I have been to a Dingle before. Dingle peninsula in western Ireland. Stunning place. If you’re ever planning a trip to Ireland ensure it’s right up there near the top of places you should visit. Take a rain jacket.
Back to today’s ride. As they would say in parts of Australia. “Crikey mate, it’s gonna be a scorcher!” . Well a hot day for this part of the world with 29 forecast as being the high.
Some Swedes I met back in southern Spain implored me to do the Gothenburg - Oslo coastal ride. “It’s stunning “ they proclaimed . Well so far I haven’t seen a whole lot of coastline. A large part of the reason is that due to the many inlets the road simply can’t follow the coastline. Thus a large part of today’s ride was along heavily wooded roads with minimal traffic and the occasional lake.
Now here’s the thing. Several people had asked me why I was going up through Norway and not Sweden given the terrain is far more cycle friendly in the latter. So too the weather. The turn point would’ve been Gothenburg. It could also be Oslo at a push . However after debating the subject with quite a few Swedes who I have met en route all of them without exception said “Go Norway. Yes the terrain is tougher in Norway but the scenery is infinitely more stunning. Ride through central and northern Sweden and you’ll have 3-4 weeks of straight roads through woods. Tough enough to drive, it will leave you insane if you cycled it” was the basic message I got from everyone.
So Norway it remains.
Why am I telling you all this? Well today I got a very small taste of what that trip north through Sweden must be like. I had 10-15 km of undulating straight country roads with woods on either side and nought else to see. Ride straight up a gentle hill for 2 km and down the other side , gazing at woods and sucking in the heavily pine scented air. Then repeat. And repeat. And repeat.
Give me killer hills and wind and rain but stunning views in Norway instead please.
Last night when I arrived at the small hotel north of Gothenburg the manager insisted that my bike be secured in her office. “It’s your life after all” she said . As I handed her the bike she asked - “what’s its name ?” . “Erm I have given it one yet “ came my reply. “ Well you should call it Caroline then “ she stated matter of factly. “ Erm, any reason why Caroline ? “ I asked inquisitively.
She simply pointed at her name badge in response .
Meet Caroline . Manager of the Fars Hatt Hotel
Quintessential Swedish views . Lake surrounded by pine tree forests , red house with white trim, Volvo.
Someone discovered how to use the self timer on his iPhone. Stenungsund-Svenshögen.
15 km of straight undulating hills with thick pine forests on either side. “Thankfully” I am going via Norway. As I type that there’s a little voice in me that cries out “ remember you said that when you’re 1 hour into a 3 hour climb up the side of a fjiord in northern Norway in a force 7 gale in 4 degree wet weather. “
Just near Uddevalla the bike path winds it’s self so close to the lake that they have constructed an elaborate pathway to enable you to actually ride above the lake. Only in Scandinavia.
I am loving the self timer malarkey.
What’s wrong with this picture? If you answered-
“The bike is on the wrong side of the guard rail”
then you win the cash , the caravan and a set of self sharpening kitchen knives.
One of those short cuts that turns into a long cut and results in me bush bashing with my bike from a small arterial road that ran beneath the main road back up onto the road that I should’ve been on. It’s doubtful I’ll ever learn.