Scandinavia and North-West Russia

I had been dreaming of seeing Murmansk, the "city on the icy Barents Sea" ever since I had read about it in my "Dictionary of Countries" back when I was a girl of twelve or so. Well, now that I had studied Russian for some four or five years and was fairly confident that I could more or less stammer my way through, I decided to visit the town and get it out of my system once and for all. So in the summer of 2015, my sister and I set out on a two-and-a-half week journey that took us through Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Russia all the way to the Barents Sea. We visited Santa Claus, swerved around reindeer on Finnish country roads, strolled on the lakes of Karelia and spent a night in prison... Along the way, I got to speak a lot of Russian and I daresay that the people understood me well enough. Unfortunately, I often didn't understand their answer half as well. But it was a memorable, if at times exhausting trip to the one and only metropolis beyond the Polar Circle.
Day 1: Luxembourg (L) – Unna (D)
Day 2: Unna – Trelleborg (DK) – Malmö (S)
Day 3: Malmö – Fotevikens – Gränna
Day 4: Gränna – Falun – Timrå
Day 5: Timrå – Utanede – Luleå
Day 6: Luleå – Kukkolankoski (FIN) – Aavasaksa – Rovaniemi
Day 7: Rovaniemi – Ivalo
Day 8: Ivalo – Murmansk (RUS)
Day 9: Murmansk
Day 10: Murmansk – Kandalaksha
Day 11: Kandalaksha – Petrozavodsk
Day 12: Petrozavodsk – Staraya Ladoga – Saint Petersburg
Day 13: Saint Petersburg – Helsinki (FIN)
Day 14: Helsinki – Porvoo – Turku
Day 15: Stockholm (S)– Ytterby – Rendsburg (D)
Day 16: Rendsburg – Luxembourg (L)