Civilization Again

July 25, 2002

N63.432, E25.655

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020725-121340a.jpg (207454 bytes)020725-104706.jpg (243317 bytes)Fist there was the pounding of rain. Then there was silence until the alarm clock came. Then there was rain again. So it came that we got up close to 11. It was a very quick procedure, as our enemies were already waiting.

020725-164904.jpg (154227 bytes)With little focus on the surroundings we headed south. We saw multiple German busses heading to the Nordkapp; one can only hope the weather will get better for them. I was pleased to see that they have rices here, too, even though not sufficiently worked out to be serious contenders at AMC in Santa Clara. On the road to our right was Sweden, just across the river; to the left was an almost endless forest with lakes and reindeer, which occasionally made their way onto the road and forced traffic to perform evasive maneuvers which could rival that of the Enterprise when it encountered a Klingon bird of prey.

020725-135448.jpg (151432 bytes)During lunch break we dried the tent and I made some backups of the pictures from the past few days. In the early afternoon we crossed the Arctic Circle, this time heading where the temperatures are higher and days shorter. As a matter of fact, the climate control - usually set to about 21C - started cooling rather than heating for the first time in weeks. And we have been seen wearing only T-shirts, too.

020725-182551.jpg (105225 bytes)Back in sorta civilization we visited a supermarket where we could buy actual fresh food for cooking. My vegetable of choice was of course the green onion, which they let grow here quite a bit bigger than in the US. I also bought two apples, one of which had quite impressive dimensions. The taste was however somewhat lacking.  

It's remotely challenging and humorous to get around in Finland. Finnish is not related to any other language, other than Hungarian to a certain extent, which is not known to be a world language either. Why or how these two languages are related I truly don't know, but I am sure it's a popular subject with linguists. At any rate, all signs are mere sources of confusion and amusement, as after a while they all look the same, while none make any sense. The love for double characters in words is undeniable. Attempts at pronouncing some words at the gas station are usually reason enough for the natives to smile with sympathy. But people at gas stations and other essential places speak English sufficiently well to conduct daily business with foreigners, so it's all good.

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And it's cheaper again: a liter of diesel goes for about 76 Euro-Cents, down from about 120 in Norway. Thus a gas tank costs about 45 Euros, and since with Über-Pot it lasts for 1000 km it makes this particular part of the trip about equally expensive as traveling with Pot in America.

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020725-212726.jpg (80418 bytes)020725-213214.jpg (87352 bytes)Sunsets are amazing here, just look at the pictures. However they don't last that long anymore (well, they last for about 1-2 hours, down from 6 hours since up north there was no sunsets at all, strictly speaking). And once the sunset is actually done and over with, it gets truly dark. This made it challenging to find a camp site, because we waited in good old Norwegian habit and forgot about the thing called night.

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