Whilst aboard the Hurtigruten, cruising around the magnificent coast of Arctic Circle Norway, you get to do some extremely interesting and refreshing excursions. I have so far mentioned the North Cape from my trip but further around the coast you reach Kirkenes, the point of return as far as the Northern Coast of Norway goes. Any further East is into Russia, was time to get the boots on for a walk in this truly winter filled area.
The sun doesn’t rise here in mid winter but we had some light for a couple of hours after docking to take in some miles. Kirkenes welcomed us with the town lights glistening reflections on the cold water. This far round the top of Norway you have gone over and east beyond Sweden and most of Finland. Just a few miles away from the Russian border, the signs are there as soon as you get of the boat.
The fresh air was exhilarating! walking through the town you see signs of life with cosy fires burning within, cars parked outside with strange looking boxes next to each one. Well living in these extremes you do need to start your car in the morning. The electricity boxes are needed to get the battery going most winter days.. and we moan at scraping our windows.
Very too long we were off the road and down by the frozen water away from it all.. The guides inform us the Russian Border is beyond the water on the horizon. The views are magnificent. The black and white of natural winter landscape, all is frozen, all is still, all is quiet. Lovely.
Those of you that know me are sure to know that I was in my element. I love to explore wild expanses and even more if some extremes or interesting things to learn. The guides from the Hurtigruten were full of answers to any question posed. Same can be said of every excursion, great! There was a moment that brought a harsher reality to the area. Huge concrete bunkers from WW2 lay on the route.. A reminder of life on the extremes of the German’s Eastern Front. Built so tough almost too impossible to destroy since..
One can only even try to imagine what it was like during a long Winter here for the German and Russian soldiers facing each other. these bunkers although tough don’t look enough to keep an Arctic Winter at bay too long. Even harsher considering firepower could head your way any second.
Alas it was time to head back to the warmth of the boat, one last look out across the water.
The light was getting lower, the snow started to fall again, the streets were getting quieter. There seemed to be just our group out and about in town. Locals have more sense
Then there ahead waiting for us was the warmth of the Hurtigruten. A new lovely meal awaited and many more amazing adventures that are coming here soon. A cruise of a lifetime you will never forget.