3 Weeks of Biking: The Swedish Part (1)

Winter is nasty and grey and cold these days, so here are a few rays of Swedish sunshine!

The ferry hit Helsingborg port and we hit the road. The “Kattegattleden” would take us through the lovely countryside along the coast and all the way to Gothenburg.

 

Helsingborg – Ägelholm
Our first day on the Swedish side was beautiful, sunny and colorful. Pride was just over, so rainbows were still omnipresent. And pretty cushy in this case.

Wer biked until we reached Mölle harbour, where we had an extensive lunch break in the sun and quite a view.

The Swedishness of Sweden was quite charming. We biked until Ägelholm, where we stated looking for our first “wild” campsite. In Sweden, Allemansrätten  gives a person the right to access, walk, cycle, ride, ski, and camp on any land—with the exception of private gardens, the immediate vicinity of a dwelling house and land under cultivation… so yay for wild camping!

It’s safe to say that we hit the jackpot there: lonely beach, quaint woods, and a rose-colored sunset over the sea. We skinny-dipped ourselves clean-ish and sat down on a bunker (?) for dinner.

Our first night in the wilderness was quiet and I slept like a baby. Breakfast was as scenic as dinner, with some Swedes on horseback riding along the beach in the morning sun. Jana went swimming again and I did some bunker yoga on her genius travel mat. Then we packed up all our trash and hit the road again.

Ägelholm – Halmstad
Sweden was being cute again. Except for that one really, really steep climb.
But we arrived on the other side and in a town with the beautiful name of Båstad no less (cue John Snow jokes), where we took a long break.


But we had the best motivation ever to continue: a warm shower at a kind couchsurfer’s house in Halmstad.


This is Oz! We talked about movies, feminism and citizenship until late and he made the best butter rice I have ever tasted. He was doing an internship at the time, but has since found a job in Stockholm, so congrats Oz!

Halmstad – Falkenberg

We were sad to say our goodbyes in the morning, but we had a bike to catch. And so it was on along the very scenic route to Falkenberg!

I saw the hugest rose hip fruit ever (in German it’s “Hagebutte”).

This may not mean much to you, but they were everywhere when I was young and as kids we used to split them open and use their insides as itching powder.

There was also some random art.

The road brought us another beach break.

This time with sheep!

Sheep are clouds with faces. It is known. So fluffy!

We camped near a golf course outside of Falkenberg, where we were treated to yet another beautiful sunset over dinner.

Golf courses are open pretty late in Sweden, so we positioned ourselves behind a hill-ish structure and hoped nobody would mind. And no one did! Because Swedes mind their own business.

Falkenberg – Åsa

The next day, the weather tuned on us. So we had our carrots in the rain.

Jana took it better than me.

She even went swimming, while I got us some Earl Grey and thought about methods to dry out my shoes.

That night was another wild camping night and it. was. wet. Everything was wet.

So, uh… Stopping by woods on a rainy afternoon: close to Åsa we set up the tent in the rain, tried to protect everything as well as we could, and then hunkered down. We had dinner in the tent (it’s like picknick, but inside, but outside!) and then did some reading until we fell asleep. Our trusted tent held fast and that is a very good thing. Excellent, well-informed online shopping, Jana.

Just for the record, Jana is the best travel companion ever! I couldn’t do this type of journey with a lot of people. Hanging out in the forest during a rainy night tends to make these things very clear.

The upside of all this (now that I am dry again and long to be back on the road): we needed to “real life” test the tent anyway, because Jana is going to take it on a long trip this year, and although I don’t wish her a lot of rain, this is Europe and we have t be realistic.

Åsa – Kungsbacka

After a night of hard rain, the weather cleared up again. We took a detour via Sweden’s Tudor era castle, Tjolöholm slott, and admired the beautiful building. That is, after a much needed cake and coffee/tea break.

Since we really liked the view, we had lunch there, too.

On the way back, we bought fresh fruit and vegetables at the farm store. Awesome peaches. Even better strawberries. Life is so good with sunshine.

That night we couchsurfed with two seasoned travellers near Kungsbacka. They gave us the gift of a delicious lasagna dinner, a room to ourselves and, the best of all, a washing machine and dryer to sort out our clammy clothes.

Because they were busy building a house, we missed snapping a picture together. But we will always be grateful for your hospitality, Anne and Simon!

Kungsbacka – Gothenburg

On the last stretch to Gothenburg, we found Särö Västerskog nature reserve and stretched our legs a bit while we walked along the coast and stared into the insanely blue water.

The countryside turned more urban again as we came into Gothenburg, where the Kattegattleden ends. We made it this far!!!

Here we stayed with Lasse, radio host and insanely trusting person. He just handed us his keys and said the apartment was ours for the next two days. We still managed to have dinner together and talk life and travels.

Gothenburg harbour looked very industrial, but the city was nice.

This is Haga, the old quarter.

And the obligatory and very delicious “Kanelbulle”.

We also took ourselves to the comic book store, which turned out to be a true scifi and fantasy heaven. I think we spent several hours browsing. My memory isn’t very clear on this, because it felt like being sucked into a parallel universe. Bye world, hellooooo books!

It is a truth universally acknowledged:

 

We managed to buy some maps for the road ahead and, most importantly, we gave our sore backsides a much needed break day.

I also got to catch up with my friend Annika from Germany, who now lives and works in Gothenburg. It’s a shame we couldn’t stay longer, but we estimated the stretch to Oslo would be a tougher one with more altitude difference and we wanted to make it on time.

And this is where we leave Gothenburg. Stay tuned for “3 Weeks of Biking: The Swedish Part (2)”!

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