1st July 2021
My router was still blinking red, but it was possible to use WI-fi anyway. My pansies are still alive!
During the day I also read my email and other message. A friend of mine from Berlin wrote, that she maybe will accompany me for a while during my bike tour to Glasgow. Further more I ordered online maps for “Sverigeleden” and bike routes in Denmark. Unfortunately there is no shop here in Katrineholm, where I could buy them. Finally I transferred an amount from my Maltese account to my Swedish account, but because of the “new” smartphone I had to sign up on my account apps from scratch and therefore I also chose a new code.
2nd July 2021
It was time again for the weekly FridaysForFuture demonstration. I was alone this Friday, because my friend Irene was caring about her grandchildren. I baked bread with oat flour and also a cake with blueberry and poppy seeds in the afternoon. I am well again, my router is OK now – though the WI-fi is working good, but I was going to bed early this evening, which means around 10pm.
3rd July 2021
I awoke early, but still felt tired. I ironed my laundry before I was chatting with my son Marcus by Skype. I also have got a message from a couchsurfing host in Leeds, that I am welcome to stay over at his home.
With short notice I have got a pass in our laundry room, but I only washed towels and dried them in the dryer. Finally I was looking for an app for the Eurovelo routes, but did not find any.
4th July 2021
I was working again with my bike route to Glasgow. I actually changed some things, like shorten the distances in the beginning, that means in Sweden and also made a reverse one for England. Later I downloaded the app maps.me including all it’s offline maps. I think, most of it’s bike routes are fantastic. Further more I decided not to use the Sverigeleden – coast line, because it takes too much time and it is not easy to stay over somewhere. For this route it would be better to have a tent, which I do not like at all. Unfortunately I found this out after copying a lot of pages, because I thought, the maps will be too heavy to carry with me.
It was the first time that I could use my laptop together with the fan, I have got of my son Marcus. It was working. The OS was not crashing anymore. I had put my laptop with the fan on the dining table in the living room, though I could have it there for a while and use my desk for my sewing machine, if I will. When I sent a document to my printer, it was not printing and I found out, that it did not, because I tried to print an .odt file instead for a .docx file. I was late to bed this evening again.
5th July 2021
I was tired in the morning, had a late breakfast and was not going to play boules, because I was waiting for a couchsurfer. After correcting some mistakes in the planning of my bike route to Glasgow, I printed them as .pdf. The couchsurfer never arrived and only answered me, that she had not started her trip, when it already was time for her to arrive at my home. I was disappointed about her behavior.
I was also to a Lidl shop this day and bought a papaya as well as I made an appointment for a COVID-19 test, because I have got a cold.
6th July 2021
I was going by bike to the hospital’s COVID-19 test station. On my way, it sounded, like something did come off, but I had not time to stop and look for it. I did not find any explanation for the sound either. I was directly going home after the self-test and it seemed not to be a problem with my bike.
In the evening I took my bike for picking up my vegetables from the “Reko-ring”. Just started on my way back I could not use my break. It seemed, something of it had come loose. By that I decided to try to buy an other bike, because the repair of this one would be too expensive. It’s not just the brake, but more, which has to be repaired or adjusted.
At home I was using the Internet for information about e-bikes. I hope my son Samuel will lend me the amount needed. I found out, that the one I would like to have is of the Swedish make Crescent and named Elora. It is an e-bike with the engine in the middle, which means, where also the pedals are. The good thing with this kind of e-bike is, that this kind is possible to ride quite easily even without battery. The e-bike I have had in Hamburg, was also such one. Unfortunately that had been stolen a few weeks after I had bought it. I have written about that, on my sites about Hamburg. The Elora e-bike has a high price. It costs around 28,000 SEK (2,800 EUR), but some shops may sell it a little cheaper.
7th July 2021
I was looking for used e-bikes on the Internet. I found a couple for 7,000 to 8,000 SEK on the homepage of Bike Recycling Stockholm, but they did not have the engine in the middle and also one did not have a new battery. I continued with my itinerary, but a lot of questions are open, depending on the bike I will have.
My son Samuel sent me a photo by the Internet with himself as well as my son Daniel and my daughter Maria, taken at my son Daniel’s home. The ex-boyfriend of my daughter Maria called me and asked me, if I had spoken with Maria recently, because he had driven her to the hospital last night. He was happy, that I knew, that she was with her brothers.
