The small fishing village of Grense Jakobselv on the Barrents Sea marks the start of the Iron Curtain Trail. The nearest big settlement is Kirkenes, a town with a population of 3,500 the majority of which are of Norwegian decent but also include Sami, Finnish and Russian minorities. The Norway-Russia border was one of only two land borders between the Soviet Union and NATO territories during the Cold War and, as a result, it was heavily guarded by both sides.