In Vadsø, you will see the reindeer in the municipal coat of arms. Finnmark's county capital is located close to the vast expanses and ancient Arctic landscapes of the Varangerhalvøya National Park.
All the way to the Arctic Ocean, nature can be barren like a lunar landscape and the light a steely grey, but this area of Northern Europe is teeming with bird life.
Vadsø is a bustling town. It is close to the border with both Finland and Russia, and there has been a lot of trade between the countries. Vadsø was the centre of the pomor trade with Russia for two hundred years. In addition, up to 60% of the town's population were Kvens, a Finnish-speaking people who came from the northern parts of Finland and Sweden. The town is still called the Kven capital.
The Sami are another international polar and indigenous people. Traces of Sami culture going back 2,000 years can be found on the Varanger Peninsula.
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