Monthly Archives: June 2012

One week later…

Woo! Time flies when you’re cycling through Sweden!

I am now writing from my private room in a hostel that I happened upon in the coastal town of Angelholm. I was just planning on passing through town and finding a wet, soggy place to camp in the rain when I saw the universal(?) sign for hostel – house next to tree and decided to check it out. And how did i score this private room on my budget? It’s the laundry room. It’s awesome! Fully tiled and huge, furnished with Ikea bed, lamp, side table and leather chair (with ottoman), AND a front loading washer and dryer. Perf! Clothes are hanging, tent is spread out, I’m lounging with my feet up on the grey-blue leather ottoman. Yup, everything seems just about perfect when you’re dry and you’ve been riding in a down pour for past 5 hours!

There’s so much and not so much to tell of between Stockholm and here. I had a great ride. I wiggled my way south, then west, then southwest and ended up on the west coast, in the city of Faulkenberg on a national holiday (Swedish independence day from what I gathered). With no route planned, I ended up riding through some of the most historically rich parts of Sweden! I rode east along the Gota Canal which connects the Baltic Sea with Lake Vattern, and eventually the Atlantic – dug by hand by 50,000+ men in the 1800s, walked through the ruins of the first monastery in Sweden, built 1000 years ago, saw the largest (discovered) rune stone from the Viking days. Idyllic countrysides and farmlands filled with sheep, cows, yellow fields of mustard plants, red and white farmhouses, lakes, forests, and the occasional hare hopping through a field.

I’ve split my time camping in tucked away spots in the woods between pastures and in hostels I’ve happened upon along the way. Camping away from any source of water each time, I’ve learned that bread makes a great sponge for cleaning my saucy cookpot, that my 3 water bottles nearly full are the perfect amount of water for a pasta dinner and tea, coffee the next morning amd enough water to last a good hour or two in the morning until I find my next water source. Gas stations are the easiest, and cemetaries also always have a spigot so visitors can water the flowers planted on their loved ones’ graves. For cooking fuel, I pull up to the gas pump and fill my little red fuel bottle with the highest grade available! My first “fill up” was .66€! And the cashier didn’t bat an eye!

Tomorrow I’m hoping to make it to Malmo, where my friend, Marcus, who I met in Leon, Nicaragua lives. From there Denmark, then onto Germany to meet up with Sandra who just arrived in Poland a couple days ago! Sooooo excited to have these thrilling conversations I’ve been having with me only have another party involved – especially if it’s Sandra! And she already has pictures posted online so maybe she can show me a trick or two about photograph and world wide web technologies interfacing while on the road.

Okayeee… Off to laundry room dreamland for me!!!

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Stalling… Rain

I really need to get rolling… but it is RAINING!!!

I had an amazing time in Stockholm.  I could easily spend a week here taking advantage of the many cultural opportunities that Stockholm offers, as in, going inside some of these amazing buildings.  But I spend a lovely two days here exploring some of the city and getting a feel for it.  Yesterday I met up with a wonderful woman, Maria, through the website warmshowers.org – like CouchSurfing.org, but for cyclists.  Maria is from Malaga, Spain, and has lived in Stockholm for twelve years.  We spoke Spanish all day, rode our bikes around the city, went to a couple cool cafes that I never would have happened upon otherwise, talked about life and cycling, and she helped me locate a map and work on finding a route south of here.  She is leaving on a bicycle tour any day now as well.  I really hope our paths cross at some point in the near, or not so near, future.

I realize that this blog is supposed to be about food too, but I am on such a tight budget and it is so expensive, I’ve been almost exclusively been buying food at the grocery store and cooking it myself!  I did have a lovely pastry yesterday though at a hip cafe in a cool neighborhood, Sodermalm.  It’s called a kanelbullar.  A very traditional and not too sweet version of a cinnamon bun I suppose, but more refined.  I took a pic, but have yet to find a good place to upload…

Ok…  I’m down to the dregs on my coffee, my bags are packed.  I can’t put this off much longer.  Out into the storm I go!!!

 

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