Thoughts:

As I have written in my blog post, I am preparing for going by bicycle to COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt this year. You may have read my site BikingForFuture about my trip to COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK. If not, there is still time to do so. It was not the easiest for me – an untrained 71-y-o woman, to go by bicycle (even it is an e-bike) the around 2,500 km, but I learned a lot. The best thing, I learned, was, that I could make it – I reached my goal, but I also learned about my limits – both physically and mentally as well as the limits of an e-bike battery.

My first reaction, when I heard, that COP27 will be in Egypt, was a big disappointment, because of the situation in the Middle East and in Egypt as well. I really don’t understand, why they were choosing just Egypt of all the African countries. Maybe the government bribed.

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Planning:

There is a ferry from Spain to Morocco and from France and Italy to Tunisia. Though it would be much easier to go there by bike. On the contrary, to use one of those ferries and then go further to Egypt isn’t an option, because Libya, one of the most unsafe countries in the world, is in between. In addition to that one cannot enter Algeria from Morocco and Mali is closed. One should have to go way South before being able to enter Sudan and from there to Egypt. However it isn’t possible for me to go so far.

Last year my tour was totally unsupported – not counting an amount I have got of a girlfriend of mine, which I appreciated very much. I didn’t find any company or organization, which was willing to sponsor me. This time, it seems I am more lucky. I have got an amount of $400 of the World Explorer Grant for expenses. I paid the Airbnb room in Sharm el-Sheikh with it. It was a really good help, because for two weeks – the time, when the COP27 will be held, I cannot expect, that someone would host me. I wouldn’t have conscience for it either. The other sponsor is the German company VAUDE, which sells environmentally friendly and fair outdoor products. The first time I heard about VAUDE was on twitter by @meg_gyver and I am so grateful to her. Since then I have bought some products of the company, e.g. Aqua Back rear panniers. They are made of PVC-free tarpaulin material and 100% water tight. I was very happy with this products during my “BikingForFuture”-trip to COP26 in Glasgow, UK. Therefore I have got the idea to ask the company for sponsoring and it was very easy, because I only had to fill in a form on their homepage. Meanwhile I have got an extra battery and an extra charger for my e-bicycle and a GoPro camera as well as clothes, shoes and a handlebar bag. The marketing people of VAUDE has also taken contact with someone to record my trip, but actually they were not successful. It was a nice try, which I appreciate very much.

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I had planned to go as much as possible by land, which meant, that I first would go North, crossing the land-border to Finland at Haparanda/Tornio. From there I would have continued South. There are two options: The EuroVelo 10 (close to the Baltic Sea) or the EuroVelo 11 (throughout the Lake district). From the capital of Finland, Helsinki, I would have visited St. Petersburg, Russia and from there went to Tallinn, Estonia. Unfortunately, Putin made war in Ukraine and Russia is no longer an option for me.

Instead I planned a new route, even this time using as many EuroVelo routes as possible, e.g. EV5 + EV15 along the river Rhen and EV6 along the river Danube. Those will be easy earned km. I bought a new app, called Komoot, for planing my route. First I had difficulties to define my route and save it online. After my smartphone crashed several times, I found out, how I could manage it. Anyway, I spend hours and hours with that app.

Here is the result (I used the OruxMapsGP app to show it properly):

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I have some concerns about my trip, exactly about if the ferry isn’t going from Iskenderun, Turkey to Port Said, Egypt. Maybe I have to ride my bicycle throughout the Middle East. As my contact in Syria told me, it is quite safe now. In the Facebook group “Bicycle travelers” a cyclist had written about his trip crossing Syria and mentioned, that he didn’t have any problems with it. Nonetheless I would be happy, if there would be a ferry between the South of Greece and the North of Egypt.

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Training:

Last year I had no time for training, but this year, I started after the winter. First I made a mix of a few hours or entire days, in May I made a trip to Mora, Sweden. I needed 4 days to Mora and I was staying there for three as well as I did need 4 days home again. I made it. All together were around 700 km. You can read more on my blog post “Mora next”. Anyway the trip to Egypt will be more challenging.

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1st July 2022! – 86 km

I am on the road again! I have had butterflies in my belly for the last few days and also this morning. I took a video outside the house I live, talking just about that feeling. Unfortunately, people were going behind my back and became part of the video why I thought, I will not use it. Just before I was ready to take the video, the garbage collectors came. I had to move my bicycle, though they could come close and one of the garbage collector asked me about my trip and added “that should be in the papers” and I was happy, that I could tell him, it is.

I really tried to get time for demonstrating in front of the Town Hall in Katrineholm before leaving, but it was only five minutes. Time did run away. I had to pick up a parcel and was interested in to buy a solar panel for charging my batteries as well as I was going to exchange my two power-banks, which did not work properly anymore, even they were not a year old. Though it was on warranty. I was a little concerned about, how to go into the electronic shop and leave my bicycle with the panniers etc outside without getting anything stolen, when the solution came walking. Members of the green party were on the way to wave good bye to me and offered to care about my bicycle meanwhile I was in the shop.

