Where can I get a free escape from the summer heat?

Famous nature photographer Greg Guirard of St. Martinville LA asks,

Where should I go this summer to escape the heat of Louisiana? Remember, the place you select must provide free housing and quiet (and cool weather).

Greg, it’s good that your requirements are so modest. There should be no trouble finding such a place. First, it should probably be farther north than Louisiana, or in the Southern hemisphere where it’s winter. The problem with winter, however, is that it’s dark because the days are short. Nice long sunny cool days are nicer, don’t you think?

I’m going to recommend Norway; it’s pretty far north, so the sun gets filtered quite a lot by the atmosphere and the ash from nearby volcanoes. At the moment it’s a refreshing 49 degrees.

Now to solve the free accommodations angle: I notice that Halden Prison in Norway is rated among the most luxurious in the world, and the photos I’ve seen online certainly look attractive. I can’t find anyone who says how quiet it is, but come on — it’s full of Norwegians who have no access to alcohol. I don’t imagine it’d be too raucous.

Staying in prison is traditionally free, and the only real challenge is gauging the severity of your offense. I couldn’t say what it should be; it depends on the desired lengths of your vacation and of your existing criminal record. You should consult a local attorney. Throwing a rock through the police station window might do it.

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