top of page
  • Writer's picturesnowhotelkirkenes

Driftwood from Siberia

Updated: Jan 4

The vast forests in Russia – called the Russian taiga – have over the past hundred years been of great importance to people along the cold coasts of Northern Norway, Greenland, Svalbard and the Kola coast. The great rivers of Siberia flow north, and were used for floating timber. The need for timber in Europe was enormous in the 1800s and 1900s. Thousands of boatloads of Russian timber have passed through Norkapp on their way to England, the Netherlands and Germany.

But a lot of timber has drifted past the booms and into the Arctic Ocean. From here, the Gulf Stream has taken it under the ice where it has frozen solid, and after many years the ice has thawed along the coast of Greenland and provided the Inuit with vital material for sledges, huts and fuel. What did not land in Greenland continued downward until the Gulf Stream again captured it and sent it north along the lust of Norway and eastward into the ice again. If the timber was met by a storm, it drifted ashore in sheltered bays along the coast and was important for the northern Norwegian population. We have picked up the log on which you are reading this text, from the shoreline at Grense Jakobselv – 600 km east of Kirkenes.

129 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page