When I first started planning this trip, my intention was to spend the vast majority of the time in Norway. With a free place to stay and a knowledgeable local to accompany me, it seemed like the perfect spot to enjoy a warm European summer. But as more and more destinations crammed themselves into our itinerary the Norwegian leg grew shorter and shorter – and understandably so, as it was Peder’s summer vacation too. If we were already venturing into the unknown regions of Eastern Europe, it only made sense to take advantage of every possible day.
The result was that the months I’d originally set aside turned to weeks…and then to days. We landed in Oslo on June 23rd – midsummer – and just one week before the commencement of Roskilde. The famous Roskilde, a festival so massive that it’s known simply by its host city’s name. A festival that, ever since attending Brazilian Carnaval in 2008, Peder has described as the only party he’s been to that could possibly compare. It’s one of Europe’s biggest, and the main reason I wouldn’t come to Scandinavia anytime but July. It was to be the highlight of the trip. And the time was almost here.
Located just outside of Copenhagen, about 500 kilometers from Oslo (as the bird flies), the typical means of reaching Roskilde is by plane – or for the more budget-oriented, a very long bus ride. At least that’s how any rational traveler would get there. But we all know I’m no rational traveler. So upon concluding our single day of Norwegian tourism and thanking Peder’s parents for a fantastic homecooked meal, we descended into their basement to begin repairs on an extra bicycle.
The plan was to take a boat from Oslo to the Northernmost tip of Denmark, then begin a 400km cross country ride – with our campsites, luggage, and a week’s worth of party gear strapped to our backs. We’d stop to rest in a different city each night, hopefully making it to Roskilde a day or two before the actual festival commenced.
Peder, who used to work as a bicycle messenger and has cycled competitively many times in the past, has already completed the ride thrice. He was confident I could make it. I wasn’t so sure. But whatever happens, it looks like I’ll have my work cutout for me come Saturday morning 🙂