Salut / Hallo / Hello / Hej / Moj !

10 days after our last post and so many things happened ! 10 days ago so, we were in Jonathan’s flat, hanging out with Roland and Julia in Stockholm, that was good moments but we were not really lucky, 4 days spent there and almost 3 under the rain, not so funny. But we managed to enjoy this wonderful city made of 14 islands, huge parks, and a crazy population of bicycles everywhere, riding really fast, every time. We left the city to take a ferry last monday around 7.00, was already raining, to catch the boat which will bring us to Finland, arriving in Turku. This boat is a bit special a really famous there for partying and drinking without mercy. We had a cabin and preferd it than drinking with the young finnish / swedish

So, we ended up in Turku / Åbo (the same city, but in two languages : swedish and finnish, two common languages here) where we arrived in Johanna’s flat, where she lives with her husband Adam, an american more european than american, and five others flatmates, all vegan or veggie ! You can easily imagine how a french guy and a german girl can feel knowing they arrive in a place where they don’t eat meat, cheese or eggs. Lucky for us, they liked beer and wine and we finally discovered some ways to cook “lasagne” really tasty. We stayed there for two nights, while discovering the city with Adam as a guide, and waiting for some stuff we ordered on the web for the bicycles. This stuff in question hasn’t be arrived when we expected, so we couldn’t leave to Helsinki, we had to wait.

Turku was a nice city, but it was unnacceptalbe for us to stand there, waiting, so after discussing with the flatmates, we decided to go to Naantali, the city who oppens on the archipelago of Turku, and find a way to ride during 2 days on the islands. That was awesome !!! Can you imagine lot of islands separated by 100 meters from each others, some of them linked by a bridge, others with a ferry, and you arrive somewhere where you feel really alone, not seeing anyone from the night to the day after  We test in this way the “Everyman’s right” of Finland who allow us to camp and make a pitfire in the nature, but it was more than difficult to find a place that was not private. Each road ends to a house, no road close to the sea side with public spaces. We finally find one the first night and the second, while looking for another one, we met Kai, a late 60er, living a wonderful house close to the sea, who had offered us a night in their little sauna house, we couldn’t refuse. So we stayed there, get some fishes in the sea, cooked them and leaved the day after to go back to Turku first, and then leave on the way to Helsinki.

The beginning of our road was pretty boring, cause the path was sticked to the main road, crossing industrial places, lot of traffic… But after a while, we turn right to have a road less important in the direction of the sea. We slept between two fields, in a beutiful coutry landscape and leaved the day after, really decided to reach the sea, this is the aim of our trip. We rode in wonderful landscapes made of green grass and trees, lot of pines, fields of wheat, high rocks, under a really beautiful and warm weather. This day, we found a wonderful beach where we were allowed to set up our tent. We did, just after had our daily bath. Yesterday was a bit like the day before but just the weather started to change to something more cold and wet, nut we finally managed to play and win against the rain, and arrived on a huge lake where we decided to stay. This morning, just for breakfast, we had a storm to remain us that we depend on the weather, and it’s under a nasty rain that we had to ride today, to reach Helsinki, riding on the road 51, a national road becoming a highway, we can say that we don’t have so much fun today.

The extra of this ennoying day was that we hadn’t any plan for sleeping tonight and as we’d like to enjoy the city before leaving to Tallinn, we were decided to sleep in a hostel. No luck for us, the city is overbooked, any places in hostels, a camping 12km far from the city… As specialists of last-minute-bed-finding, we were in the tourist office, looking everywhere we could, sending mails, calling some people and finally had the great great great luck to find Risto, from the cyclists community who offers us a couch for the night, and a warm shower (and the web, that’s why we can send a post).

What we can say about Finland is that we didn’t imagine it this way. We finally arrived there a little bit scared with all people can say about the country and the living people, famous to be shy, we even heard : “Finland is like Sweden, but worst”. Ok, this is not really a bike-friendly country, but landscapes are amazing, the nature is wild as we would like it, people are most thant open minded and have the sense of hospitality. Otherwise, as the girl from the tourist office told us, the road was “a little bit hilly”. Was more thant that, and we really thought that Finland was a flat country, not along this seaside, for sure ! We really enjoyed those days here, we had a good weather in average, we are now at 2.400 km so we know that we will overpass the 3.000 in the next days, and a bit proud of it. Our bikes had new chains and brakes cause both of them were used (we could change a little bit later, no more), so they’re ready to go to the Baltic states and so we are ! Departure planned on wednesday.

We often think to all of you : families, friends, people we meet on the road. It’s really nice for us to be on the road everyday, to enjoy our free time, the nature, simple moments as bathing is a pure lake, eating fresh fishes cooked on our fire, listening the sounds of the forest during the night… We start thinking about the end of the trip, cause we will arrived in “the last month” tomorrow, it’s a bit strange but we have ideas for our last weeks, and really decided to enjoy every moment we can till the end.

Here are our lasts pictures, enjoy !