To feel Kirkenes’ pulse, you need a local to describe it for you. In conclusion, here’s how the locally born writer, Morten Strøksnes, portrayed his hometown back in 2003:
“Kirkenes has changed from being the last station squeezed into a cold corner of the world, into being a beginning of something new and exciting. It has changed from being the end of the line into being a place for transition. It has changed from being militarized to civilized. From being nationalized into being an international place, regionalized and globalized. From static to dynamic, from closed to open, from monocultural to multicultural, from masculine to feminine. Kirkenes has become a real border town, with trade and movement across the borders. Kirkenes has become a laboratory for a new time. It used to be a physical and psychological disadvantage. But not anymore. Now it’s an interesting place at the forefront of exploding the closed and controlled national borders."