Soon afterwards we were in our town-park. Some people did show up as well as the guy we had ask to take photos of the event and the journalist from the local paper, who also took photos and by the way, everyone, who did wave me of. When I checked my clock it was two minutes past twelve and I had to go. I started in brilliant sun light even the weather forecast had announced rain.

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5 minutes of demonstration in front of the Town hall

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The first part of my ride was well-known for me, but later I had to trust Komoot. I had started to use the navigation off line and the result was not great. Komoot sent me back, when the app thought, I was on the wrong road, but I was not. I did not have any charged power-bank, though I was careful with my smartphone and checked, which towns and villages I had to come through. I did not use my phone more than really necessary. I was already low of battery. Cycling on the highway, which luckily had the extra track for slow vehicles, I felt save and could cycle a little quicker. The best things ends soon and I had to turn away from this road, but that was amazing, because I now came closer to nature again. I love it. By the way, just before I had to turn I saw a gas station and there were also a shop and a restaurant. There were table and benches outside the restaurant. It was great, because I had not eaten during the day, but breakfast. Actually, I was not really hungry, but needed a rest. Though I bought an ice-cream for 20 SEK and took a seat, my bicycle very close to me, I also was allowed to use the toilet for free – there was a sign, that toilets are only for customers, someone else has to pay 10 SEK. In addition to that I was allowed to charge my phone for free as well.

Later on the minor roads nature was not only amazing, but also changing a lot. I have got the full picture, when a deer was crossing the road a couple of meters in front of me. I made videos and hope, I can soon upload them on YouTube. By the way, meanwhile my GoPro camera reacted correct on my first command, it later did not care about them at all. I was talking with high voice, but without success.

My phone run nearly out of battery again, which gave me a detour of around 3km. I am staying at a warmshowers host, who had told me in advance, that the last five km to his home are gravel road. Though I expected to push my bike. Luckily it was only unpaved road, even it had a lot of pot holes. The traffic was very low and I could ride my bike in the middle of the road most of the time. I was expecting just one, his house at his place, because of the road condition and his introduction, in real it was a whole little village and the interesting thing is, there only live relatives to him. Another unexpected story was the one I was told about the house, which is not typical for the village. All the others are wooden and Falu red colored, meanwhile his has clinker.

Close to his home I did change track, because on mine was a very little “chicken” walking. Surprisingly had the chicken grey dots. Later that evening a seagull was calling for her chicken for a very long time and Arnaud, my host, told me, that a few days ago, she missed one, which was hit by a car.

Arnaud family’s home has a nice garden with wild and other flowers. Arnaud also has a lovely dog. He is a mix of Border Collie and another race, but looks so intelligent and also like to get in touch with people the mild way. He also eats strawberries! I was served a vegetarian meal and the salad of it was very nice decorated. Should I name, that Arnaud is French and came to Sweden for his love?

Around ten o’clock Arnaud was going to bed and had allowed me to use his study. Anyway, I tried to upload my videos, sitting in the living room. The new day had already began when I moved to the study for writing my blog and now, I am just tired, but also happy about such a wonderful day. Good night!

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2nd July 2022 – 86 km

Today was windy and it increased in the afternoon. 1/3 of the time I had headwind, the other time it came sideway. Though I was tired when I finally arrived in Söderköping, but from the beginning.

Arnaud served breakfast as well. I was not allowed to make the dishes. As usual I took off the bed-linen. When I gave it to him, he answered “perfect” :-). He was working in the garden, meanwhile I packed my panniers and bags. It always takes a while, even I had not unpacked everything. Soon I was ready and had to take that unpaved road again. This time I made a video, unfortunately you have to wait a while, before I can upload it like the others, I have taken yesterday. I still have not figured out, where I can empty the folder with deleted items. I have done it once, but cannot find it again and I tried really hard.

After around 5 km the road was tarmac road. I was going to Nyköping (where I should have stayed over night, if I have had a host there). Komoot dit tell me, I have to go via a village, I already had been on the way to Arnaud, but the sign for Nyköping showed another direction. I followed the sign and saved some kilometers. I never have been in Nyköping before, though I did go to the center of the town and there, I pushed my bicycle to see the different buildings and more. It is a mix of new and old. The nice thing are all the benches and chairs in the pedestrian zone. There were also some tables.. Perfect for my lunch, which still were left overs from home. I continued further and came to an area with mostly older houses. I love them.

