Kruunuvuori, The Crown Mountain

The dilapidated villas of Kruunuvuori creek and groan with age; their end is nigh. And yet as the last rays of the day pierce the canopy, the mansion before me reveals its former splendour. The debris on the ground melts away, the trees retreat from view, and the house stands, erect and proud again, to command its position overlooking the gulf of Finland.

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My spider senses are tingling as I pull into Vardø. I can’t quite put my finger on it but something ain’t right. Maybe we’re just that bit nearer to Russia or maybe it’s the 10,000 ft tunnel that separates Vardø from the mainland that makes things feel a little … isolated …

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