During my NVCtrip my plan is to cycle from Stockholm down to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, to walk the pilgrim route (Camino de Santiago or the way of saint James) back and forth and then cycle back home. I’ll try to update my trip on this blog as soon as possible. In my first post I’ll describe my journey through Sweden.

After my lecture “Live your dreams” in the evening of June 28 in central Stockholm, I rode straight to Järna. My plan was to get the keys to a friend, but it ended with me sleeping with Joris where I would have fetching the keys.

Next morning I was woken up by little kittens playing. Me and Joris ate breakfast together and then we sat and drank coffee outside in the garden while the sun was beaming towards us. It was so nice and cosy that I procrastinated to get back on my bike. This is also how I want to spend my trip; to take my time enjoying myself and talking and socializing with people along my way.

NVC-trip-Pia-Joachim-BerggrenEventually I sat up on the bike and the next stop was Vagnhärad where I spent a couple of hours in the shade to avoid the sun’s strongest rays. After riding 60 kilometers I stopped in Svalsta, outside Nyköping, where I was invited for a coffee by my workmate Pia. It turned out that I was invited to a birthday party. I got both tacos, beer, coffee and cake (took two pieces)! Yummy!

Fully stuffed, I set off for Norrköping where I was invited to sleep at Erik’s home, who unfortunately was away, so I had the apartment for myself. After lashing his refrigerator both in the evening and in the morning, I discovered that a spokes on the rear wheel had gone off. I rode to XXL in Linköping and prepared for a negotiation that they would repair the bike the same day. However, it was no problem and the bike was ready within an hour. While I was waiting for the bike to be

NVC-trip-Lena-Joachim-Berggrenrepaired, I was again invited to dinner, this time to the home of Lena in Vikingstad. Charmed by their one-year-old daughter I ate again being stuffed on pasta salad and dessert.

Now I had a long ride in front of me. The plan of the day was to ride 160 kilometers because I had a sleeping place at Gustav in Eksjö. After the dinner I got out early in the evening and had just over 110 kilometers of cycling in front of me. So far, there had been brilliant weather, but now it started to blow quite hard. From earlier, I had communicated to Gustav that I would not show up until earliest at 21. During the way I sent messages to him with updates: “not earlier than 23”, “after midnight…”. I arrived shortly after 2 o’clock in the morning and was glad that I had lowered my daily goal from 140 to 120 kilometers planning this trip after last year’s cycling trip back and forth to Denmark.

The next day I slept long and while sitting by his table trying to outwait the rain Gustav suddenly appeared in the apartment after his work. After a second breakfast with coffee and some sandwiches, I took a chance that the rain finally would stop and got away. This day I did not ride so far and I managed to get out of the rain and found a tent site under a roof. It was pretty nice because it rained during the night.

NVC-trip-MarkarydJoachim-BerggrenTuesday July 2 offered some interactions. When I was confused about Google map’s directions, an older couple came and talked to me. After telling them about my plan, the man asked where I came from. When I answered “Stockholm” he said “Of course!” with a smile. Later in the evening when I came to a town searching for water everything was closed. I talked to a boy and he offered to get water for me. When it was time to find somewhere to sleep while riding along Lagan, I suddenly got a message from a friend of a friend. I could stay overnight in her cottage 10 minutes from where I was!

The last day through Sweden offered some rain showers and hard winds that nearly knocked me off the road. It was very nice to drive on to the ferry in Helsingborg and leave Sweden.

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