As you walk or drive from Zorinsk to Yelenovka (very many turns, but a relatively good road by our standards), you will see a lot of turned stones on both sides of the road after you leave Road Street - the last street in Zorinsk - and turn left.
It's not an archeological site.
This is the stubborn work of local businessmen from the so-called Perevalsk Trade House.
They are often referred to as "black coalminers" - those who are engaged in what I call surface coalmining.
Now, when lots of state coalmines have been closed, these black coalminers who work at a new private company or have contracts with it, with a state license for coalmining or without it, have started to mine for coal from above. They have dug up huge holes and tunnels in the upper layer of the surface. The holes can be about thirty feet deep.
Be careful and don't try to approach those holes.
There are always people near those sites. They are kind of watchmen. I doubt if they would approve of your making videos or any sheer photography of the sites.
You have been warned.
You can only try to make a couple of candid pictures like I did.
I don't know how much coal they gain, but what I do know is that black coalmining brings a lot of grief both to men and to Mother Nature.
There have been several accidents and poor "black coalminers" were heaped up with stones; some of the bodies have never been recovered from beneath.
I don't think $25 a day that a coalminer gets in wages for that work covers all the life risk and hard labor of the poor coalminers who have to work unprotected and neglecting all possible coalmining safety regulations that used to be very strict in Soviet times ...
Here is a good illustration: a Youtube video about black coalminers' hard work: Working Man's DeathBlack Coalminers
- Family Travel
- Religious Travel
Neglected Old Houses
There are several neglected old houses in Yelenovka.
Their owners have died and their relatives living elsewhere could not sell those houses. Thus they are in decay now and most of them are beyong repair.
I explored one neglected household without entering the house itself. My aim was not to have the roof fall over my head. My local friend Nick advised me to take a look at the ruins located opposite the club to see the ancient well.
The well turned out to be quite deep. Its walls were paved with the local stratified stone.
Since it is not used any more, its water beneath looked more like a marsh.
There were several other old wells, but they fell victim of the black coalminers who have digged all the outskirts of the village in search of black gold - coal.
Be careful if you decide to explore a neglected house: at least do not enter it!
- Arts and Culture
There are a lot of unpaved and unlit roads in and around the village.
Be careful when you decide to arrive to Yelenovka by car.
Better take a 4x4 and drive via Zorinsk that is located about two miles away from the village. Take the first turning to the right after Zorinsk bus stop and then turn left when the road bumps into a coalmine's slug heap. Then drive along Road Street, cross the bridge and turn left to make a detour of the hill. Keep left and you will see the cathedral domes soon.
A torch would be a good idea, too, since there are no lights in the village streets.
Only locals know each pot-hole and ravine by heart.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel