Location: Haparanda / Sweden
"Brace yourself, winter is coming." -- The words of house Stark
A hardshell, waterproof trousers and trekking boots. 5390 smackers… Scandinavia is expensive…
Luckily it’s swedish crones, so it comes down to “only” 616€ but still quite a sum. Again my mistake was leaving germany without thinking too much and taking longer than expected. I thought I would be here in summer. But actually it’s more or less autumn right now. There was rain for sure (got soaked once on this trip), there will be more and the temperatures gotta be around twelve during the day and at least above zero at night. But still locals told me that it’s the best time to visit because of the leaves turning colorful, the mosquitos turning dead and the tourists (re)turning home. So there’s no use in whining, I just had to step up my game gearvise. Since everything over here seems to be very expensive, getting a good deal is not too easy. At the Haglöfs Factory Outlet the prices were more or less in the same range as German mailorder prices. Considering the 25% VAT in Sweden that’s cheap! Now I’m proudly owning Haglöfs Grym Trekking Boots, and an Endo Jacket plus the matching trousers. If they keep the promise of being top shelf outdoor gear I did quite good. So far the only experience I had was that the boots look clunky as hell but are as light as the ads suppose and that I can actually drive the van wearing them. (I should have started breaking them in weeks ago so I just put them on in front of the shop…)
I remember being in Christians flat in Gießen sipping beer and watching clips from the world air guitar champignonships and thinking how awesome it would be to go there. That was about ten years ago and we never went to this weird place far up north where they take place once a year. Just after arriving somebody told me that the place is Oulu and the time is now!
Sorry for the crappy pic. Just check the official Homepage for more.
It’s really a fun event, Dan “Björn Töroque” Crane did a hell of a job hosting the show and the contenders were awesome! There is a message behind it as well.
The purpose of the Air Guitar World Championships is to promote world peace. According to the ideology of the Air Guitar, wars would end, climate change stop and all bad things disappear, if all the people in the world played the Air Guitar. This is why the whole universe is invited to play the Air Guitar for the world peace at the end of the competition.
A clear sign to the Russian gouvernment to stop repressing people.
An article about Eric “Mean” Malin, the winner of the contest
A couple of days ago when I left the van one window was still open. I just “closed” it from outside so that it looks closed but the latches are not engaged. At the the moment I thought that’s quite stupid because I surely will forget to close it probably. Well, today I lost the window on the highway.
I tracked back but couldn’t find it anywhere. So I paid the next Bauhaus a visit to gather stuff for a semi permanent fix.
An XPS foam panel, an extruded aluminum U-shaped profile and some screws, nuts and large washer, 12€. Why not acrylic? Because it’s fucking expensive, tricky to shape with the tools I have at hand and last but not least isn’t insulating at all. Since the nights are quite chilly already and the window is just over my bed I really don’t want water to condensate over there and drip down during the night.
I surely did stuff of more beauty in my life but I guess it will suffice until I gather a new window. And if you’re concerned about that not being waterproof: XPS actually is and the panel is pressed against the original seal of the window. I guess it will be alright, but the next rain will show for sure….
Loosing time and money because of stupidity is always a bad thing. But somehow I’m getting used to it.
Location: Oulu, Finland
The last big city before the wilderness. The capital of the north they call themselves. I decided to stay a couple of days and use the powers of the mighty interwebs to spent some time in good company before going north. Just after arriving I met up with some couchsurfing folks. One told me that there’s a chance to see northern lights (aurora borealis) in the night so we went off to a nearby lake which also doubled up as a decent spot to spend the night for me.
Aurora Borealis. Thats how they look like. Thx to robin for the picture.
Sitting on the beach and sipping beer we waited and talked with some late night swimmers and came up with some fun facts about our home countries: Finland has approx 5 million inhabitants and an area of 338000 square kilometers. Germany has 80 million and approx 380000 square kilometers. So roughly 1/16th of population density. People are always amazed when I tell them that the west part of the Harz Mountains has 100 lakes. Finland has 188000 lakes. Not too bad at all. But the western Harz has the higher lake density with only 800 square kilometers.. Finland feels a little bit like the northern version of Australia.
After mocking us for trying to watch northern lights that early in the year the locals took off and some hours later we actually saw aurora borealis! This actually is quite uncommon but for some weird sun cycle reasons and solar witchcraft I arrived just at the right time of the 11 year sun cycle to watch fancy lights…
Pics or it didn’t happen? Alright, here you go… Thx to robin for this pic as well…
Before the trip I thought I won’t see any because I’m up here in the summer. Well, summer is actually at it’s end (it’s shorter in the north) and I’ll probably see plenty of northern lights. And have an indian summer like experience. And less mosquios. Not what I expected but appreciated non the less. Got to do some shopping for warmer clothing though.
Location: Pyhä-Häkki National Park / Finland
After the short (6.8km) late evening stroll (I started at 20:00) from yesterday I decided to stay another night and do the 17km track. It was really nice and since I had a late start around 15:00 as well I had the whole park for myself since the tourists started early in the morning.
The shack from yesterday in daylight
The lake in front of the shack
The actual shelter on the other side of the park. Elevated wooden floor for insulation, a fireplace in front for heating and a second fireplace for hanging out. Two height adjustable BBQs, wood storage on the left, outhouse on the right (not on the picture).
There’s not much to add to these pictures. The folks over here know what they’re doing outdoor wise. Can’t argue with that…
some moss I haven’t seen before
I will spent the next couple of days in Oulu, so there will be not too much hiking…