Behind the 69th parallel of the Earth, surrounded by eternal snows and blown by cold northerly winds, in the city of Norilsk stands the Tropicana water park, built by the MMC Norilsk Nickel, which is the northernmost water park in the world and can accommodate about 500 people at a time.
Returning to my homeland during the winter holidays, I went there to explore.
Where is it located?
The Tropicana Waterpark is located in Norilsk, in its central area, on the 3rd floor of the ‘Arena’ Sports and Enterntainment Complex (10, Metallurgov Square).
To build an aquapark on Taimyr peninsula, the place where houses stand on stilts, and the land itself has no connection with the territory of the rest of Russia (except air), was a huge challenge. The MMC Norilsk Nickel undertook the project implementation, and on October 1, 2015, the water park was inaugurated. The project was implemented.
Attention! Life threatening!
Exactly 2 months before my arrival, on November 23, 2018, there was smoke in the water park, which caused a serious danger to the lives of hundreds of people. All of them were evacuated and, fortunately, no one was hurt.
After this incident, the number of visitors dropped dramatically, and the Arena building itself is considered by many Norilsk people to be quite dilapidated. “It’s about to collapse”, as my Mom told me. I decided to take a risk and find out whether it is so dangerous.
How does the water park look inside?
This place is very technically developed, you don’t exactly expect to see this in our small northern town. You should not worry about the safety of your belongings.
4 slides, jacuzzi, swimming pools, table tennis, bars. The water temperature is 32°С. Great, considering that outside the window it is the same, but with a minus sign!
Having bought a ticket to the water park, you can go to the saunas for free, and there are 3 of them! Finnish sauna, infrared sauna and Turkish bath (hamam). Free! And you can sit there as much as you want.
Walk down the street from the bus station to the Arena at -40°C , then go to the bathhouse, where the temperature is 95! Isn’t it worth it?
So, is it dangerous?
I made friends with an instructor at the water park named Nikita, a young fellow student of my age. I asked him this question.
“Danger? Not at all. Well, here was a smoke a little, it was my shift by the way that day. They evacuated everyone to the street, no one was hurt. It happens. About the Arena building itself, how many rumors … nonsense all of this! But the plus is: after the smoke the number of people became much smaller here, you feel like the whole water park is just for you alone!
Were there any accidents?
After that, I asked Nikita if he had any accidents (he had worked for a year) in the Tropicana: fractures, bruises, was anyone dead here?
Never. The vacancy is still open. Sometimes they slip, they fall, but don’t break anything. We, Norilsk people, are used to falling, you know. We already have a reflex like cats, if we fall, we will group ourselves as it should. And the work is boring, religious fanatics can only endure the brain sometimes …
Fanatics? How is that?
Before descending from the water slide it is necessary to remove the chain from the neck. On a string you can, but not metal. You say it to people, and some of them start butthurting: “You are forcing us, the Orthodox, to take off crosses! What the hell…” Sometimes it even comes to hysterics. This is my only entertainment at work.
After that, Nikita put his hand under his t-shirt and pulled out a chain with the Jewish star of David:
Look at this. I am not a Jew actually. I’ve recently bought this one. With the Star of David on my neck people start butthurting even more! Some Jew makes their crosses take off, curse! How dare you! Je-e-z! But I’m having fun, really! You shoud see their eyes once to understand.
How much does it cost?
The water park is open on weekends (10 AM -10 PM), on weekdays on Monday, Thursday and Friday (3 PM-10 PM).
On weekdays, a full day costs 500 rubles (7-8 $). 7$ for the full day including saunas!
A full day on weekends is 1000 rubles (4 hours – 750). More details can be on the waterpark’s website.
What else to see in Norilsk?
Together with the world’s northernmost water park, Norilsk also has the world’s northernmost mosque!