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Now. if you started your ‘adventure’ at the beginning of Spring – which is something I would recommend –it will by now be high Summer, and if you fancy a quick side trip you could do worse than veer to the North and the Baltic States and Finland. But please: do not dally! You only have about thirty days to visit the place : it is very cold there and the whole country is encased in ice 11 months of the year.

There you will learn that, during the long Winter, everything freezes, the trees and the grass, the Earth, the animals and even, eventually, the people. I imagine that the first visitors to these countries must have hoarded as much as they could and tried to outlast the Winter. They were soon to know better, though, the Baltic Winter always wins. Better to go with the flow and accept its embrace and wake after eleven months ready for the short summer to come. Do not pity them, they are quite used to it. To them it only means that everything we do over a long year, they have to pack in a month. Imagine that! A month only to go to school and to work. A month to eat and go to the loo. A month to get married and make babies before the frost comes and everything stops again.

So they are rather tired toward the end of July and are actually looking forward to the coming of the long Winter, when the lovely ice will come and take them over, and they will sleep, and have slow dreams, all snug and nice, and frozen.

And what do they eat? I know you are worried about that! Well, mainly fish, as a matter of fact. For it is a strange thing but alone in these regions the Baltic Sea never ices over even if the fish that live inside her do. They freeze during the winter months and come bobbing to the surface of the waters like ice-cubes in a drink.

So, when July starts and the people thaw at last – or, as I should say, at first, because they are hot-blooded – the first thing they do is to take their boat and collect as many of the fish-cubes as they can. And that way they have food for a month!

But now, come back South. July is soon over and you must be on your way. Besides, you must have had enough of fish by now!

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