Friday, 31 May 2013

Cycling Scandinavia: Day one

Start in Neukoelln
 I flew back from my little narrow boating holiday to Berlin. A hiker friend was accommodating me and we had a great time swapping stories as she had just hiked the Swedish C2C. I had already prepared my bike gear and just had to swap luggage. But of course there is always hundreds of other little things to do and I was busy for two days. Then, on Friday 31st of May I finally set off after the soothing words of my friend Nano that I am riding directly into a severe weather warning. I set off nevertheless and as always felt pretty horrible. The day I start a new trip I always feel pretty bad and wonder why I am doing all this.

As my friends had been teasing me I felt that I had to start cycling directly from Nano's place in Neukoelln. Taking the metro to the Berlin suburbs was for wusses I was told. At least this saved me 4 Eur for the metro ticket. I managed to get lost the first time in Tiergarten but managed fine otherwise. At 1 pm I arrived at Berlin city limits and things started to brighten up.  I actually cycled in bright sunshine and my bike path, the Havellandradweg turned out to be a very positive surprise. Hardly ever I had to cycle on roads, sometimes on bike paths next to the road but mostly on beautiful paved bike only roads.

Storm approaching
But eventually the weather forecast threatened to come true. The sky turned almost black and I realised I had only minutes left to find shelter. I made it just in time. I cycled into a small village and prayed for a bus shelter - and there it was. Two minutes later all hell broke loose and it was bucketing down. A group of retirees had not been that lucky.They came in 15 minutes later soaking wet and left quickly to get to their accommodation in the next town. I was waiting until the rain stopped almost completely. It had  indeed been a severe storm as I  saw the fire brigade passing twice.

I was opting for a short day. This was my first day cycling and I did not want to overdo it. After 80 km I passed through some nice forest and decided to call it a day. This was also the first time in years I was travelling with another tent than a Tarptent. I had brought a Big Agnes Fly Creek for this trip and wanted enough time and a good camp spot to set it up. Then the next test: would my petrol stove work? Yes, it did and soon Bratwurst was served before the next downpour. Alas, after dinner I discovered the first ticks on me.... But now I am happily lying in my tent starting to look forward to this trip.


milkmonsta said...

Good luck and have a lot of fun! :-)

Amy L said...

We wish you tail-winds and a healthy dose of sunshine! Good luck, Amy&Jim