Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Cycling Scandinavia: Rest day in Oland

For once my rest day turned out to be a real rest day - and a very interesting one! My host was Agneta, a 64-year old Swedish lady who is only living in Sweden in summer and spending her winters traveling. When I saw her profile I immediately wanted to meet her and luckily she accepted my request. When I arrived we immediately connected very well. Agneta has started traveling in her fifties and has been all over the world. Like me she is traveling on a very limited budget and it was interesting to compare notes. Agneta told me a lot about her woofing experiences, something I had thought of very often myself. Time passed very quickly talking about the places we have been and the people we have met and see the similarities and differences in our life styles. I do hope that I will still have her positive energy when I come nearer her age.

"Before" at Oland open air museum
As Agneta generously let me stay in her bed room while she moved onto the couch in the living room for the first time on this trip I had plenty of space to spread out all my maps and guidebooks and make some plans for the rest of this trip. I am cycling much slower than expected but as I am enjoying this leisurely trip I decided to keep the pace and adjust the plan. I don't think I will make it to the Baltic States on this trip. I will still go up to Umea and take the ferry to Finland, but will go back to Berlin directly from there. The Baltic States will have to wait for another trip which is already taking shape in my mind.

As Agneta has wifi and could finally play on the internet as long as I liked, but it was a lot of work to figure out ferry schedules and accommodation possibilities. Agneta had to help often with translating from Swedish and finding places on the map. But I feel all set now for the next half of this trip.

"After" as part of Kroppkakor
Agneta also introduced me a Swedish culinary highlight: Kroppkakor. These are potatoe dumplings with a pork filling and you eat them with butter, cream and jam. I must say that they look rather weird and have the consistency of wall paper glue, but they actually tasted quite nice - especially with a lot of cream! And after 3 dumplings for lunch I was so full I could hardly eat dinner.... When I left Monday morning I felt truly refreshed. I had spent a whole day without any cycling and had hardly moved at all - but your body needs that from time to time. All my clothes had been washed, I had taken two showers and slept two nights in a bed. Now I am ready for the road again.

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