midsummer poleFour wheels to move your body,
two wheels to move your soul...

'Ganz allein??'
Yes, all by myself...
The man looks at me with disbelief as I return to the Remy-less era in which these kinds of questions came up, mostly from German men.
'Aber hast du keinen Mann oder Freund?' -> But don't you have a husband or friend?
'Yes, but he staid at home.'
By this time the man looks at me uneasily.
'He looks after our cat' I stated,'it was him or me'.
This time the man looked actually shocked and I started to wonder if I should leave it there, or tell him what the situation actually is. That I'll take King Olav on the rear of my bicycle from Sweden to Norway and...
But the man already lost interest and walks to his camper, shaking his head in disbelief where his wife adds some more to his beer belly.

Well, as for emancipation of women, Germany isn't there yet. At least not on the camping in Lübeck. I was hoping to adjust my view of German men in a big way, but no....

Traveling with the car is exactly as I thought it would be. It's great to sit in your own enclosed space and yell along with your own music, yawn wide without the need to cover your mouth, or even pick your nose if need be, but on the other side you're locked-in on the highway (or anywhere else) where you can not decide to stop to take in the view on a whim. Or make a picture of a funny sign to call just a few things.

As you can see, I'm very much looking forward to cycling! Not only because I can stop at any given moment, but also because I want to exercise, feel, smell... And of course I still can sing loudly on a bicycle and other things I can do in a car (except for yawning without covering my mouth.

But hang tight for a while, At the moment, I'm recovering from 'Midsommar' in Sweden. I was invited by Anders and Sofia for for a traditional Midsummer festival.

The Swedish Anders and Sofia quit their jobs, sold their house last year and are on a cycling trip around the world. At the moment they're on 'vacation' in Sweden. When they learned of my plans, they invited me for to celebrate Midsommar with them.
We staid for two nights at Hanna, Sofia's sister.

To prepare me for the festival, they showed me a video called Swedish Midsummer for Dummies (recommended!).
At first I thought the video made a mockery of the festival, but it was no joke: it went exactly as on the video! The wonderful weather, a drop of rain, the frog dance, the strawberries, the flowers in their hair included...

We celebrated the festival in the garden of a wonderful house at a lake in Ästeras (near Borås). We were with around 20 people. For the climax of the festival, we went to the village where a pole decorated with flowers was reared up under the guidance of singing and dancing.

The rest the festival consisted of drinking and eating. The most important word of the day was 'Skol!' (cheers). We played a Swedish quiz and where split in couples. To my surprise Johanna and I won the first prize. Honestly, my contribution was limited to the one answer to a question Johanna did not know the answer to: What was the third largest lake of Sweden? Luckily I was going over and in-to the map of Sweden these last couple of months and knew the answer was Mälaren.

I really enjoyed the Swedish festivities and it was great to leave the car for a day.

By now i'm almost in Stiklestad. Heidi arranged a place to leave my car and a night in the pilgrims guesthouse. Monday morning I have a meeting with her and then the party can begin in earnest!!

The route I have driven so far:
- 17th June: Leaving home Monday evening and sleep over at Lidia, my sister in Hattem
- 18th June: Hattem - Lübeck (D). A night on a camping in Lübeck
- 19th June: Lübeck - Rødvig (DK). Sleeping at my friends Hanne en Jørn
- 20th June: Rødvig - Borås (S). Sleeping at Hanna with Sofia en Anders
- 21th June: Midsummer festival in Ӓspered
- 22th June: Borås - Elverum (N). A nicht on a camping

 Click on the pictures to enlarge:

camping Lubeck Flint Oven in Rødvig Rødvig anderssofiagea johannagea camping Elverum