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Kirkenes, Norway

Kirkenes, the municipal center of Sor-Varanger, is the terminus for the Coastal Voyage ships. The town of Kirkenes was built around the mining company AS Sydvaranger that mined iron ore until 1996. Export began in 1910, providing some 1,800 people with work. Today, around 6 million tons of ore are mined every year. The government is the majority shareholder and wishes to maintain the mining because the local community heavily depends on it. Today, the most important enterprises include service industries, ship repairs, and various initiatives directed toward northwestern Russia.


Grenseland Museum

This is easily reached by ordinary service bus from the boat while it is moored at Kirkenes before starting its trip back to Bergen. In April 1992 the works of Jon Savio, a tragic Sami artist, were incorporated into the main museum. Grenseland has also served as a war [or anti-war] museum based on the local experiences of WW2.

Both parts are worth some time. Savio\'s woodcuts are a revalation and in the other part there are some very touching writings by children during the war period - translated fortunately!