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Lunch in Nyköping

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By the way, I have problems with the gears of my bicycle and I am very surprised about it, because I had it for service just before I was leaving Katrineholm. I think, I should let the bike-shop know it, that I have not to pay for another service. The problem is, that the gears do not change, when I turn that “button”. It takes a while before it is done and always with a very noise. Actually the gears 4 to 7 works fine, but just the 3 and 2 have that problem and they really have to change, when I want, not when they are ready for it. On a hill, I had to push my bike, because of this problem and it is harder to push but bike. Yesterday, the roads were more flat, therefore I did not have that problem.

Between Nyköping and Söderköping I had to use a ferry and that was really nice to do, by the chats I have had with people. Why waiting for the ferry I talked with elderly people in their 80s. The woman also send me 200 SEK by Swish (a Swedish way to send money by using phone numbers). On the ferry, which was for free, I had a chat with a German couple on their motorbikes. We started to chat, because their was no file or area for bicycles, though I was going with mine to the area of MC, telling the biker behind me, that I also have an engine. They were also very kind and let me go off the ferry in front of them.

Arriving in Söderköping I was looking for a place to sleep. I hoped to find a room, which usually are quite cheap. I did not see any signs about rooms. After a while, cycling in the direction of the city center I have seen signs for camping and a hostel. First I thought, the camping also was running the hostel, but they told me, I have to continue a little bit on the same street. Though I did and find one, called “Mangelgården”. There was a phone number to call, when there was no employee or owner at the hostel. I did and could rent the last room there was. It was a single room. In Sweden unfortunately there are no dorms in hostels. This room was for 800 SEK and I remember, it was cheaper to rent a single room in hotels with **** in Gemany, but that was some years ago and the prices may have increased there as well. I also find out online, that there were no cheaper hostel or hotel in town. Söderköping has been a spa and still have its health well. In addition to that, it is high season. The room is nice, even very small and the kitchen with dining tables and the living room are nice. There is WI-fi for free as well. Later the owners came and left some food for the breakfast next morning. They talked with me and also put my bike in a shed. They also told me, that I could take a sandwich with me the upcoming morning, because of my mission.

I decided to see the town on my way further the upcoming day. I will go to a place near Gamleby, where I will have a host again.

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Mangelgården

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3rd July 2022 – 93 km

Where should I start? After breakfast, which was really good, because we guests could choose of a lot of different kinds of bread, yogurt, cheese, also two kinds of egg (boiled and fried) and much more. All guests were satisfied after breakfast. I told the helper, that I have not had the opportunity to pay for the room and he told me to pay by Swish, but I would pay by my Maltese card and that does not have Swish, therefore he had to go for a card machine. I asked him also for the way to the Spa. He did only answer, in which direction I can find it. When I came back, he told me more about it, but that was too late for me, because I had to go further.

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Söderköping Brunn

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I was a little late when I left the key to the tiny room I have had. By the way, the showers were very small indeed. There was not space for a bench or even a little stool. Fortunately there were two hooks outside the shower curtain, one on each side. Leaving the town my route was not going throughout the city center, though I missed it. Unfortunately I did not have time to take that detour. Anyway, it is not too far from my hometown, though I can go there another time.

The sun was shining and I was dressed in a long sleeve t-shirt and long pants for not getting burned by the sun. My knees already had a similar color as my bicycle. The afternoon was cloudy, but it did not rain. During this day’s ride I ate the rest of my lunch pack, but nuts and raisins.

I was coming throughout the town of Västervik and took a sightseeing tour in the city – by my bike, of course. The photos I took close to the place, where I have had my rest for lunch.

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I had contact with my host during the afternoon and he had offered to meet me around 3 km from their summer house, because it was not easily to find. I expected to meet him at 6pm, but I was 30 min late. I needed to charge my smartphone and even I have power banks with me, which I charge by my solar pad, I had to stay at a place (in nature) to charge the phone. The bag for the phone is not designed for charging the phone while riding my bicycle. We met at the Lofta cafè in Lofta, Gamleby. The cafè had closed at 6pm, but the owner was still there, talking with my host Andreas. – I had to change my bike battery one more time after I had met Andreas. I had changed my batteries during the day, when I still had 16% left.

The road was unpaved and with gravel part of it, but that is the countryside of Sweden. I was very welcomed at Rosenberg by his wife as well and also a girlfriend of the couple. We were invited for dinner and afterwords a lemon liquor. For the night I had an own little hut. There was a double bed and a bunk bed in the only room of that hut. Later I was told, that the couple had 12 beds in all at their summer house. When the have more guests, they need to have a tent with them.

We had a very nice evening together, by talking about my trip and more similar subjects and could sit outside all the time.

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4th July 2022 – 102 km

After an outside shower I had breakfast, which I could choose myself. Soon I was leaving, because I knew I had a long ride this day. Even I had adjusted my route, I couldn’t get it down under 96 km. In real, as you see, it became more.

