I am sitting at my own desk. In my own office. In my own house. Meanwhile, my soul still wanders somewhere between Norway and the Netherlands, it always comes a little later. My body was moving way too fast: I was home within 24 hours. I'm back, but actually I still have to land. Everything feels new, uncomfortable, different. A friend called it remigration. Fortunately, Remy is still Remy. Remygration is actually a better word.
About the title: Veni Vidi Fietsie / Veni vidi vici… I came, I saw, I conquered. Famous words of Julius Ceasar after a victory in 47 BC. Apart from the fact it alliterates nicely, the last word ‘vici’ sounds like the Dutch word ‘fietsie’ (spoken as ‘feet-see’) which is slang for small bicycle.
I had an incredibly fantastic time in Sweden and Norway. No bad things happened. No bicycle troubles, no accidents and I didn't get sick. It was a success in business terms as well.
I have met special and nice people. Old acquaintances, but also new people who inspired me or helped me realize the routes.
I’ve cycled two new routes and 'updated' one route from last year.
for those who are interested: see at the bottom of this newsletter, under New routes
And now I'm off to work! Writing new guides, giving presentations… but there are also some very different digital jobs in the queue. Meanwhile, I got the clarinet and bass clarinet out of the cases again and have already been swimming with my neighbour-dog Bo again.
It will be a busy year, but I am incredibly looking forward to it!
(Picture: on the left is me and on the right is Bo).
And Remy's surprise? He completely changed the lighting in the house and did some network adjustments. I was very happy with it!
To everyone who helped me in Sweden and Norway over the past few months, in any way: thank you very much / Tusen takk / Tack så mycket! Thanks for the help, inspiration, hospitality and the good time we spend together.
In chronological order:
Marica Hamberg, Putte Eby, Lisa Skjellfjord, Janne Sollie, Lars Sollie, Mattias Jansson, Hens Enger, Ingeborg Collin, Joar en Magni, Halldis Prestegård, Einar Vegge, Janke Meijer en Tom Borgersen, Renée Dekker, Tone Stræte, Åse-Wivi Norderhaug, Øyvind Wold, Anna Runesson, Anne-Sissel Bergum, Trond Otto en Thorhild Dahl, Louis en Pieter-Jan, Henrik Duus
And also, I would like to thank the test cyclists of three routes. Your help (and cooperation!) is greatly appreciated!
For the route On the way to St. Olav and the St. Olavsleden: Eric Ruissen, Ton Klaassen, Eveline Delnooz
For the Kristians route: Bart Klingele, Johan Blok, Ingrid van Eetveld en Greet Mols, Otje Bollen, Wouter Dehaene, Claudia en Bert Groot, Peter Damen, Yvonne van Zoest en Paul Berkers, Marc en Robin Waterman, Gert Kamphuis
Very special this year was the help of test cyclists in realizing the Kristians route. Normally, a route is not tested until it is more or less ready (as was the case with the other routes), but the route was not ready yet. I don't remember exactly how it started, but when I announced my plans on Facebook, there turned out to be people who were interested and wanted to cycle the route in advance, and since I felt that we don't all need to reinvent the same wheel, I shared the proposed route in exchange for feedback. After the 25th test cyclists signed up, I just put a stop to it, because, although it's incredibly rewarding, it also takes up a lot of my time.
Not all 25 ended up cycling the route or, and I was less happy about this, provided feedback. But for those who did, I really enjoyed getting comments and tips from you. That was very valuable and made me feel that I had not made the route all by myself.
The last test cyclist, Gert, was the only one who cycled the route largely after me and was able to test the route while it was 'finished'.
Remy and I initially wanted to spend six to eight weeks this winter cycling somewhere where it is summer at the time. We hesitated between Cuba and New Zealand. But... due to lack of time (yep), we are postponing this trip. We do go away this winter and do it a little differently than usual. We will go to the Canary Islands for three weeks, which one we don't know yet, and will rent bicycles and go hiking there. I don't yet know if I will send newsletters then....
Route 1 (blue), On the way to St. Olav, from Oslo in Norway to Selånger in Sweden
I cycled this route all the way last year, but I was not satisfied with the Norwegian part. I had the opportunity this summer to finish that part to my satisfaction now. The (Dutch) guide to this is expected at the end of 2023
Route 2 (yellow), St Olvasleden, from Selånger in Sweden to Trondheim in Norway
A cycle route of this (hiking) pilgrimage route has already been made and is also fully signposted in Sweden. The Norwegian part, however, is not yet completely finished. This is being worked on in Norway in the coming months, and my findings from last summer will be included in this. Next year, I will still cycle 'the result'. After that, a guidebook will be published of this too.
Route 3 (red), Kristians route, from Kristiansand to Oslo
Last of all, I cycled this route, but it will be the first to appear in guidebook form (Dutch). Probably won't succeed before the summer of 2023
Pictures of the last days in Norway
Click on the pictures to enlarge and to read the description.
Between Tønsberg and Horten:
By train back to Kristiansand. I had a compartment to myself for almost the entire journey.
Kristiansand. My car was 20 kilometres away, but I felt like staying here for a while. I had tried to book the ferry earlier, but had not succeeded. However, it was no punishment to spend an extra day (two nights) wild camping at 'Paradisbukta'. When I saw the weather forecast, I had some doubts....
The final kilometres back to the car. My last night was at a fjord near Høvåg. This is known for having the warmest water temperature in all of Norway. This summer it was even 26 °C for a while. Now it was 16 degrees, but lovely to take a dip on the last morning
With the ferry from Kristiansand to Eemshaven.