My test result for COVID-19 arrived. It was negative! I should have been away with my bike, but because of, that something is broken and by the rainy weather, I did not.
8th July 2021
Again, I was surfing on the Internet to find the best and most valuable e-bike. I also was looking on “Blocket” (a site like Ebay Kleinanzeigen in Germany) and found there just such a bike I would like to have and it was for around half the price of a new. I sent a message to the advertiser, asking if the bike is still for sale, about the battery and if he still has the receipt. – I never got an answer. On the site of the make of the bicycle, I would like to buy, I found, that they are sponsoring different people and events. Therefore I sent an email, if they would sponsor me as well. There was a very quick reply and the answer was, that they do not sponsor more this year. The budget was already consumed.
In the afternoon I did write down all the recipes, which my vegetable supplier sent by email each week, when explaining, which vegetables we will get.
Furthermore I wrote to the administration of the TV-station UR-play if they maybe want to film a documentary about my bike tour to COP26 in Glasgow.
9th July 2021
I was striking for the climate / future again – together with Irene. We were among others talking about the hairdressers in Katrineholm. She had told me before, that she was not satisfied with the hairdressers she had been to, but this time she gave credit at another one. She also told me, that she will visit Gotland during the upcoming week for watching the guillemots spectacle, because the young ones cannot fly. Still, they take the leap towards the sea and crash land among sharp cliffs and hungry trout. A life-changing hope, and a strange spectacle in the summer night. She added, that she will be back in time for next Friday’s demonstration.
On my way home I visited the library and did read the newspaper for Katrineholm for the whole past week.
10th July 2021
Maria, my daughter and I had a video chat this day. She had called me. Btw this is a start of a more frequent connecting with my daughter. We are calling each other more often now.
Later this day I was to my dancing club, picking up and paying for biscuits I had bought via the club. I only did do it to sponsor the club. I think, it would have been better to sponsor it directly with the same or a higher amount, but they were asking for just this way to do it. Well there, I also had to sign the protocol from the last annual meeting, because I was one of the two, who were voted for, to do that – with the signing one declares, that the protocol is correct.
In the afternoon I was chatting with me son Marcus by Skype as usual.
This day I also got my answer from the SVT television chanal. They told me, that I had used the wrong email address, that it was not for UR-television. They added a link for the correct site, where I could find the correct email address, though I sent a new email, now to the correct receiver.
11th July 2021
My vegetable supplier had a “day of the open doors” and welcomed their customers and also other interested people to their garden. I was going by bus to a small town called Björkvik. There was a gas station as well as a small shop and people were coming and going by car. Though I asked a woman about the direction. I had it on Google maps, but was not sure, in which direction I should start. She asked another one, which explained for me and also took me to the next junction, telling me, that I had to walk the road all the time until I come to a village called Glindran. There I had to continue to the left. From the junction, where the woman left me, I had to walk almost 10 km to the garden and I hopped, because it was at the countryside, it would be possible to hitchhike. Unfortunately I did not get any hitch. The sun was shining, the temperature was more than 25°C and all roads to walk where paved. Therefore I was a little exhausted, when I arrived and just in time before closing down. I was welcomed with a free glass of elderberry juice. I think, I only got it, because they did understand me wrong. I was asking, how much it was for and they answered: Yes, you have to pay for it, but, because you are one of our subscription customers, you can get it for free. There were still a lot of people and it was time enough for me to sit down and recover. Afterwards I could peacefully walk around in their garden, which was really nice and well maintained and it was obvious, that a lot of job had been done and more was to come.
