A hotel in Alakurtti

From our recent trip to Finland. This sign was found hidden in the bushes at the gas station in Alakurtti.


“We are waiting for you in the village of Alakurtti, ulitsa N. Naberezhnaya 50, tel. 8 911 314 4155, 8 911 336 3863.”

A warning based on the story of one of our guests: Although Alakurtti is NOT closed to foreigners the local police will monitor you closely and may burst in in the middle of night to check your documents. Alakurtti remains the last point before the Finnish border where you can find accommodation, and since the border crossing closes at 9pm it is wise to make a note of Alakurtti accommodation.

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Verman lake fortifications

[After some deliberation I’ve removed maps for the fear that their publication may encourage treasure/souvenir hunters.]

Vasily Ivanovich has kindly shared with me this 1943 1:100000 map showing German fortifications in the River Verman area, where the front along the Verman river hadn’t moved from September 1941 to September 1944. German fortifications are indicated as black circles on the second map. They are a bit west from the river because they probably represent the second layer of defence. Pink line is the modern road to Alakurtti. I’m putting this on the list of places to explore once snow melts in the woods and it dries up a bit.

This is what was left there as of 2009:

verman-fortification-1  verman-fortification-2  verman-fortification-3

(click to expand)

No special permission is needed for foreign travellers to go there.

An exemplary overview of Kandalaksha and area

Stumbled into the following on barentsinfo.org:

Beautiful Kandalaksha – a new, undiscovered tourist destination by the White Sea

Travelling eastward along Barents Road, the fi rst Russian city to crop up after the border is Kandalaksha. A community with a dramatic history, it lies nestled in natural beauty on the White Sea. This is an area well worth a visit, a ”mere” 500 km from the eastern Swedish border.

It’s often said that the journey is worth the trip, but in Kandalaksha’s case, the destination is the highlight. Once you’ve passed the border crossing at Salla, the road is lined with memories from the Great Patriotic War, as World War II was called in Russia. Large stone monuments with flowers, rusty shell cases and helmets are reminders of the battles on the Finnish- Russian front.

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