It was snowing. Like in a Christmas card, though it was May 12th. I couldn't even see Saana, the holy mountain for the Samis rising above Kilpisjärvi, the little sami village I was staying in. This didn't look like the best day to go out into the wilderness alone, unable to see anything but white. I wasn't willing to give up that easily though. The weather forecast had been ok, so I decided to try on the skies I could get at the hotel and wait a little to see if it would clear up.
A couple of hours later I could see the slopes of the Saana mountain barely appear through the snow and low clouds. I had used the time to study the maps and get the coordinates of Treriksröset, the cairn at the three borders point where Finland, Norway and Sweden meet and Sweden's northern most point. I was ready to go for it.
I started at the northern end of town, where the boat usually departs when the lake isn't frozen. It was about 11 km from that point to the cairn, mainly across a frozen lake except for the last 3 km. After about two hours I found the cairn.
Do make it a bit more exciting, I had decided to set a new world record. Well, I couldn't find any previous record in this category, so it was relatively easy, but now you have a challenge to beat ;)
And the challenge is crossing 100 borders in the least amount of time without ever going straight back into the country you just came from. That means you need a point with at least three countries meeting. As I was all alone with no one to witness it except for a curious ptarmigan near by, I decided to record it on my GoPro. Here it is:
Yep. A new world record. At least until I'm proven otherwise ;) And it's not as easy as it sounds as you'll get very, very dizzy. One minute 37 seconds is the new world record in crossing national borders 100 times without going back and forth. That is less than a second per border crossing. Beat that!
ps. This may look like complete silliness, but there is also a serious point in all this. You see, there are no borders there. Not physicly. They're mental. Fictive. Man made. Drawn on a map in 1901 and this point not marked until then. And at that time it was Sweden, Norway and Russia instead of Finland. National borders are our own creation and are nothing but politics. Do you know what language is spoken on each side of those borders? You might think it's Finish, Norwegian and Swedish, when in reality it is none of them. The local language regardless of those borders is Northern Sami, the native language of a nomadic tribe living from reindeer herding. Yes, it's national borders that are silly. Not me. Well, sometimes me too, but you know what I mean ;)