When I had finished, only a group of four were there, also on their way to leave, but they were coming with one car only (which is good for the environment, of course) and had no space for me. A relative or friend to my supplier told me, when she will go home, she will pick me upp. I was not willing to wait for her all the time, because I hoped I will catch the bus at 4pm. In the beginning a car stopped, with a grandma driving (as it looked like) and her grandson in the other front seat. She told me, that she lives very close and it was no idea to help me that little bit – and she was right. Some kilometers later, a young man stopped his car, asking me, where I want to go, but he had to go to the left nearby and could not help me either. Finally, when I had walked almost 6 km a car stopped and took me in. He was an early retired teacher, he told me and had to drive throughout Björkvik. I was very grateful to him. Unfortunately I did not catch the bus and the next one was four hours later. First I took a rest, but I got bored of waiting and tried to hitchhike to Katrineholm instead. I was lucky, efter around 20 minutes a young man, who was born in Korpilombolo, but lived in Katrineholm since he was four years old, stopped his car and took me all the way home. He first told me, he lives close to the hospital and I told him, that is great. I can leave there and walk the rest. He also explained, that the car he is driving is the car from his work, but that he has to pay 800 SEK (80 EUR) a month only – and the gas as well, for using it during his pleasure time. Well in the outskirts of Katrineholm he told me, that he decided to visit his parents instead for going home directly and they live in my direction. Though I had only a few hundred meters to go home. I was very grateful for his help.
Well at home I was very tired and thirsty. Though I was drinking of my homemade rhubarb juice. In this situation it was the best I could have. It really was delicious. Surprisingly I was not very hungry. Before going to bed I ordered more rhubarb and also eggs from my vegetable supplier.
12th July 2021
I wrote an additional email to my vegetable supplier, because I had seen all the squash flowers in there garden and remembered the squash flower risotto I had got once in Italy of a host and was asking by the email, if it was possible to buy such flowers of them. I continued using the Internet and checked incoming emails, Facebook and also read the news.
In the afternoon I cared about my vegetables, which I had got last Tuesday. I made coleslaw and more. Finally I took my time to fill in an online questionairy of our municipality, how we would like to have Katrineholm in 2050. I wrote, that the municipality first och foremost has to care about the climate and need a CO2-budget as well as a new climate strategy. I also added other things and what I think makes a town good to live in, i.e. that there are enough with benches, that elderly can take walks, that the rent for the apartments has to be low enough, that also people with low incomst can afford them – that not all apartments should get concept renovations, what means: Even it is necessary to change water pipes and electric cables of the house, the furniture in kitchens and bathrooms as well painting the wall in white, often is not necessary. An apartment, well cared for, can have those for very many years. The concept renovations make the apartments unnecessarily expensive and it is not environment friendly. By the way, this older furniture makes an apartment more cozy and not so impersonal like the concept renovated and new ones. If you read this and do not know yet: In Sweden every kitchen in apartments comes with cupboards, kitchen sink, stove etc. Also the bathrooms uses to have the necessary fittings. Some companies give the tenants the opportunity to choose more, like a dish washer or a washing machine. One has to pay for them, of course – the rent becomes a little higher. Anyway this stays much cheaper than the concept renovated apartments. Furthermore I asked for solar panels of all buildings owned by the municipiality and their companies as well, that other landlords, industries and so on should have the same conditions. Last but not least I asked for environment friendly industries in our town and not to destroy very valuable nature, because a company is asking for more space.
13th July 2021
I was walking all the way to the end of our external trade area Lövåsen to look at an e-bike at a warehouse called ”Biltema”. The e-bike was for 21,000 SEK (2.100 EUR) and it had a good battery. Unfortunately it came without a front basket, though I tried to ask one of the employess, if it is possible to fit one, but the answer was no. The tires were not of the kind either, really good e-bikes have. I should have bought other tires and hoses as well and I had to pay for the service to put them on the bike. Though I decided, that those bikes are neither an opportunity for me nor are they cheaper at the end as a Crescent. In addition to that, they are made in USA and I prefer to buy a Swedish made one. Even not all parts are made in Sweden, but they are almost done in Europe it is said.
I was walking back to the town center and then continuing to nearly the other end of our town for a bicycle shop, where I knew, they sell good quality and have good service. I have been there with my old bike already. This bike shop had one Crescent Elora bicycle and it was pink. The price was around 25,995 SEK = 2,600 EUR (this was a good price, other shops sell it for more). I asked, if there will be more coming in, but they told me: No, not this year. Though I asked them to hold it for me, that I can manage the financing. They promised to hold it for a whole week.
At home again I sent a message to my son Samuel – because I did not know, if he was working or if he was occupied with his boys. I asked him, if he can take a credit, which I will pay for monthly.
14th July 2021
Samuel did answer me and his answer was: no. He wrote, that I should try with crowd-funding, sponsoring etc. I was very disappointed, because there were no costs for him. I have problems to get a larger credit, because around one third of my income I get from abroad and the credit companies do not see that income.
