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Pole to Pole

Day 21: Ivalo to Rovaniemi

Michael Palin - Pole to PoleAn unusual encounter on the bus. The crew have gone ahead to film and I am left in the company of an inebriated Finn.

He smiles blearily. I smile back. He starts to talk. I can't understand a word. He looks pained. I feel I must help. I speak slowly and deliberately, 'I am an Englishman'.

Amazingly, a look of recognition crosses his face.

'Ah . . . Eenglishman!' he cries, and before I have time to compose a smile of complacent acknowledgement, he blows a long and disgusting raspberry.

We pass summer homes in the forest and occasional clearances where grass has been cut and hung to dry on long rails or else swathed around single sharp sticks like gravestones. We pass through Sodankyla, which announces itself as the home of the Arctic Film Festival, and eighty miles further on, at 66 degrees 32 North, we pass the most southerly point at which the sun stays above or below the horizon for more than twenty-four hours, commonly known as the Arctic Circle.
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  • Series: Pole to Pole
  • Day: 21
  • Country/sea: Finland
  • Place: Ivalo
  • Book page no: 42

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