Hello everybody
posted by Totte Frank on July 6, 2009

out there in the real world. We are a little bit in a dream world. For me after a whole life working for my living it feels kind of strange to get up every morning to pedal the bike all day. But we human beings have a remarkable way to adapt to different situations and that goes for us as well.

It is now two months since we started from Stockholm and we have experienced sunny weather with sunburn itching for weeks as well as nights in the tent with temperatures far below zero. One morning when doing the dishes in a lake before starting I had to crush through 15 millimeters of ice where it the evening before had been open water. We have been biking through rain and snow and mixtures of it. Worst experience so far has been the winds against us and the storm gusts followed by the mother of all rainshowers that hit us in Holland. Sometimes it felt like someone tried to blow us back to Sweden. On the other hand we have had incredibly beautiful days with the wind cooperating and making it easy to add kilometers to the log.

Starting from the center of Stockholm the chilly morning of april 2 it felt rather shaky on the bike. We hadn't even had the time to make any training trips with the bags attached in advance.  Anyway, many friends had shown up at Odenplan to greet us and say good luck and it was very encouraging. Just south of the town we met an elderly woman who found it fantastic to hear of our plans to circle the world. She promised to mention us in her blog and to meet us in three years when we were coming back to Stockholm. First day we managed to pedal 60 kilometers and we were very satisfied with that. Sometime during the night an animal came close sniffing on the tent. Do not know what it was but the noise we made when waking up scared it away through the bushes.
Third day we reached an old friend and his wife in Söderköping where they have a nice little house we were invited to.

First week when struggling to reach our little cottage in southern Sweden where we had planned to stop and rest during Easter holiday we were sleeping mostly at small hotels. The cold nights combined with asses and muscles feeling like if they were burning kept us from using the tent. The 10 day vacation we had in Småland made wonders to our bodies and we felt much more adapted to the biking. The lakes were no longer covered with ice and we could see the first spring flowers along the roads. When finally reaching Helsingborg from where we could see Denmark we made a stop for an extra day to buy some stuff we needed and prepare ourselves to leave Sweden. In the morning on the ferry to Helsingör in Denmark I made my first great mistake. Forgot my wallet with money and creditcards at the toilet. With a very helpful effort from the ferry staff I got it back next time the ship returned and I could start breathing again.

Nice and friendly with small, lovely towns and mostly good weather for us. The town of Hilleröd on Själland is highly recommended as a place to spend a couple of days. Denmark is often considered as rather flat so we were surprised to find how many steep slopes we had to conquer. To reach the island of Fyn we were not allowed to use the bridge so we had to take the train instead. On Fyn we met the first really strong winds which were a sometimes quite scary thing. When pushing on to side gusts as trucks passed and took away the wind leaving you in a kind of vacuum felt really unsafe and unstable. So after taking the ferry from Fyn to Als it was really rewarding to find the nice campingsite Lärkelunden where we spent an extra day resting and cleaning ourselves and our clothes.
And then on to Flensburg and the german border.

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