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To the Roof of Europe

We reached the end of the road, no more western Europe left. Just before the road terminated, on the left was a small chapel, Oscar IIs kapell at Grense Jacobselv, where we parked the car. There was not another soul to be seen at this particular geographical point. Nothing from the road appeared to be going on much on the Norwegian side except for a few radio antennae, but on the Russian side, there was evidence of communist-style watch towers. I am sure we may well have been under observation from someone somewhere but if anything, I would have expected the Norwegian authorities to be more concerned with Russians crossing into their side of the border. Kate went for a swim (who said the English were mad?). My brother and I examined numerous bomb craters and bits of concrete left over from WWII. It reminded me of similar terrain from Normandy (See “Normandy” chapter). We then returned back to the campsite near Kirkenes, for a good sleep; tomorrow would be a very long day, not as if there was such a thing as a night in the middle of summer, 240 miles (380km) north of the Arctic Circle. My main surprise that day was whereas Finland and Russia have a 30km or so no-man’s land separating the two nations, Norway and Russia have a pissy little river maybe 100 feet wide in places.

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