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Part 6 of the Arctic to Asia cycle tour is now up on YouTube!
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After struggling to keep it together on my way to Berlin, I headed for Poland. Along the way, the hospitality of the people I met helped me forget about the loneliness and isolation that had been overwhelming me, and I finally started to truly enjoy my time on the road solo.
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I’ve been putting off recording a voiceover/narration for this for a long time, but, now that the world has gone into lockdown, I’ve run out of excuses…
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Have a watch at the link below!
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P.S. For reference, I'm making that face because my bike has just broken in the middle of nowhere, stranding me in a Polish forest at night.
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Massive thank you to everyone who features in this video:
Clemens, Petra and their family in Rauen, Brandenburg, Germany, and Greg, Marek, Sławomir, Paweł, and Andrzej in Nowa Sól; you guys made this part of the trip unforgettable 😊🚲
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The last thing I expected to be doing in Balti, Moldova, was feasting on nachos and watching the Super Bowl, albeit on a livestream through someone in the USA’s Instagram story, but somehow I managed to stumble across Moldova’s only “little America”...
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So, a huge and very, very late thank you to Maddie and Justine, who were volunteering with the American Peace Corps, for letting me take up their entire living room floor for 4 nights, introducing me to Toamna and Zapada (their creatively-named cats), and organising a fascinating interview with Marina Skaletskaya! Mulțumiri! 😊
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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4 weeks ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

Once again, I find myself scrambling to catch up on long overdue thank you posts from my time on the road over the past year-and-a-half.

Winter in Moldova isn’t exactly cycle-friendly, and my days on the bike consisted of slipping and sliding through slush, frigid air burning my lungs, and the loss of feeling in my hands and feet after about an hour. As I raced south to escape the snow’s clutches, I jumped at every opportunity to get inside for for a break from the cold.

So, a big shoutout to Vasilii, who invited me into his shop near Edinet with his friends, Denis and Vitalii, warmed me up with tea and refuelled me with a sandwich on a frigid February afternoon. Mulțumesc!
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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1 month ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

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1 month ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

MASSIVE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!

The eagle-eyed among you might have noticed things have been very quiet on this page recently. Now I’m finally able to provide an explanation:

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I’ve just finished sorting out an agreement with TV 2 Skole to turn the Place, Person, Plate interviews into learning resources for Norwegian schoolkids!
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What does this mean? In short, “The Place, The Person, The Plate” has secured FUNDING! So, more interviews, more adventure, and more insight into the lives of everyday people around the world.
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Now that I've finally reached Baku, TV2 Skole has asked me to cycle round the UK and Ireland later this year. Along the way, I’ll be speaking to locals about “identity”, which will be especially interesting in the current social and political climate, so keep an eye out!
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I’ll try to keep posting on the website and this page as much as possible, but things will continue to be a little more sporadic than they have been over the past year-and-a-half. I still have tonnes of interviews, photos, videos and belated thank you posts to put on here, but for now a huge thank you to everyone who’s supported me on this ridiculous project and helped me come this far; hopefully there is much more to come! 🚲🚲🚲
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: www.placepersonplate.com

Elevkanalen's website (a branch of TV2 Skole): www.elevkanalen.no
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4 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

In Norway, the month before your final exams at videregående (college) you become "Russ". This means celebrating finishing 13 years of school by partying in buses, vans and "walking groups", usually from the 20th of April until "Norwegian Constitution Day" - the 17th of May.
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Some save money for up to two years to be able to afford the flashiest bus and take part in the celebrations. While studying for exams, many will drink almost every day and have special Russ festivals. During this time, russekort (russ card) collection becomes something of a temporary hobby for many, especially children.
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In the photo, Sindre can be seen modelling his old "Russedress" which, according to Russ rules, you are not allowed to wash and have to wear whenever you leave the house, 7 days a week during "russefeiring".
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The colour of the uniform indicates what kind of subject you studied; red is for regular school, blue for economics and politics, black for subjects like mechanics and carpentry, and green is for agriculture. This is a unique celebration to Norway and, according to Sindre and his father, Anders, is very much approved of by parents, despite the fact that it often ends in someone dropping out of school...
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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After 2 weeks of cycling in Norway with barely a glimpse of the sun, we finally had our first clear day!

In place of an interview this week, here is another "moment" from mine and Miriam's journey across the island of Andøya in Northern Norway, complete with clips that (mostly) didn't make it into the final version of "Arctic to Asia part 1". Have a watch below!

youtu.be/SwKaerU76_o
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On Thursday, I spoke with an Azerbaijani news network, and it seems I was accidentally transported back to the 1980s.
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A short disclaimer: despite how it may look, I absolutely did not wink at the interviewer at any point during the interview...
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You can find the full video below (though it is dubbed in Azerbaijani)!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZVPBDwgToQ
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4 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

Once again, I found myself at the mercy of winter in Chernivtsi, Ukraine. Slush had turned to ice at the roadside, and I’d begun googling how to make improvised snow tyres so I didn’t slip on the busy highway that would take me out of the city towards Moldova. But just as I was about to venture into the frigid conditions outside Аліна (Alina), who worked at the hostel I’d been staying at, came to the rescue.

