History opens for cyclists

02.09.2011: The Finnish newspaper Kuhmolainen reports on the journey of the three Germans Roman Schulte-Sasse, Niklas Prenzel and Janis Humann who are cycling along the Iron Curtain Trail, starting from Norway, along the Finnish border, towards Russia.

Last Sunday a trio of German cyclists arrived in Kuhmo, who had had a long way already. The 22-year-old young men Roman Schulte-Sasse, Niklas Prenzel and Janis Humann from Berlin had started their bike tour ten days earlier in Kirkenes, in the far northeast of Norway.

The trip is not a mere amusement ride however, as they are directed to update the information for the cyclists` travel guide "Iron Curtain Trail". The project is supported by the European Union, and the book series also includes many other guides for cycling enthusiasts.

"The project combines both the historical perspective as well as sports. I hope many will follow our steps", Janis said. Making the journey by bike moreover emphasises the environmental-friendliness.

The cyclists are traveling in Europe and the border region of the former Soviet Union, exploring the historical sites. For the previous edition of the travel guide Kuhmo has been mentioned among other things, such as the Winter War Museum and the war-time battle sites. The chamber music, Juminkekoa and places to stay are also presented in the guide.

The trio had accumulated a wide range of experiences along the way and praised Norway and Finland for their stunning sceneries.

They were especially in the border areas fascinated by the cultural contrasts and how the various phases of history appear in the present day. "It feels strange to be so close to the European border. The cultural difference between Europe and Russia is quite large", they wondered.

Niklas, Roman and Janis have known each other for about 15 years. All are interested in nature, sports and history, which prompted them to go on this trip. They have stayed mostly in a tent in the countryside. There were of course challenges on the way which they had to face. Having the same for miles after miles on a long way ahead of one, does not always provide a much variety.

On the other hand, in the middle of nature, in uninhabited areas, a real bike has its own charm. Finnish nature is different to the German in many ways. "Finland has a lot of lakes and beautiful scenery. We saw a deer in the north, which I had never seen before", Roman said.

They headed from Kuhmo for Kaverusten the very next Sunday. They will cycle to Finland's Eastern border of Imatra, from where the journey continues to St. Petersburg in Russia. Kuhmo was about the middle of the trip, as the whole trip is scheduled for the month.

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Original article in the KuhmolainenDownload (5982 kb)