The last city in Norway on the coastal-steamer route, the town of Kirkenes, 880 mi/1,415 km northeast of Oslo, is the beginning or end point for anyone taking the entire coastal voyage.

If you have time, take a 5-mi/8-km cab ride through Norway's "lake country" tundra to the border with Russia and step across the once-forbidden crossing point. At a small tourist shop there you can buy old Soviet stamps.

In the town itself, stop by the Grenseland Museum (, with displays on the history and geography of the region. The Steilneset Memorial in nearby Vardo is an award-winning piece of architecture, erected in memory of the Finnmark Witchcraft Trials.

Kirkenes lies far enough north to observe the midnight sun. At the right time of year, you can take a midnight stroll through the local graveyard ... in broad daylight.

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