Sweden: The Final Frontier


Here we are  in Falun, http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=falun,+sweden&ie=UTF8&z=8&iwloc=addr in delightful Dalarna, kind of in the middle of Sweden; we think we are about 7 days riding from Gothenburg. We set off from Sundsvall on a bright, crisp Saturday morning and spirits were high as we cycled through the ever-changing but ever-so-slightly the same landscape. We had planned to make a wild camp that evening, but a delightful little wandrerhem sprang out at us, and were were forced to spend the night there.  We were in good company, as we met a guy there who we had seen a week or so earlier.  We had passed a man on a skateboard, carrying a rucksack, and joked about whether he was skateboarding from the North Cape to Malta.  Not so far from the truth, as it turned out, he was skateboarding from Umea to Gothenburg!
We had another lovely clear day on Sunday, and at last our elusive wild camp materialised.  We stopped early in the afternoon to check out a campsite on the shore of a beautiful lake, surrounded by forested hills.  The campsite was closed, but this was in our favour, as we had a free night by the lakeside, with a spot for a campfire, and an abundance of wild berries to eat.  It was here that we had our first outdoor swim… and probaby our last! During the night the wind got up a little and the lake began to slosh about a bit:
Kathryn: "Neil, are you awake?"
Neil: "No."
Kathryn: "Why is the lake sloshing about like that?"
Neil: "Because it wants to."
Kathryn: "I think there’s a bear swimming about out there.  I think it’s going to come into our tent!"
Neil: "zzzzzzzzzz"
  Another first came the next morning, when we packed the tent away in the dry!  It didn’t last long though; later that day the weather turned chilly and it was drizzling by the time we reached Bollnäs and our wandrerhem in the ice rink car park, where we had ring-side seats of a lorry drivers’ training school. Nice.
The following day was even wetter – my abiding memory from the back of the bike is of rain, trees, mushrooms, trees and rain.
Yesterday we took it easier and made our way round some attractive lakes, and had time to linger by the old farmsteads and pastures.  We visited the Carl Larsson museum, but were disappointed not to see any of his Far Side cartoons – or was that the other guy?
Falun is a mining town and we spent much of the day looking at old miners’ cottages.  Now – where else could we have done that?
I’m not sure what we have done wrong, but we are now spending two nights in a Swedish prison http://www.falufangelse.se/ – they may let us out tomorrow… if our washing is dry.
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