So a massive and very late thank you to her for insisting that I load my bike into her car so she could drive me out of the city to the Moldovan border, saving me a nerve-wracking few hours navigating traffic on a snow-covered road! Дякую (Dyakuyu)!

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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: www.placepersonplate.com
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Part 5 of the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour is now up on YouTube!
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The adjustment to cycling alone almost broke me. At times, the loneliness was overwhelming and I'd struggle to see how I'd last a month, let alone a year, on the road by myself.
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It wasn't the isolation in the moment that bothered me, but the creeping sensation that this is what life would be like for the next year. By the end of the first day, I was already thinking of how I'd have to explain to my friends and family that I hadn't been able to handle it and had to quit and come home.
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So have a watch of me getting to grips with solo cycle touring as I traversed the banks of the river Elbe from Hamburg to Berlin at the link below!
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The bad news: the next Place, Person, Plate interview from Romania won't be published until next week.

The good news: That's because we've been flown to Paris to film for a TV show!

Instead, here is the latest "moment" from the Arctic to Asia Cycle tour, when Miriam and I were stranded on Senja in Northern Norway after a storm blew in. Enjoy!
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7 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

Times have changed at Holma farm in Tretten, Norway.

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13 years ago, Håvard, Johan and the rest of the Sagheim family split an investment in a farm in the mountains with three other families, and moved all their animals from their back yard up onto their new land.
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Very different from when Håvard began work on his own farm in 1990, he can now often be seen at a computer in his office, using a software that predicts the milk yields of each cow and notifies him of any ill animals as well as those that need a break from milking. He even uses a milking robot, which automatically leads his dairy cows into a milking pen and is able to diagnose and isolate any sick individuals. Not quite what some may have in mind when they think of farming in the Norsk mountains.
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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8 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

My final day in Lviv, Ukraine, and a storm blew in. Chunks of snow and ice scuttled across the concrete outside, powered by gusts of frigid air, and I stared out the window, contemplating my next move. As if sensing my doubts, my phone screen lit up; a call from Taras, my friend in Ivano-Frankivsk who I’d met in a hostel in Western Poland a month earlier.

“I'm worried. I don’t think you should cycle here, Tieran. It’s a little dangerous.” I glanced back out through the window, which shook under the force of a gale, and tried to explain that, with all the stuff on my bike, I didn’t have too much of a choice.

“Tieran." he cut me off, "If I tell you I can borrow my friends truck, and come and pick you up, no problem, will you accept?”

So a huge (and as always very late) thank you to Taras and his wife, Kate, who hosted me on their kitchen floor for three nights, and drove hours out of their way to ensure I wasn’t cycling on the edge of an icy main-road, took me up to Bukovel to see the Carpathian mountains and set up an interview with Юлія (Yulia), before dropping me at the next city I was stopping at.

Дякую (Dya Kuyu) for everything, and hope to see you guys again!

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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: https://theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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The island of Senja in Northern Norway gave us some of the most spectacular views on the entire cycle tour. Miriam and I headed for Ersfjord, where we camped on a beach, and marvelled at the scenery the entire way!

Have a watch of our latest “moments” video below:
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This is Reidar Berg. He is 86-years-old, and in true Norwegian fashion he "roller-skis" 13-17km three times a week to stay in shape in Dovre, Norway. This, he says, takes him 60 minutes, but is a lot quicker in winter on real skis in the snow.
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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Our first night of wild camping was when it started to dawn on me that I might not be cut out for this...

Miriam​ and I had planned on making it about 10km further, but our bodies gave up near the top of a mountain outside Brensholmen​, Norway​. With nothing but some pasta, pesto and peanuts to refuel on, and dirty lake water to use for cooking, we didn’t have the energy to bring our gear inside, and risked leaving it strewn across the surrounding brush overnight.

Despite being exhausted and emotionally drained, I lay wide awake on the lumps and bumps pushing my sleeping mat into my back, wondering how I’d tell my friends and family that I’d made it less than a week into the so-called “Arctic to Asia” cycle tour before calling it quits. For about an hour, every time I got close to sleep, I imagined the distance we still had to cover - the daunting prospect of almost an entire year of doing this over and over again - and my heart lurched.

On the literal and metaphorical bright side, we got to experience a cloudless night illuminated by the famous midnight sun; this photo was taken at about 12.30am, just before I started questioning whether this whole thing was a terrible mistake.
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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9 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

For those who missed them on Instagram, I’ve decided to start sharing some of my favourite photos from the road over the past year.

So, to kick off, here's a throwback to Nesna in Northern Norway, where Miriam and I had just finished pushing our bikes 3km uphill, only to discover that there was another 3km still to come up ahead…

The first few weeks of the trip pushed both of us to breaking point, as the stunning scenery brought with it some of the most difficult terrain we cycled... and the occasional emotional breakdown.
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For interviews and Articles from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: placepersonplate.com/
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9 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

A massive and very late thank you to Oleksandr Rozhok and his mum, Olena Eu. Since I wildly overpacked at the beginning of this trip, they offered me a place to leave my mountain of stuff in Lviv, Ukraine, which allowed me to go home to visit family for “Channukamas”. Somehow, I forgot to take a photo of us all together, so here’s some of Oleks showing off the pipe-smoking skills he's perfected after years of competing in pipe-smoking competitions.