First I did try to get a credit of a bank anyway and the Santander bank actually promised me 10.000 SEK (1.000 EUR). Even it only was a part of the amount I needed for the bike. It would have been a start. I also tried more than I have done to find sponsors. I wrote a blog post, hoping it will go viral by twitter. But there was only one retweet. Furthermore I wrote to my local newspaper and they agreed to make news of it, because of the purpose, why I like to buy that e-bike. In addition to that I tried with the app respectively the site ”crowfunding”, but it did not work for me. All the time I was unhappy and ashamed, to take that steps, because in real I will not get money as a present, but as a loan.
In the evening, Samuel was asking me, what I have done for financing the bike.
15th July 2021
I took a morning walk to our city park for meeting the reporter of our local newspaper. His name is Philip and he was only working during the summer month at this newspaper, but hoped for a permanent job afterwards. He recorded our conversation by his smartphone and promised, to write about it.
At home again, I signed digitally the loan from the Santander bank and got the answer, that the amount will be on my bank account in three banking days. Surprisingly some hours later I did get a refusal notice. In the email was written, that they had looked at it again and unfortunately, could not help me. I think, this is not a cool way to act and I will never have a good word for this bank. I will not become their customer another time either. At the same time I was wondering, what they will do with my file, because they have got my bank account number etc. I really have to check that and I did. They will “only” save my information for three months. It can happens a lot during this period.
I wrote some text for the month of Juni 2021 for my blog, but had problems to concentrate. My German girlfriend Erika sent me an email, asking how much money I need for the e-bike. She had read my blog and was trying to help me. I would never have asked her directly and was not expecting the help either. In the evening, Samuel was asking me again, what I had done for financing the bike. I also had a very bad night, nearly not sleeping at all.
16th July 2021
Philip, the reporter of the local newspaper contacted me and told me, that the article will be published the next day – which is a Saturday.
I was the only one demonstrating for future/the climate this day in front of the town hall. Two nice elderly ladies did talk with me, when I had been there for a while. The registrar from the municipality, even she a nice lady, also met me and told me, that only a very few people are working in the town hall for now and that the new chairman of the municipal board will not be there before week 32, which is in August.
In the afternoon I messaged my son Samuel about all I had done so far for financing that e-bike and sent him the Internet-address for my blog. He answered, that I have to call his wife.
Erika sent an email, apologizing that it was not possible to transfer money from hers to my account, because I am not longer living in Germany. She had expected, that I still have a German bank account. I thanked her so much, that she had tried.
I was so tired, that I felt asleep afterwards and I awoke in the middle of the night with a headache and heartburn.
17th July 2021
I finally called my daughter in law, Tharsiny, and we started talking. She told me, that she and Samuel has the same budget. They decide together about all their expenses. Though she put the speaker on and asked Samuel to be with her. This was followed by a questioning about the e-bike. How, if the bike will be stolen; if I will make the trip even if I cannot buy that e-bike etc. All this questioning sounded to me like I would be a teenager and they the parents. Finally they told me, they will call back. It did not take a long while, before Tharsiny called me and she told me, that they had decided to give me the loan – privatly. She asked for my account number as well. Just some minutes later she transferred 30,000 SEK (3,000 EUR) another way to my account (we call it for SWISH and works by our phone numbers, which are connected to our bank accounts). When I asked her, why 30,000 SEK, she told me, she does not like unequal numbers. I did not really understand and do not either now, why they made such a big thing of it, because I was not even asking for their private money. On the other hand, I am very happy, that I was able to buy that e-bike.
I called the bike shop and told them, that I will pick up the bike the upcoming Monday, because they have to charge the battery for 24 hours, before it is ready to use – it is just for the first time charging.
I updated my blog and also sent an email to the reporter Philip, that all was settled.
This afternoon I tried to call my friend Lotta for asking, when I can visit them in their new weekend house. Further more I was to the nearby grocery store, buying fruits and the newspaper.
