Random Thoughts

Some things do not naturally go into a blog post that chronologically records events. Here I put a few of these sort of thoughts. I also test writing from my cell phone.

Nights without Darkness
These are a great asset to bike touring. The need to cook supper and pitch tent before it gets dark is gone. Without this time pressure, it’s easier to stop and smell the roses. Surprisingly one still makes the intended progress and time is found for sleep.

Everyman’s Right
This longstanding tradition has become part of common law. It is well accepted in Scandinavia.  It allows you to camp, even on private land, without needing to ask permission. It is a boon to the traveling cyclist, especially when there is no darkness to aid stealth camping.

Norwegian Drivers
These are the best we have ever experienced. They overtake bikes as if these were cars, with the same rights to the road. Any car that has not done this to us in Norway has had Russian number plates. This safe behavior will have us coming back, despite the very high cost of living here.

Public Picnic Tables
A common sight in North America, these are an endangered species in Europe. In Norway they are almost as prevalent as in North America, but the quality is inferior.

Toilets
Here Finland wins, although the 1 Euro charge is high (but normally avoidable). Finnish toilets come with a handheld spray jet that can have its temperature adjusted. This can be used to clean the bowl or used as a bidet.

Borders
With the coming of the Schengen Zone, these have all but disappeared. This is great progress. But now the major borders such as between Norway and Russia with their heavy military presence, barbed wire and long lists of things you may not do, look very draconian.

Insects in Lapland
This was the non-event of our trip. By far the worst insect problems were in Estonia and Poland. Everyman’s Right does help however, as there is no need to hide in the forest (where insects are more prevalent) to camp.

C

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