Kirkenes is in the farthest reaches of Norway, only 9.5 miles from the Russian border and 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. In November, that means cold, dark and snowy. Did I say dark?
The subject: On a few hour break from our Hurtigruten ship, the Midnatsol before it would depart the dock to head back south along the Norwegian coast toward Oslo, we took a little walk through Kirkenes. Although mid-day, it felt more like twilight and everything was icy and snow-covered. We ended up along the banks of an inlet with Nordic skiing tracks.
The inspiration: Then, there were suddenly these trees, these amazing trees! No leaves, but still covered in bright deep red flowers set along barren twigs shooting up from the snow-covered ground. The fluffy red bursts looked like origami art that some busy person had hung along the branches. But no they were real. Being a gardener, I wished I knew what they were, so stunning were the clusters of red petals against the dark early-winter sky of Kirkenes so far north of the Arctic Circle.
Artist’s tools: Still scratching my head why I didn’t shoot with my “big girl camera” (Nikon D90) instead of my Samsung mobile phone. What was I thinking? Slap myself now. Nevertheless, the shot on my Galaxy S4 (it really wasn’t so old in 2014) didn’t turn out half bad. No zoom, just a little crop later. And there you have it. A bright spot in Kirkenes on a dark winter day.
Read more travel tips for Norway
Map of Kirkenes, Norway
In the map below, pins mark the exact location of all the sites mentioned in our articles on Kirkenes. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name and any additional information.
War Mothers Monument
Kirkenes Recreation Area
Borderland Museum | Varanger Museum
The Snow Hotel
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