I tried to sell my old bike by advertising it on Facebook. I found, that many people are using it for selling and buying used items. First I checked, how bad it is, but I could not find any problem. Second I took a photo of the bike. Done that, a neighbor was wondering, if I will sell it and told me then, that I should ask for almost 1,000 SEK (100 EUR) for it. I told him, that the bike is no good make. Finally he agreed, that I should try with 500 SEK. I advertised it with 500 SEK or highest bid. I described it very well. I was so surprised, that soon people were messaging about the bike and they all wished to buy it for the fully 500 SEK, one did offer me 550 SEK. I think, if I had spent the time and only had written. 500 offered, 550 offered … I could have got more, but I did not have conscience for that. It did not stay with the offers either, but it was picked up and paid for very fast. I sent the baskets with the bike for the 550 SEK, because I have to buy panniers anyway and won’t use the baskets anymore. Before I had the possibility to delete my advertisement, I have got another offer – of 250 SEK. I answered him, that I had already sold it for 550 SEK.
When I had calmed down, I started to make my life’s first ”agua de horchata” it is a Spanish / Mexican rice drink, very refreshing. I drank a lot of them, while traveling Mexico. I had planned for a long while to make my own, because it is not possible to get it here. Finally, I started to do so. I did it of a whole kg rice and had to go and buy more cinnamon sticks. Finally prepared the ”aqua de horchata” it was time for me to have dinner. Afterwards I relaxed by reading.
18th July 2021
My ”aqua de horchate” is done! It tastes very similar till those I bought in Mexico. Next time, maybe it will be even closer to the original. I also took care about the rest of my vegetables from last Tuesday.
In addition to that I chatted via Skype with my son Marcus, read articles on the Internet and got a message from my son Samuel, that their fridge has broken. Now I have bad conscience for the e-bike, because I already bought it.
19th July 2021
I was at the bike shop and picked up my new e-bike. I could not make it the day before, because the battery had to be charged for 24 hours and after that, the battery has to be connected with the display etc. I sent a photo of the e-bike to my son. He was concerned, that it was a pink one. I would have liked another color as well, but it was the only e-bike of this kind the shop has had.
I hostet Vahid, a nice guy, originally from Iran, but now working in Stockholm in the IT-sector. He was on a bike trip throughout Sweden and spent a night at my home. He was looking for something, which I thought, if he find it in Katrineholm, he only can find it at the supermarket in Lövåsen, though we were going there by bike. I was so happy about mine. It felt like a new freedom to ride that bike.
20th July 2021
Vahid left around 10am, so did I. My goal was to visit a dear friend Lotta at a place at the very countryside. She had told me, that her husband and she had bought a place with an old home, which still was in the style, when the house was build in 1912. I was very interested in to see this historic documentation. We have had an appointment before, but unfortunately, Lotta was getting sick of the day of that appointment. Finally the visit should be of and I used my e-bike to go there. I had got the directions of Lotta, but thought, it would be easier to follow the app maps.me, because this place, which was not to find on Google maps, I could find on maps.me. In the beginning, it was really good to use maps.me. When I was outside Julita, I was wondering, why maps.me did not tell me to go to the left, but I thought, I missunderstood Lotta and it was furhter down. After a while, I came to a place, which fitted the discription of Lotta and I called her to tell her: I am here. Unfortunately, it was not the correct place and it was not possible to go between these two places without maybe a mountainbike or by walking. Though, I have got a new desription of Lotta’s husband. It still was a kind of shortcut and I was not sure, that I was on the correct way now, therefore I called Lotta again. That unpaved road had steep tracks from a tractor and the tracks were not wide enought for going by bike. I tried, but I fell over with my bike. Fortunately, there was a lot of grass and I did not hurt me.
Lotta was waiting for me a bit outside that building and welcomed me. After I had eaten my packed lunch – and Lotta has had hers during the same time, she showed me around in that house. The walls were covered with wall pappers in really thin papper with nice designs, but the where not all up the wall. On the upper around 40 cm, the walls were painted. In the kitchen was only one cupboard – maybe 100 cm wide and a sink as well as an old stove. One could use the stove for baking bread as well. There were also a table and chairs, but there was a lot of unused space as well. This house had two floors and half of the upper floor was used as an attic. In the other part of that floor were three bedrooms, all with different wallpapers. On the first floor was in additon to the kitchen a living room and another room. All of the rooms had stoves like the tiled ones, but they were not so exclusive. Outside there was a shed and more fare away a washhouse. On the site were also two oldtimers – a Ford Granada and an old Opel, but it was not sure, they will work. Furthermore there were really old agricultural implements left, but all were very rusty. All together were a very interesting picture of the past. Btw during lunch Lotta and I were talking about the e-bike. She also was asking for the price and she answered me, that 26,000 SEK (2,600 EUR) was not a lot of money. She said, that the amount is not a high one and my son could have given it to me as a present. I think otherwise. For me, it is a lot of money and I am happy, to pay for it by myself.