Dyakuyu!
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle tur, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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Democracy, beaten and bloodied almost beyond recognition, limps on in Turkey, or at least Istanbul, for now…
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Early May, and a tangible excitement permeates through Istanbul's labyrinthine streets. Ekrem İmamoğlu, a soft-spoken political unknown and relative newcomer, had somehow clinched victory in a mayoral race against a candidate from Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP, a regime that has been accused of continuously undermining democratic institutions and slipping perilously close to a dictatorship over the best part of a decade. The results handed him a razor-thin margin of 13,000 votes, just 0.2% of the total, over Binali Yıldırım, striking Erdoğan where it hurt; as a former mayor of Turkey's cultural capital, the now-President has repeated time and time again the mantra that “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey”.
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It wasn’t long, however, before that victory turned to ash, and, at the request of Erdoğan, who claimed irregularities at the ballot box were responsible for his loss, election authorities annulled the results and ordered a rerun to be held on the 23rd of June. For months, it seemed that it had become illegal to win against the AKP.
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The date grew closer, and just 2 percentage points separated the rivals in opinion polls. Could İmamoğlu recreate his performance from weeks earlier? Pundits were torn; pollsters, conflicted. Locals were anxious. The world watched. But voters, in their fervour, riled by the injustice of a legitimate political victory ripped away and, fearing the last flickers of democracy would soon be extinguished, returned with a renewed sense of resolve, determined to defy the polls.
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Seconds ticked by, and it became startlingly clear to Erdoğan and the AK Parti that the plan had backfired; spectacularly so. A small 13,000 vote lead had turned into a 775,000 one. Voters saw that, with enough turnout, not even Erdoğan was infallible. Istanbul, governed by the AKP since 1994, fell to the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi - CHP - opposition, and an extended campaign breathed life into what was once a political lightweight who now had momentum in a situation frighteningly similar to the one that had seen Erdoğan himself take control of the country not too long ago.
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So there you have it; Istanbul has a new mayor, and maybe, just maybe, Turkey could have found itself a potential future challenger for the presidency.
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle Tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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Since I've left my laptop behind for a few days to go hiking in the Svaneti region in Northern Georgia, the next Place Person Plate interview will be published next week instead of today. Until then, here's a few photos from day 1 of the 4 day trek from Mestia to Ushguli!
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For interviews and articles from the Arctic to Asia cycle tour, visit:
theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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At the end of an exhausting 2nd day of cycling, we could go no further, and so decided to camp at the top of a mountain near Brensholmen; Miriam's first time camping for about 12 years... ...

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Halfway through our first day on the road in Norway, our luck took a turn for the worse.

At the deepest point in the tunnel under Malangen fjord, Miriam injured her knee, meaning we had to walk the entire uphill section...
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Barely halfway through day 1 on the road and Miriam and I had already met hundreds of Huskies! ...

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Through the occasional video, you've seen snippets of the Scandinavian section of the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour.

Since those only show a fraction of the footage we have, I've begun stitching together some shorter clips, or "moments", that give a more accurate representation of life on the road. So, please enjoy the first of many "Arctic to Asia: Moments", which documents mine (Tieran) and Miriam's first hour of cycle touring as we left Tromsø, Norway!
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The tables have turned!

Back in Istanbul, Mohammad Alard (aka Traveler Freak الرحالة المجنون) interviewed me about the ups and downs of life on the road during the Arctic to Asia Cycle tour. Have a watch below!
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10 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

Did you miss the latest video from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour?

Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Germany feel like an age ago now, but making this trailer brought back a flood of memories.

Check out the full video of mine and Miriam's final stretch cycling together before I continued the journey towards Azerbaijan solo at the link below!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjmGDfMD6bc&t
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11 months ago

The Place, The Person, The Plate

Usually, I tend to stay for 3-4 days in a place before moving on to the next stop on the cycle tour. But when I visited Львів (Lviv), Ukraine, back in winter I fell in love with it. So much so that I got a little too comfortable, and spent more than two weeks overstaying my welcome with two locals, Yurko Yarovyj and Romana Skoropad, and a cat called Wusek (whisker) which had a charming habit of jumping on me every night at around 2.00am.

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So, late as always, a massive thank you goes to them for the bed, countless servings of barszcz, introducing me to something called “shuba” (a kind of herring and vegetable cake and one of the more peculiar dishes I’ve tried from that part of the world) and for not throwing me out sooner, especially after I lost the keys to their front door in the snow outside (sorry about that again, guys)…

Дякую (Dyakuyu) for everything!

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For interviews, articles and videos from the Arctic to Asia Cycle Tour, visit: theplacethepersontheplate.com/
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