Even though it was incredibly expensive (we're talking $12 beer, $5 soda, $20-40 entrees, yes, I know, I'm always about the food), we had a great time in Kirkenes. We booked our entire trip - including the hotel in Murmansk - through Anne at Radius Kirkenes. And she was great about helping us when we had to cancel our shuttle after we found out about our visa restrictions.
Welcome to Kirkenes,
You're really far away from cities people have heard of.
On our first day we just walked around, like this guy, except maybe we're not so hip:
And we soaked in the sun,
Admired how cute town was:
We also went to the war museum, which in addition to information about WWII also included some modern art such as a dress made from shirt collars:
Kirkenes, being the last stop before Russia, was invaded by the Germans in 1941. Hitler thought he could bust right through and head into Russia and get to Murmansk. Murmansk was Russia's only port connection with allied supplies. Kirkenes was bombed over 300 times. The town was completely destroyed by Russian's bombing the Germans out. As the Germans left they burned anything that was left standing. Amazingly though, very few residents died thanks to shelter in Andersgrotta, their bombshelter:
Below ground it's huge inside.