I went to a conference on a cruise ship, one of the Hurtigruter boats that continuously tour around the entire coast of Norway. The conference started at a hotel in Kirkenes, at the very north-eastern tip of Norway. Along the way I visited the Russian border. Then Vardø, an island that is the easternmost point in Norway and home to a fantastic witch-burning monument. I had breakfast at Nordkapp, the northernmost point in Norway. And ended the trip at Harstad.
I toke a ridiculous number of pictures, and so I've split this trip into several entries.
Kirkenes and the Norway-Russia Border
Kirkenses lies right near the Russian border. I arrived to the conference early to take a tour out to the border. I was hoping I would get the chance to step inside Russia. You know those maps where you can color in the countries you've visited? Stepping inside Russia would let me color in a huge chunk of the map. No such luck. Security is whopping tight, with cameras along the whole border every few meters. Like anyone would seriously want to sneak into Russia.
|Driving out from Kirkenes|
|Road signs in the area in both Norwegian and Russian|
|A souvenir and fish stand next to the border crossing|
|The shop sells Russian dolls and other Russian knick-knacks|
|Across the lake, the dip in the mountain separates Russia on the left with Norway on the right|
|Kirkenes' main industry is gravel. They have enough gravel to build a two-lane highway from Kirkenes to Oslo... six meters high. But that would be a little weird.|