Before I left, Lotta explained the best way home for me and also walked a bit with me to show, where I should go. The way we were leaving, was still on their plot with a newly done dirt road. Therefore I walked my e-bike until I came to the public road. I really enjoyed the ride home and was also taking some photos of the beautiful surroundings – always my e-bike on them as well, to show, that I have been there. I did not have another accident, but my smartphone ran out of battery. While I only used assistance level 1 (the lowest) on my way to Lotta, but when it was very hilly, I did use higher levels on my way home. Anyway, downhills the assistance stopped at 25 km/h (that is the law), but I was able to go in up to 40 km/h. I was happy, to use my helmet – if there would happen something. Around the last third of my way home I was using full assistance, because I thought I was late for picking up my weekly vegetables. It was so easy to ride, I could use 4th and 5th gear all the time.
Finally at the meeting point for my vegetables, I asked an elderly man, what time it is. It was 5:25pm and at that moment I have seen my supplier arriving. We had agreed to meet 5:30pm. I was happy, to be in time.
Back at home I had 35% left of my batteri and had driven around 60 km. I was very pleased about it. The first I did at home was to charge my smartphone and directly afterwards I put the battery of my e-bike on charge. Because the battery is new, I had to charge for 24 hours. I sent a mesage to Lotta, that I was at home and all was well before I took care of my vegetables. When I just had finished to write the reference for my ”warnshowers guest” Vahid, my daughter Maria called me. We talked with each other until I felt asleep.
21st July 2021
I installed the ”koppla” app for my e-bike, because it is a securtiy system – against theft. I had tried at the bike shop already, but there it was not working. Now I could put my information into it. Anyway, the app did not accept the special insurance number, therefore I did contact the insurance company asking about the insurance and they answered me, that the e-bike was registered.
My son and I had agreed, that I will visit them during the weekend 29th and 30th of July and I had planned to go by bike. Therefore I had to start on Friday 28th and was looking for a host around halfway to his place. I found a couchsurfing host in the town of Gnesta and did send a request – for both the 28th and the way back – for the 2nd of August.
I also was planning for my mountain hike, which will be the upcoming weekend and ordered thin woolen socks and a special t-shirt, a kind, that the hike leader recommended. Finally I ordered panniers and a bag for my bike tour to Glasgow. I had been online for hours to find out, which panniers would be best and I decided for VAUDE panniers, because they are both rainproof and made of recycled PET.
22nd July 2021
After breakfast I used my e-bike to go to the city center and the warehouse district Lövåsen. I started with Intersport, bought a rainproof little bag for my camera, extra batteries and the electric cables needed as well as a wax for getting my winter jacket rainproof. When I was standing in the queue for the cashier, I have seen, that I did not have my debet card with me. I hoped for SWISH, but they did not have that. Instead I was offered to pay by Klarna, which luckily worked fine for me. Unfortunately att Biltema, my next stop, there was neither the possibility to pay with SWISH nor by Klarna. Though I continued to another shop, called ÖoB, where I could pay by Klarna. At the ICA supermarket, I knew, that I could use SWISH and did. I should have bought something at a pharmacy in town, but they did neither accept SWISH nor something else – just cash or cards. Though I had to go back there later. Before going home, I visit a shop called Kjell & Company, where I bought two powerbanks and could pay with SWISH as well.
I did take another bike ride for Biltema and the pharmacy this day. All I bought were for lite money. I try to keep as much money as possible for my long bike trip.
I also made another online order – for water purification pills. I had choosen them instead for another system of water purification, because they did not only clean from bacterias, but also virus. Unfortunately I later found out, that was a bad decision, because these pills are for 5 l water each and I could not carry a five liter can with me while hiking, of course as well as the pills are not possible to divide into even parts.