I arrived in Oskarshamn around 8pm and was looking for a place to stay. I hadn’t found any host, even I have been writing to members of the Association for Nature Conservation (Andreas – my host from the day before, by the way, is one of it’s members), the green party and the church, but none was offering me a bed. I had tried with a hostel before, but all their beds were occupied. There was a sign for accommodation, which I followed and it was going to the “Sjöfartshotellet”. There were a lot of stairs into the hotel and I was still thinking if I should look for an entrance for disabled people, when the receptionist came out and asked me, if I wanted to rent a room. I asked for the price and the answer was 1,200 SEK for one night for a single person. I asked her, if she know a cheaper place and she told me, she will take a look, if there is. I do not know, if she was surfing on the Internet or if she called other hotels, anyway, she soon was with me again and told me. There are not. Though I asked her, if their maybe is a hotel or hostel outside Oskarshamn with cheaper prices, but after she had been away again, she told me, she could not find any. Therefore I asked her, if she could sponsor me and give me the room for 600 SEK, but she told me, we cannot do that. I was thinking, there will not be a lot of people asking for the room so late, though she had got an income for the room instead for no income at all.

I told her, I am not interested in renting a room for one night for that high price and was going further. She called after me, asking were I will go. I answered, I will find something. I had read on Facebook, that it is possible to stay overnight at the fire fighters, but I was not sure, if that also apply to Sweden. Anyway, I had a try. The fire brigade had its place outside town, but not really far away. I was pushing my bicycle now, because I was so tired and also it was easier to follow Google maps instructions by walking.

Well there, I took all my courage together and pushed the button. A friendly, good looking man, who must have been close to retirement, opened and I asked him, if I was allowed to stay there overnight and also told him, that I have read, that it should be possible. He told me kindly, that it is not possible. They also have new restrictions, which does not allow them, to let in strangers anymore. Though I asked him, if I am allowed to be on the bench outside during the night and he answered me, it is OK. He added, that there may be an opportunity, he had to check. When he came back, he told me, that there actually was not, but he continued trying to find an option for me and did not ask me, why I do not stay at a hotel. Unfortunately, he did not find a solution until I asked him, if he could charge my bicycle batteries, though I can go further the upcoming day. He promised, wondering how to and then told me, he will find a bed for me anyway. I think, he felt sorry for me and also understood, that I really would spend the night outside on the bench, if he does not help me. – The place he finally found for me I had to leave at 6:30am at the least. He also gave me his office phone number in case I will leave earlier than 6:30am. I had all I needed at the place I was. A clean room with a bed and a toilet-room with a shower as well.

You may wonder, why I did that. There were two reasons. I actually cannot afford high priced hotel rooms. I have saved money for this trip, but it is not enough for staying at those hotels. As a retired person, it is not easy to save a lot of money. I also think, people should be a little generous, because of the aim of my trip, The other reason is, just to prove, if it was possible to stay at the fire fighters. To sleep on a bench outside was also a new challenge and I never would try that during cold nights and, more important, I would never have tried if it wouldn’t have been on such a safe place. In addition to that, I was too tired for going back to the hotel. I know, I am crazy, but it is now I can do all the things I have never done before. I do not know, how many years I have left for trying out different things and accept challenges.

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5th July 2022 – 91 km

Mainly this was an easy day, but raining off and on. First I put on my rain clothes, but it was only raining a few drops. Though I took off the rain clothes again – and got wet a while later. Fortunately I still had my rain jacket on and as I could feel, my pants were drying very fast. However at a junction, when I was looking for the sign for “Cykelspåret” my bicycle did fall over, but very slowly. By its weight with the panniers and more, I am not able to hold it, once it started to fall over. It did not happen anything to the bicycle and I was able to straighten it up without help. Meanwhile I was doing that an elderly man was coming from his garden with the help of his walker and offered to help me. I was both surprised and felt warm at heart by his intention to help me. We also had a little chat, before I was going further and found that sign I had been looking for at the next junction. Even at other places the signs for this route were difficult to find or understand, though I had to ask several times for the direction.

During the afternoon I got tired and was longing for a coffee, but beside the route respectively the minor roads were no cafe or coffee shop. I was half an hour late at my host Silvia Casanova – an Italian girl, living in Germany for most of her life and now at the end of her studies in Sweden, maybe going further to Finland for other studies. I had contact with Silvia in Kalmar during the afternoon and could tell her in advance, that I may be late. She answered, she is flexible.

Silvia welcomed as I am used from Italians – it is always a warm welcome! She is moving soon, but performed magic and served a nice dinner. She also offered red wine – one of the best kind. I told her, that I love to have a glass, but only one. I usually do not drink more than one glass of wine or beer at one time and also prefer to have it with a meal. I have got, what I asked for ;-). By the way, she also offered a special Italian cake with chocolate and walnuts (Torta di Nocci?), which was delicious.

