magadan, reaching that city already dark.



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