Every edition of the Paris-North Cape Photo Rally starts in front of the magnificent Château de Vincennes, on the edge of Paris, an idea that has since been copied by many other events.

The teams gather round the start podium, in the administration tents and in the VIP truck in order to collect their vehicle stickers and official documents, including the road book, a 150-page tome of instructions, directions and advice.

At one o’clock, we set off towards the midnight sun,

heading across to Germany, where we follow the autobahn north – the quickest way to get to Scandinavia. After a long day’s driving we stop for the night at a lovely little campsite in northern Germany, where we are joined by the old ladies of the Rally. These vintage 2CVs, 403s, 203s and 4Ls, etc., may be a little slower than modern cars but the rally is not about speed and they are a joy to see. And the last car to arrive on this transit day is always one of the organisers’ vehicles.