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The Glass of Wine – it was Filled Like a Usual Wine Glass from the Beginning. Anyway I had to Leave a Rest

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6th July 2022 – 86 km

After a good nights sIeep – I have not slept an entire night through for many years, even this night I was sleeping with a thin mattress on the floor, I was on my way to Karlskrona, where I had rented a room for one night at the hostel Drottninggatans vandrarhem. The check-in time was 4 to 6pm.

When I left Silvia’s home, I thought my GoPro camera was broken. I had changed the battery and it did not work. I thought I may try in the evening with another battery – and, I can tell you already now, that I had taken an uncharged battery. I was happy, that it was no other reason.

I checked in at the hostel around 5pm asking myself and soon the receptionist for a save place for my bike. My idea was again about an entrance for people in wheelchairs or with walkers. There was none, but the receptionist offered me to carry my bike into the hostel. So we did and got help of a male guests, when he got aware of us. The receptionist just moved a chair in the hall and found a very good place for my bicycle. She also told me, that retired people can eat breakfast at the city-hotel (First Hotel Statt) for 55 SEK only and that it therefore should be no need to have breakfast in the kitchen of the hostel. I agreed. By the way, in front of the hostel there were an advertising for their rooms, stated that a room for one is available from 400 SEK. I had paid 590 for a night, though I asked the receptionist if I had paid for a room for two, because there were two beds in the room, but she told me, I have got the price for single use, but the 400 SEK is during the low season. I think, they should not have that sign outside during high season.

I did not have any dinner with me, though, by being so early, I was going to visit Karlskrona and looking for a dinner. I did not feel for eating pizza, but the places were pizza places or expensive restaurant, when I saw Sandy’s Diner. It remembered me on the Diner I have been in the State of Nevada 2016 and I was curios about to try it. It looked a little like the Diner in Nevada, but not much. Anyway they had falafel on the menu, therefore I stayed and ordered a falafel plate. I could only eat half of it as well as the Tzatziki sauce was very spicy and I had to leave a part for that. I have never before been served such a hot Tzatziki sauce.

Afterwards I was walking down Ronneby Street to the seaside, nearly buying an ice-cream in bulk. Fortunately the shop just closed for the day. On my way back I met Karl XI, the founder of Karlskrona ;-).

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7th July 2022 – 72 km

Even in Karlshamn I did not find a host. The only couchsurfing host was not at home and there was neither a warmshowers or trustroots nor a BeWelcome host. I had written to the the Association of Nature Conservation, the green party and the church again. Nobody had even answered. About it later more.

This day it was raining a lot even there were dry hours. When I arrived in Ronneby, it had just stopped raining and I was frozen. I was looking for a cafè and found a perfect one with a yard – with tables and chairs. There was a sign about there opening hours, but I did not really understand, how it was meant. Though I pushed my bicycle into the yard. I was not sure, how to get service, but saw a baker and asked him. He told me, that I have to enter the cafe from the street. So I did. There were three people before me, buying some delicious sweet bread. It was a nice atmosphere inside the shop. When it was my turn, I asked for a cup of coffee and one of those delicious sweet breads. He told me, that they are closing down for the day, but also, that it will take a while for him, to manage all the necessary things. Though I was allowed to sit in the yard. A little later he even came with more coffee – for free. In Sweden we call it “påtår”. Already, when in the shop, he sent some bread buns with me for free. Before I left, he also sent some sweet buns with me. Now I had a problem. I did not know, how to carry on my bike. There was not space in my panniers or bags and I did not find my re-usable bag. At the end, I have got a re-usable bag of them as well, because they told me early, that they do not have plastic bags. Finally I was allowed to use the customer toilet before leaving.

For the bread I have got I had to take rests, when it was raining. I used my rain cape as a cover for the bread. That happened twice. The other time I was pushing my bike, for not loosing to much time.

Arriving in Karlshamn, just in time for the gospel-night as I had read first, I did not see any people going into the church and I know, it was the right one. I checked it several times. I thought, I may be a little late anyway and was waiting outside, even I read it was a service ongoing, not a gospel-night. The reason was, that I might find a host, when the people are leaving the church. I waited for nearly one and a half hour, but nobody left the church. I was not sure either, that someone will be inside. My phone battery was very low now and I did not have any charged power bank – they were all finished. Though I tried with the closest restaurant. It was a kebab place, but he was closing down. Luckily, he named two places, which were open until 10pm. I was going to the one in the same street. It was a pizzeria. I ordered a pizza, because I was very hungry now and asked for charging my phone, which they did. I told them, that I need the phone for finding a bed for the night and got the answer, that there are plenty of hotels in Karlshamn.

