‘Evening all.. I have spent a lot of this beautiful sunny morning giving Sir G the once over, including clean rims and new brake blocks… A most fiddly affair, but very satisfying and so good to get done before starting the next leg of the trip.
I wonder how best to sum up these last few wonderful weeks here in Sweden.. From Göteborg to Stockholm, the landscape has had it’s subtle changes and one of my favourite rides was from Linköping to Rimforsa along a dirt track to avoid a perilous main road… It was so much nicer anyway. Monumental boulders, cloaked and carpeted in velveteen mosses that spill over like enthusiastic muffins. Soft pink heathers, giant deep pink clover. Granite cliffs the colour of perfectly cooked trout. Mushrooms, tiny blocloker (hare bells). Baby frogs toppling and tumbling. The echo of children across the water. Ferns and grasses swaying along with the slight movement of pine scented conifers and the rustle of birch leaves. Water lilies that appear to hover just above the surface of the water. Deep quiet and stillness. Undulating landscape a little like the sing song of speech. (the many expressive ways of saying “o” like the o in hot without ‘h’ or ‘t’ from somewhere behind the nose has been such a fascinating delight…. Said with a lift as a question, or put down with emphasis as a statement). Dappled sunlight amongst the trees. A bald, tuftily, curly-whiskered gentleman in his paradise smoking a Sherlock Holmes pipe surrounded by his abundant summer-house garden which is shared by rocks that dwarf his substantial iron-red cottage. Men in dungarees and checked shirts or green hunting gear. Amazonian fit blond women of all ages and shapes with walking poles, lycra shorts/vests and strong swinging arms and legs. ‘Kinda Gurka’ ( the Kinda [said Shinda] Canal is an area of ‘outstanding natural beauty) A great sea of barrels of gurkins row upon row!
Then there’s the fabulous history, with Viking ships and runes, gravfält and islands.. Castles (Slott) and Coins.
Yesterday, to crown it all I had a glorious day in Stockholm, which is surely the most enchanting and beautiful city I think I have ever seen, with it’s elegant and colourful elevations and busy water ways. Gigantic passenger cruisers for Iceland manoeuvre in implausible spaces while vintage and modern cruisers weave like ants between them! I only had a short time, but was blessed with brilliant sunshine and a little boat ride and a stroll through a part of the old Town was enough to whet my appetite!
I would like to say a huge thank you to Barbara Baron, who by the time I leave on Tuesday will have been my host for a week, and to her lovely friends on Adelsö for making me so comfortable and absolutely filling me with enthusiasm for historic detail of the area. As I sit on her veranda, the evening sun is sinking between the birches and a delicious smell of supper is lingering around the kitchen door. Across the fields and to my left is the water that separates us from Birka, the seat of much Viking activity and there is the hum and whir of tractors bringing in the grain.
I can’t possibly do justice to it all, but here are my efforts. Perhaps the next time I write it will be from Poland?
In the meantime warm greetings and love to all.