We chanced on a nice yarn from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) this week when they reported on the manners of the moose who roam the Arctic wilderness around the Pasvik valley, where the territories of Norway, Finland and Russia are hopelessly intertwined. Evidently the animals show no respect for authority whatsoever and last Sunday at least one moose left Russia and wandered over to Norway without a passport. NRK reported how the ever vigilant Norwegian border patrol detained the animal for questioning, a procedure that caused some delays to traffic en route from the Pasvik valley to the Norwegian port of Kirkenes.
Moose do of course look a bit like reindeer, and this is a time of year when northern reindeer are spotted right across Europe. Doubtless the latter all have the good sense to go prepared with the appropriate papers.
hidden europe will be back with more news after the holidays. Meanwhile, you might enjoy our seasonal report from the hometown of Santa Claus' Russian comrade, Father Frost. You will find it online here. For best results (as the compilers of recipes say), read the pdf version. Same text, but it just looks a whole lot nicer.
And a very happy Christmas from hidden europe.
Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries