Cycling the Atlantic coast of Europe from north to south during the summer of 2017. View the archive, the route so far, or donate to MSF.

Meeting Canute

By Stuart Lowe on

It turned out the bike I saw at Oslo wasn't mine. It belonged to Canute, a Norwegian teacher who has been cycling the Norwegian coastline in stages. This part was his last one.

After I'd got my bike back together, we cycled together towards Kirkenes. We'd both seen the same campsite on the map. When we arrived the reception was closed and Canute was able to call a number in Norwegian to ask what to do. We were told we could pay at 10am which was a bit late for both of us but we had little choice.

We both pitched our tents, chatted over dinner, and then had a walk up the hill behind the campsite to admire the 11pm Sun and the view. Canute was a great person to have met. Being a teacher who teaches Norwegian to foreigners and asylum seekers meant he was quite a worldly person who could explain peculiarities of Norway to me. I was so lucky to have met him.

As Canute had predicted, I had difficulty sleeping in the midnight sun and had to be woken the next morning at 9.30 by Canute. I quickly packed up, we paid, and headed into Kirkenes. With Canute's help I bought gas for my stove and food supplies for the next few days. A lady at the surprisingly big shopping centre asked me where i was going and did a double take when i said "Spain". We had a little conversation and it turns out Kirkenes translate as "Church on the Ness" which I pointed out was almost Scottish (in Scotland a kirk is a church).

Stocked up, we then headed to the outskirts of Kirkenes and said our goodbyes. I wished him "God Tur" (Norwegian for "have a good journey") and started my ride to the north.