Saturday, June 17, 2017

Visit Where Norway Meets Russia

Kirkines Norway

The vistas became more dramatic as we approached Kirkenes, the end of the northbound cruise. We arrived early in nearby Vadsø and just after breakfast, we arrived in Kirkenes. At 30° East, Kirkenes is further east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul.
The only town in Norway where East meets West, Kirkenes was the turning point of our Hurtigruten voyage. You can see the Russian influence characterized by street signs in both languages, and you can often hear Russian being spoken.


Our first stop was Andersgrotta, the town’s bomb shelter during World War II. Here, we were shown a film about town's civilians and their experiences during the war and walked through the shelter.

Russian Border

From here, we drove to the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog. Crossing the Pasvik River, we saw the Russian settlement of Boris Gleb. The vegetation here is characterized by the
Siberian taiga. We passed through the Pasvikdalen Valley, which is known to have Norway’s largest population of brown bears.

The border crossing at Storskog defines the limits of the Schengen area and  is one of the most guarded borders in Europe. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to cross the border, but were allowed to take photos. Back in Kirkenes we made a stop at the Prestfjellet Mountain, which overlooks both the town and our waiting Hurtigruten ship.
Additional photos can be found on our Norway Shutterfly page

Kirkines - Andersgrotta
Russian Border

Click on the image to the right for more Blog posts about this trip.

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