Approaching the Russian border (with care)
We dock at Kirkenes around 9am. This town marks the turning point of the Norwegian coastal voyage and from here we will sail south. The ship docks at Kirkenes for around three hours and there are a number of activities we can enjoy. Some guests walk into town. On previous occasions our guests have found many Russians visiting town. Apparently there was an agreement allowing local Norwegians to travel 30 kms into Russia without a visa and local Russians to do the same in the opposite direction. Russians visited Kirkenes to buy prawns, coffee and disposable nappies! Norwegians went for petrol and vodka. In the current political climate the exchange is somewhat more frosty - if you'll pardon the obvious (it is minus 12C today!).
Some of our guests do visit the Russian Border but stay at a safe distance. Others go snowmobiling, or visit the Snow Hotel, and some go Husky Dog Sledding. If you are going on the sled you get dressed in a one-piece suit to keep warm. Unfortunately the one-piece outfits are one size fits all, and they are basically huge. Richard and Dawn really enjoy watching this bit and have numerous funny photos as evidence. The dog sleds are nearby and your sit two to each sled and hold on tight. The local mushers drive the sled and follow a route over a frozen lake. Today, finally, the weather is stunning. Some blue skies and sun at last! It is however chilly, so you have to be wrapped up warm. The husky adventure is such great fun. If you're ever in town, be sure to sign up!
Richard and Dawn are on site to help and during the dog runs, they say hello to the dogs that are resting at their kennels. Last year one of the dogs decided to pee up Richard's leg .... twice. Richard went to say hello, from a distance.