A chance remark in Lidköping market palce as I waited for a well deserved street Thai leg massage (wicked!) led to the most generous and warm hearted invite from the Sollerman family to their beautiful summer home beside Lake Vännern in Kullby. (I suppose it’s not every day one says “I’ve just completed my first 1000k” but it’s not just anyone who would have responded in the way Elenor & Hans did)
I was taken to all their precious places on the wonderfully varied Kinkulle mountain, treated to lovely family meals and then a magical evening boat ride to see the majestic Viking ship whose prow rose dark and tall against the dying light, with gold glinting on the scroll. Awesome. Earlier in husaby Kirk, where the Kings of Sweden are baptised, I played opus 110 into a profound silence. The good yamaha upright had an exhilarating bass and because of this, many unplanned vistas came to light. In the moments after, Hans and I had tears running down our cheeks.
While Hans, son Richard and best friend Elias did ‘boy’ things, Elenor and I sat and watched a stunning sunset from the sofa and spoke of so many things together.
Their uncomplicated and inclusive faith was a joy to experience and when Hans cycled along with me the next morning to show me the (steep!) short cut out onto the cycle route, I felt that I had made a very lovely friendship. The parting offer “ring us if you are in any trouble in Sweden” so thoughtful and immensely reassuring.
So a warm and heartfelt THANK YOU.
Another thank you to the gorgeous Tåtorp Youth Hostel for their breakfast invitation. If you are inSweden this is a hostel NOT to miss. A beautiful dining room, candle lit and elegant displays of local craft/art work, combined with ecologik and local produce made for such a restful and delicious start to the day. And the story of the young 15 year old King who took the crown from the hands of the high priest to crown himself, raised the hairs on my arms!! Can you imagine having that sense of self at such an early age?!
Today I have another thank you to add. Peter, Helen, and Grandpapa Leonard Lundquist with their 2 adorable little girls have just been my uncharterd taxi across lake Vättern in their beautiful new yacht … another vast stretch of water, thus saving me at least 6 days round trip… So I am well on my way through the Göta canal! It is EVER so hot, so I am standing in a shady spot in the turistbyrå. Last night I watched a woman hop aboard the last possible boat which both helped and led to a streak of envy; bet she didn’t have as much fun as me in the end!!! … I was entertained to some wonderful swedish folklore and delightful lessons in swedish from Agnes and Johanna…. and Yes, it was quite a challenge to wait beside the quay, practising being light and easy while hoping for that lift. Another real lesson in waiting and trusting. The previous night, my confidence had had another little dip and I fretted for a time and slept poorly for a change.
Aiming for Linköping over the next couple of days, and maybe to Soderköping at the eastern end of the Göta Kanal… a few steps closer to Stockholm. Then who knows?!
(Sir Galahad looked truly regal against the water and horizon, tied safely to the rails!!)