I had checked my emails many times during the day, but had not get any answer on my requests. Unfortunately, I did not see the answer I got around 8pm, offering me to stay over at a private place. When I was leaving the pizza place, I was looking for a bed on booking.com and found an affordable one. It was in the city center, not far away from the pizzeria. Instead for booking by the webb-side I was going there, ringing the bell and asking, if they have a room available. This way I did get the room a little cheaper as by booking.com. The room was really nice and the bathroom even better. The bathroom was on the same floor, but not attached to the room. So far all of the bathrooms at the places I have booked, were that way. The woman, who rented out the room to me was very kind and service-minded. She took my bicycle into the house. The hotel is called City HotelApartment, but it was a single room I rented. The only thing, which I did not like very much, was the two small windows, high up on the wall, which were open and I could not reach to close. Neither did I have the phone number of the receptionist. Anyway I slept well that night.

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8th July 2022 – 67 km

There is a warmshowers host in Yngsjö, but unfortunately the couple is also on tour. It was good, that they answered immediately on my request. Therefore I had time to plan and a place to be during the night. Instead for Yngsjö, I was going to Åhus, because I did find a hostel there. It was quite late, when I finally left the City HotelApartment in Karlshamn, more precisely some minutes past 11am. In the early afternoon I had my lunch at a rest area in Pukavik, not far away from Mörrum. It was a very nice rest area and I ate of the sweet buns, the baker had given to me.

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Rest Area in Pukavik

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It was going very well until this place, but when I continued, there were hills and it was more windy again as well as the sky was grey like it would start raining every moment. I thought I was really good in cycling this day, but I was not better as usual. I also had to stop once for charging my smartphone (by a power-bank). Unfortunately my bag for the smartphone is not big enough for even the power-bank. I can put the power-bank underneath the phone, but the cable does not fit in. Anyway, I was happy about that three quarter of the distance today were cycleways.

I had booked another hostel. It was in Åhus, in Scania. The name of the hostel is Kärraton Vandrarhem och stugor. It was one of the most expensive I have been so far on this trip, but there was no breakfast included and if one need bedlinen, he has to pay extra. Also I had to call for the number of my room and the code for the main door, but then I was told, there is no code. Even the WiFi did not have a code. The key for the room was in the room itself and should be left there. It was really at the countryside and the closest shop was five km away. Unfortunately I did not pass the shop and I was too tired, to ride the 10 km for getting some food. Though I did live on peanuts this evening. We were not allowed to wear shoes in the house, but all the floors had tiles and even there were some rugs, it was not warm enough. The toilets and showers as well as sinks were in the same room – even there were a couple of rooms like that, because there were many bedrooms as well. The toilet rooms reminded me on my time at school. There were two kitchens on the floor, where I had my room, and plenty of tables. They did not look very fresh. It looked more old fashion and I was really surprised about the price for such a place.

Anyway, I have got some sleep and I actually was falling asleep early, even tried to find another hostel in Scania. The last one in Sweden, because the two night afterwards I will be at my daughter’s place. I had already found out, that there is no affordable hostel or hotel in Ystad, where I had planned to stay befre going further to Malmö. I also had checked around, how far it is from other places to Malmö and where it might be a room to rent for one night. There is a warmshowers host in Ystad, but he was not available and there is also a couchsurfing host in Ystad, but she did not answer my request. The room I found was in a hostel, called Svea hotel in Vollsjö. A place I could not remember to have heard about. Unfortunately in the description it was stated, that the hostel does not have WiFi. Therefore I did not book it that night. By searching for a room, I did not have the opportunity either to update my blog.

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9th July 2022 – 70 km

If you think, Scania is all flat you have to read further. First of all, why a maybe behind the 70 km. Google maps really surprised me. The route I chose was for 45 km and that was good, I thought, because it was very windy today and the route also had a couple of very hills. I had booked the hostel, which is called Svea Hotel (I guess, once it was a real hotel). There was a generous time frame for checking in – already from 3pm. I had got a code for the main door and was thinking “oh no, not one more unattended hostel”. Anyway there were no extra pricing for bedlinen, which was good, of course. The hostel also is in the mid of the town – at the market place and a grocery shop is right on the opposite site of the market place. This, I did not know, of course, when I left Åhus.

I left the hostel in Åhus at 11am and there were others like me to check out last minute. We all were in a hurry, for not paying for another night, I guess. The first part of the ride was quite easy even it was windy. It felt like it was going downwards all the time, even I never had tailwind. The other part of my trip today was much worse. The wind increased and there the very hills were coming. Even there were only two of them, but the rest was hilly as well and only at the end there were two downhills, worth talking about. I needed nearly 4 hours for the trip and that is, what I assume is good for the 44 kms the route should be – or maybe 50 (there are always some more kilometers at the end, then first shown). I really cannot imagine, that I made 70 km in four hours in this weather, even not for I had to change my battery and I was thinking I should make the entire tour today with only one battery. It takes more battery when windy and also on the very hills I need more. Usually I trust Google about the kms, but this time I am concerned.

