Russia´s influence is prevalent throughout Kirkenes. You see street signs printed in both languages, and you often hear Russian being spoken. Our first stop on the tour is at Andersgrotta, the town’s bomb shelter during the Second World War. Here we see a film about the local people and their experiences during the war. We then drive to the Norwegian-Russian border at Storskog. Crossing the Pasvik River, you see the Russian settlement Boris Gleb. Siberian taiga characterises the landscape as we pass through Pasvikdalen valley, known to have Norway’s largest population of brown bears. The border crossing at Storskog is one of the most guarded frontiers in Europe. Unfortunately, we are not permitted to cross the border, but are allowed to take pictures.
Back in Kirkenes we visit the Russian House. Here, you can enjoy the Red Bar or see the inside of a Datcha (a typical Russian cottage). In the Malinki theatre you get to see a small sequence of the beautiful Swan Lake ballet, while enjoying samples of Russian food and drinks.