Trip Start Sep 01, 2006
Trip End Dec 18, 2006

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Flag of Sweden  ,
Saturday, October 7, 2006

we made a quick stop in the drizzle at the border between the finnish town of Torneo and the Swedish town of Haparanda, where we were welcomed, first in finnish to Torneo/Haparanda, then in swedish to Haparanda/Torneo ;)

nothing like the border between norway and russia that i experienced a year ago, you could hardly tell you were even crossing - it looks a lot more like a huge construction site, as they are currently building a mall and apartment complex that will span both countries, as well as, you guessed it, a huge IKEA (which, as carol ann and i always knew, they pronounce eye-kay-ah in swedish).

it made me think a lot about cooperation and seeing difference as a resource rather than hinderance. here, the border which once divided the people of these twin towns is now their greatest asset, bringing in tourism and economic development. not that they don't still have their issues - apparantly it is virtually impossible to get proper bus schedules for the finnish part of town on the swedish side, and vice versa, and each blames the other fully. but when you think what is happening at the borders of some countries in the world, there is definitely a LOT that the world could learn from this peaceful nordic region...
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