One nice place beside my route today I should name. It is the Castle of Vittskövle and the “Statargården” – a big farm or ranch, even in Vittskövle. It is surprising, that those small places have so much unknown history.

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Leaving that behind, you should know, how lucky I am today. This hostel is not unattended and the couple, who runs the hostel are so very nice. The hostel itself is very nice decorated, has a great kitchen – with a big frying pan like in big restaurants. All is very good organized and anyway it is nearly like coming home or to a very close relative. In the living room are nice looking book shelves with books and board games one can borrow. You should see the bathrooms as well. They are spacey and clean, good looking. The rooms all have names, not numbers and all called after theater plays respectively the books of Fritiof Nilsson “Piraten”. One room is named “Bombi Bitt”, another one “Franskan” and mine “Texas ros”. I cannot remember the names of the rest. On the ground floor are in addition to the kitchen and the living room also other rooms for enjoyment like the billiards room. The guest rooms are on the first floor and I think, the owners live on the second floor. On the first floor is also a big room for big companies. Here it is possible to celebrate big birthday parties, weddings and so on. Thought there are not many rooms for rent. I guess, the owners make their living from another business as well. I really can recommend this hostel – and take some time with you. The museum about Fritiof Nilsson and other interesting places are waiting for you.

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10th July 2022 – 66 km

I left Svea Hotell in Vollsjö just exactly at the last check-out time with a dark grey cloudy sky announcing a thunderstorm outside. I tried to hurry and hoped, the clouds will disperse, but after around 1 km raindrops were falling. Luckily there was a big tree, under which I could stand and dress in my rain clothes. Soon I was on the road again – and it was not raining anymore. Even grey clouds were always in the sky, it did not rain this day.

By starting from Vollsjö instead for Ystad I used Google maps again for orientation. This time it sent me via unpaved roads. Unfortunately I was not sure, but at the end of the unpaved road, that I could have followed the tarmac road instead. It had been a little longer, but would not have taken more time, because I cycle very slowly on unpaved roads. Google maps also sent me on an unpaved cykelway as it seemed to be, but I was turning back by the sign “military area”.

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Sign “Military Area: Dangerous”

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When my batteries had to be charged resp. changed, I found Sandy’s Stenungsbageri i Södra Sandby. I bought a coffee and a snack and was sitting outside, enjoying the sunshine and the warm weather while charging my smartphone. Before I left, I also changed the battery of my bicycle, because I knew, I only had 30 km more to ride.

These 30 km were very easy to ride – all flat and on cycleways. Before I was riding my bike between the outskirts of Lund and Malmö, I did not know at all, that there are cycleways in between and I was a little concerned about this part. I felt really happy now instead. On my way into Malmö, i started my GoPro camera and tog a video. Later, I will upload it on YouTube.

I was so happy, when I arrived at the place, where my daughter Maria lives and more happy, when we met again. It is not very often we meet in real. Btw, when I was going to Glasgow, I did not feel so happy and positive as this time. I am sure, this entire trip will be good.

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11th July 2022 – 0 km

I had a day off, got vaccinated against rabies (1 dose of 3, because I am 50+) and got vaccines against Tyfoid + Kolera with me. The have to be stored chilly – a real challenge on a bicycle trip during the summer months.

My daughter did wash my clothes meanwhile I used her WiFi.

The rest of the day we spent together and enjoyed it.

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12th July 2022 – 96 km

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My Ticket for Crossing the Bridge over the Sound

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My morning (after the good-bye from my daughter) started with a train ride. I was just in time for a train and there were so many people already waiting. Among them a small group with three bicycles. I asked them in Swedish, if it was the right place to wait for the car for bicycles. They didn’t understand Swedish and asked me to speak English or German. Though I did talk German with them, but some of them didn’t even understand German. They didn’t know anything about the cars of the Öresundståg and I could add to their knowledge, which was, of course, good for them. Before the train arrived, we also had the opportunity to ask, who will leave the train first. It was me, because I was only going to the first train station in Denmark (Kastrup airport), but their goal was the Central station of Copenhagen. When the train was coming in, one of the first cars was a car for bicycles, but I also have seen, that it was a long train, a train with almost six cars – maybe more. Though I expected another car for bicycles. I told this the group of people with the bicycles and we were waiting for that car. I was right and that car was stopping close to us. I let this little group into that car before me. As usual were many people sitting on the extra seats in the area for the bicycles. They can be used, if no bicycle needs the space. The people sitting there didn’t raise for our bikes, though I had to tell them. Now some did and we could put our bicycles there, but we had all panniers on our bikes, though it was a little difficult to get space for them. People are so selfish, especially on trains.

At the train station I told the other passengers, that I was leaving, because there were some in the door way, who want to go further and not leave. Anyway, a man from behind me had a hurry. Though I had to tell him to be careful with my pannier. He made it out before me and now I had to try to back out my bicycle. That isn’t easy with a loaded bike. Fortunately a woman did give me a hand.

