In the summer of 2010 I took a long and much needed holiday, totalling two sweet months away from London and covering over 6000 kilometres on the road, 5000 of which hitch-hiking, mostly around Scandinavia. I wrote a real-time diary about my journey and it's all on this blog, along with tons of photos on Picasa (all linked). Whether you're interested in my adventures or just want to see the pictures, here goes. You need to scroll down quite a bit in Picasa, tons of new photos has been added since Scandi.
It may seem odd to put an introduction at the end, after all the rest has been written, but I just couldn't push myself to do it when I should have. So enjoy this little retrospective look into 2010's Scandi trip.
Why did I go
I had been dreaming about visiting Scandinavia for years and it was time to finally fulfil that dream. Besides, after living in London for four years, I had sworn to myself that I wouldn't spend another depressing summer there. I will remember this awesome adventure as The Great Scandinavian Expedition.
Where did I go
The journey started on a sunny 1st July in Bergen, southern Norway (well, it really started at Gatwick airport). From Bergen I travelled all the way to the northernmost tip of mainland Europe (Nordkapp / North Cape), where I turned on my heels and headed south through Finland, reaching Helsinki in early August. That was, sadly, the end of the Scandi chapter, but the holiday was far from over.
Helsinki is a stone's throw from Tallin, which is where I went next, starting a capital-hopping sequence that took me through Riga, Prague and Berlin, from where I flew back to London on the first day of September, exactly two months after leaving England.
How was it
The Scandinavian Expedition was a unique and completely new experience. Not only was it my longest holiday ever, but it was also the first backpacking, the first hitch-hiking and the first trip of this kind I did on my own. Not only did I enjoy incredible nature, discovered new places and rediscovered my peace of mind after losing it in the overpopulated London, but I also had to face lots of new and often difficult situations. All these elements blended into an incredible mixture of fun, awe, happiness, but also frustration and improvisation. In other words, I can't wait to do it again!
Despite my reluctance to lone travelling, going by myself was the only way to actually get somewhere. Previous attempts to organize a holiday were ruined by unreliable people who let me down, so I took the reins of the situation, arranged all the necessary things and simply jumped into it. I had company for a small part of the trip, bust mostly I was on my own. It was often a lonely business, but I met lots of nice people, and thanks to the fact that the only person involved in planning was me, it was very easy to go wherever I wanted, do whatever I liked and whenever I liked. Later I learned that lots of people travel alone all over the world, so I'm not that weird (lucky me).
Ok, enough introduction, let me just finish off by repeating that Scandinavia is an amazing place and this holiday was reaaaaally cool.