23rd July 2021
Neither Irene nor I was demonstrating in front of the town hall this day, because of the lack of the politicians. Instead I cooked meals for my mountain hike and frooze them. I also took care of the rest of the vegetables for the week. Partly I frooze them as well.
I have got an answer from the couchsurfing host in Gnesta and I was very welcome, but only for the first night, because the other night, she would be at work.
24th July 2021
In the middle of the day I chatted by Skype with my son Marcus as usual. Afterwards I checked the entry regulations for all the countries I will come through on my way to Glasgow. At that time, Germany asked for a quarantine for people coming from the district of Copenhagen. Though I was looking for, how to go to Germany without crossing there and found, that it is possible to go from Göteborg, Sweden to Jylland, Denmark. If the regulation won’t be changed, this will be my option.
In the late evening I also send a request to another couchsurfing host in Gnesta – she never replied and later I have got a message, that she left couchsurfing. Though it seemed, she is one of the people, who wants get all for free, because nowadays there is a yearly fee for using the app.
25th July 2021
Most of the day I was reading, but I also cleaned my e-bike, which was very dusty.
26th July 2021
I answered emails and sent a request to a warmshower host, in a village called Vagnhärad, some kms from Gnesta – there was no closer one (he answered after a few days telling me, they have had so much bikers at home, they will not welcome more this year). Furthermore I was updating my blog for June and also uploaded some photos. I sent a message to Irene, that I will not participate in boules this day. I actually ate macaronis with a cold sauce, which usually is made for salad, but it was tasting really good with the macaronis as well.
27th July 2021
I did not do a lot this day, but got an email interview of the KlimatAktion (ClimateAction), Sweden. They thought, my planned BikingForFuture will be awesome. In the evening, just before I had to pick up my vegetables, I went to a shop close by to pick up a little parcel – the one with the water cleaning pills. Unfortunately I did forget my ID-card – because other transport companies has other systems, there I do not need it. I had to come back another day. Anyway there was no problem with my vegetables, though I was fine.
28th July 2021
I took care about my vegetables and composed a new squash meal. I added onion, mushrooms and halloumi cheese. I seasoned it with special salt, I have got from my vegetable supplier and freshly ground pepper. It tasted good and I was looking forward to eat it the upcoming day. It was a meal for almost two and I thought, I could share it with my host. I also prepared sweet pickled cucumber dices with a bell peppar as well. We call it ”Bostongurka” (gurka = cucumber).
I packed as much as possible for the upcoming day in my panniers – it was not a lot for just a long weekend, but the most of, what I thought I will need. Last but not least I answered that email interview.
29th July 2021
I was awake around 7:30am and used the time to pack the rest of the items needed for my trip, but my medicines and the food I had decided to take with me. After I had eaten breakfast and done all the things, which had to be done, I packed my little cooler bag and put lettuce and tomatoes on top of one of the panniers.
I started to go by assitance level 2 with my e-bike, but when it was really hilly I used assistance level 5, which I did more and more often. In the small town of Flen I had decided to take my lunchbreak. Finally there, I had to go to the bathroom at the central station. I already explained their system before and even I was in a hurry and luckily none in front of me, it took a while until I was back to my bike, which I had locked with the frame to a bicycle rack. Unfortunately I had neither taken my cooler bag nor my panniers with me. Leaving the central station, I have seen, that there were two strangers, a man with a trolly and a woman with a dog, standing beside my bike and looking around. It seemed, they were wondering, if it was possible to take the panniers or things out of the panniers without been seen. In the same moment I saw, that my cooler bag was not there anymore. I told them, that I want my cooler bag back and asked for taking a look in the trolly, the man had with him. He also had a kind of plastic basket on the top of it, though it was not possible for me to see, if he had taken my cooler bag or not. He told me, he is walking the dog. The man was much taller than me, though I could not make anything. These two were going their way with their belongings, when I thought about my medicin. If the people were hungry, they could have asked for money or food, I thought, but my medicines are very important for me. They were much faster than me and even I followed them, I only could shout: ”My medicines, give me my medicines”. Suddenly the man and the trolly were gone, the woman and the dog I could still see, but that did not help, of course.
