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Småland Perfectly Formed 3: Sunday 16th September

My 41st birthday dawned bright and sunny, and I was unable to resist going for a swim. After all, the opportunity for a dip in the Baltic might not come my way again. It was chilly but lovely, with shoals of tiny fish in the shallows and transparent jellyfish washed up on the sand.

I needed another shower and more coffee after that, but eventually we got on the road for our next destination.

Sweden was exactly as I had pictured it: pine woods, lakes and farmland, with clapboard houses painted butter-yellow or dark red. Off the motorways there was hardly any traffic, and the Swedes are careful, law-abiding drivers, sticking to the (low) speed limits and moving aside for overtaking motorcyclists. I loved the roads, with their safe, gentle curves and climbs and the famous signs warning of possible elk.

Around lunchtime we stopped at a roadside café and ordered pizzas after much puzzling over the lists of toppings. I had the 'Africana', with bacon, banana, pineapple, peanuts and curry powder, plus a can of a soft drink called 'Trocadero'. It was my birthday, after all.

In the late afternoon we passed through the town of Nybro and took a gravel track down to our holiday camp. There were old petrol pumps by the side of the road and a model DC-3 the size of a family car in the lake. It was my kind of place.

We were greeted by an older man who had been sitting outside the reception and introduced himself as Haider.

"This is the last I was expecting," he said, slowly and carefully. "I was not expecting cyclists. But you are most welcome."

Howard counted out the cash we owed for two nights' stay plus the loan of bedlinen and towels, and Haider waved away the last 20Kr note: "Buy yourself some ice creams."

Like the previous night's accommodation, this was self-catering. In Ystad we'd had our own tiny kitchen and bathroom, but here they were communal. We headed for the lounge to enjoy the bread and cheese we'd picked up from a supermarket. Mid-supper, the sole other guest, a Swede, walked in and chatted for a bit before disappearing into the kitchen.

A few minutes later, he popped his head out again.

"Have you heard of David Icke?" he asked.

We finished our meal quickly.

Miles: 215.4

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Comments

How utterly lovely!
I thought of you and the great photos you'd have taken. You would have loved the scenery.
But you took great photos :) and I loved seeing them! One day I will go!
I really recommend it. We both fell a bit in love and started wondering how we could move there.

And thank you!
"Have you heard of David Icke?" he asked.

We finished our meal quickly.


I had not, and that guest owes me the ~53 seconds I spent skimming Icke's Wikipedia entry before concluding I'd not had nearly enough alcohol yet to deal with that kind of lunacy. :P

The pizza sounds good though — traditional Swedish cuisine, eh? ^.~ And Haider sounds like a nice guy all around.
Oh, I'm so sorry! The guy was nice enough but admitted he was a major conspiracy theory nut (which is probably why he was living in a cabin in the woods).

Haider was great! Later he told us he'd passed by on a Vespa trip in 2011 and fallen in love with the place, so he ended up coming back to work as caretaker.
Wow, the Swedes really take downsizing seriously! XD

Neat pics! Be careful around the jellyfish though.
I only spotted the jellyfish once I'd got out of the water, and I admit I was a little freaked out! No harm done though.
Ah. I didn't think they were that far north!