It has been months since I finished this book and I’m only now getting round to blogging about it. This is the second book that I’ve read by Andrew; the first was all about crossing Europe (read it here). This book he also crosses Europe, but from the southern most point in Spain to the most northerly point in Norway, a distance of 8,000km.
One of the things that I like most about the author is that he doesn’t confess to being a ‘cyclist’, he’s just someone who happens to go on long touring adventures on a bike. He also doesn’t know a thing about bicycle maintenance, which is very refreshing. As Alastair Humphreys says in one of his books, if you’re bike breaks down, either you’ll repair it or someone else will. Andrew opts for the latter.
As with all travel books, it’s the places he visits and the people he meets that make the story. The big difference is that on a bike you’re travelling at a much slower pace, so you’re far more likely to meet people interested in where you’re going, especially if you’re on your own. Andrew cycles through eight different countries, starting at 36 degrees north and finishing way above the Arctic Circle at 70 degrees north.
A couple of the tunnels in the far north of Norway do sound particularly scary, but on the whole this is a very gentle meandering book full of insights into the local areas, along with his own witty observations. As always, a judge of how good a book is, is would you look out for more by the same author. This is the second book of his that I’ve read, and I will be looking out for his other book, Cycling along the Med.