I promised myself that I would not turn this trip into a ‘project’ with a never-ending itinerary and tick list in hand. That said, I had set myself one goal, to see the midnight sun and I aimed to reach the arctic circle in northern Finland by the solstice.
Now one of my defects of character is setting overly ambitious goals and sticking doggedly to them. As I belted though Belgium, hurtled across Holland and dashed across Denmark, my physical limitations bedevilled me and it soon became apparent that I would not make the 2000 mile journey in whatever time I had allotted. I cursed myself for never learning my lesson and resolved to slow down and enjoy the journey.
Unfortunately the toll for the Øresund Bridge is enough to darken the sunniest of dispositions and so, having forced a smile to the cheery Swede at the tollbooth, I pulled the van into the nearest village to mourn the loss of my 110 Euros. The wind here was so fierce as to bend the trees to an unnatural angle and I hoped the arctic bite it concealed was not a prescient warning. The quality of the light, though, was fantastic, and I began to cheer at the prospect of white-night photography.