Arriving on the ground floor of the airport it took a little while for me to find the big exit door. That was not a problem, it just hooks a little time. The problem arose outside, because I neither did get 4G nor even 3G. I had read at my providers homepage that my subscription will be full good in Europe for four months. Though I was very disappointed, that it didn’t. Unfortunately I didn’t have my Denmark map with me.

I had to ask people about the way to Sorø – my destination for the day. First I was asking a mailman. He got a little angry, that I didn’t have anything, showing me the direction, but anyway, he pointed out the direction for me. Close to the point, where I should cross a bridge, I was unsure, where to continue, but got the direction of an other kind cyclist. The challenge was to find the correct path throughout the “grean area” (a nature reserve). I did choose totally wrong. I chose the longest tour. I think all together were almost five kilometers, but at the end I did get it right.

I had to ask later again and the third or forth I asked could give me the correct direction. I had to turn to the left twice. The second time at a corner with a McDonalds. I used McDonalds WiFi network for downloading the Komoot map for the area.

I was going in the direction to Sorö. My plan was, to go all the way there, but I did neither have a host in Sorö nor booked a room. I became tired, when I entered Ringsted, which is around 20/25 East of Sorö. I did not have a host to go to in Sorö, though it did not matter. I was using booking.com for finding a room by on open network, but there were only the Scandic hotel listed with the price for the room about 1,000 SEK. Though I tried to find another opportunity. I was asking people, if they know a hostel in town and I have got a positive answer, but after the description, I did not find it. Though I asked another human being, but he did not know and did not have his mobile phone with him, because he only was out for a run. He told me, I could asked the guests at the nearby restaurant and added, that a lot of locals are going there. Unfortunately in the garden in front of the restaurants, there were no locals, but, when I asked for the third or fourth time, the visitor did help me by using his smartphone. He also gave it to me for talking with the reception. In the hostel was not a single bed free. In B&B.s we were not lucky either. The only chance to get a room for the night was actually the Scandic hotel. By the way, the visitor and his wife were Swedish and not only that. There hometown was Flen, the next city to Katrineholm. It was surprising, of course.

I did not book the room by Booking.com, but directly and I first thought, I have got it cheaper, because I only had to pay 960 Kroner – for the cheapest room they had, but including breakfast. Later in my room I realized, that the amount was in DKK and not in SEK. The room was not bad for being the cheapest one. It had the shower inside. My bike was looked into a room for conferences, but not used as such one just now. There were other things stored as well.

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13th July 2022 – 58 km

I started my day with a good and big breakfast. I never can eat as much as others, but I tried, because I have to pay the same price.

I was cycling via Sorö to Korsör, where I had to take the train crossing the Store Belt bridge. Bicycles are not allowed on the bridge. Unfortunately I did not remember the first train station on the other side of the bridge, therefore I bought a ticket to Odense, my destination for this day. In Korsör the conductor was so kind and helped me into the car with my bicycle. He was a little strange, when he left. Later I saw, that the spiral spring between the frame and the front wheel was not longer on its place on the front wheel. Maybe he was afraid I would claim something for it. Actually, for a guy or a strong woman it is easily to put back. In Odense a lot of cyclists entered the train with their bikes. I had to ask them, to let me out as well as I was asking for help. I girl, who just had carried her bike into the train, did carry mine out, even I had told her, that we could take it out together. When I told her, that she is strong, she answered, that she would not have been able to carry it into the train.

I booked a room in a DANhostel (there were no dorms either) last minute in Odense. I was happy, that it was possible. It was a little cheaper as in hotels and for 500 DKK, but breakfast was not included. The 100 DKK for breakfast came on the top of the price for the room.

After I had put all my belongings into the room, I was walking downtown with the intention to go to a restaurant and eat something. I found, that the prices were very high and bought something to eat at a supermarket instead. When looking for the city center I did ask a woman with a child for the directions. She was very kind and helpful.

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14th July 2022 – 100 km

My route for this day was Odense – Middelfart – Kolding – Haderslev. There is a Warmshowers host in Haderslev, but he was not at home. Also on CS I found a host for Haderslev, but she declined as well. Therefore I also boked a bed, which came with an own rum. This time it was for around 550 DKK, breakfast included.

I had to leave the room in Odense before 10am and I made it just in time – breakfast had been at 8:30.

This day it was raining off and on again, but not very much. I had problems to find my way throughout Christianfels. There were some signs, but not the directions named and one road was only allowed for cars and similar. At the end I found the way, but it had been a waste of time and I had cykled more kms than originally necessary.

Arriving at the hostel I was quite tired. Unfortunately my room was on the second floor and at the end of the corridor.

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Actually I have some technical issues, but I will update my blog as soon as possible.

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