I was very hungry now, though I had to look for a supermarket or grocery shop, but more important, I had to find a pharmacy, because one of my medicines is vital. I found a supermarket very soon and a pharmacy was on the opposite site of the street. Unfortunately it was hard to get my medicine, because there was not long time enough gone from the last time I had bought this kind of my medicines. After a while, the pharmacist did sell the, for me, vital medicine to me, but not the other. She told me, there are similar medicines, I can buy without a prescription, but for the vital one. I was happy for the one medicine, even I thought, it is hard, that one cannot even buy a very necessary medicine, when buying it private – and with only being one week too early. I did not buy the other medicines, because I thought, the kalcium medicine I can make it without for a week and the one for my stomach, I will try without as well. If I will get problems, I can take bicarbonate instead. I know, that is not a very good option, but just one or two times it will be OK.
After I had eaten my ”lunch”, which was a drink yogurt and a couple of slices of bread – I had also bought a banana, but I was not hungry enough to eat it as well, I continued on my way to Gnesta. The trip went well until I was surprised by a thunderstorm and it was starting so fast, that I did not have any chance to put on my rain trousers. Anyway, I was happy to got my rain jacket on. It was very windy at the same time, therefore I could not go further with my bike. I just could stand there with my bike in the middle of nowhere. After a while, the wind calmed down, but it was still raining cats and dogs. Therefore I tried to go further and after a short while I came to a village called Björnlunda. Close to the mainroad was a garage, with one of their doors wide open. I was going there, asking for protection for the rain and was welcomed in. When the rain stopped, I continued to Gnesta and actually arrived at the agreed time, even I had sent my host a message, telling her, that I might be late. I reached Gnesta and my host with the battery showing red. This daytrip was for around 80km.
Inger, my CS host, was very kind and we have got a wonderful connection from the first minute. I was soaking wet, when I arrived and the offered shower was the best, what could happen to me at that stage. She already had prepared a potato pizza and I gave her my lettuce and tomatoes. She was happy about my little gift and prepared it with love. The meal was ready, when I had taken the shower. What a beautiful home she has with lots of paintings and other art. She also is handy and strong and built a lot of the extended home by herself. I really admire her. We had a long chat, which continued after the meal and among others, she told me, that she is thinking about to retire soon and become active for the group ”Extinction Rebellion”.
I did sleep well in the tiny guest house. I awoke at 6am. At 7am I was taking my medicine as well as I dressed. At 7:30am a breakfast with newly baked bread was ready. Actually we were chatting a little too much and nearly missed the intervju I should have with a journalist from the newspapper SN for Gnesta. I was 6 minutes late and my phone was not working. Luckily the journalist Emilia Lindell was looking for me and we met. She was mostly concentrating on couchsurfing and warmshowers, because she needed another angle for the article, she told me, for SN and the Katrineholms Kuriren belong to the same media group. I could see online, that she had written about me, but I never got her text nor the newspaper – even I wrote to the editor-in-chief some days later. The titel was “Dorothee, 70, cyklar och soffsurfar på väg till Glasgow” (Dorothee, 70, goes by bike and couchsurfer on the way to Glasgow) and published on 1st Aug 2021 at 16:44.
I was a little tired from my ride the day before, though I used the assistance level 5 all the time. I also was thinking, that I may see, how far I can go with one charging of the battery. I dared, because there were around 20km less to ride this day. Even this day it was raining a while, but there was not such a heavy thunderstorm. I took protection under a tree. It was not a lot of space, because someone had disposed old car tires under it. I cannot understand how people can be so easy-going and brash.
Throughout villages and towns, there were mostly cycle paths, but they had different conditions. Often one had to cross the road off and on, because there were only cycle paths on one side of the road and that changed continually. That made the bike ride more dangerous than without cycle paths. In the municipiality of Botkyrka, a part of the cycle path was hard to use, because there were twigs of trees hanging down, though one had to lower the head a lot for biking there. I wished, that all roads, but motorways, would have bike lanes and all in a good shape. That would be beneficial for the environment/climate and safer for bikers.
In Södertälje I took a rest in a little park. I ate the banane and some bread as well as I was drinking some tea. I had to pee and there was an open church close to that little park. I was thinking to try to find a bathroom there, but when I had finished my lunchbreak, the church was closed. Fortunately I found a café where I could use the bathroom for 10 SEK (1 EUR). I had taken in all my belongings this time and my locked e-bike was just standing outside a big window, where the cashier could have an eye on it.
I also have to admit, that I, not far away from my son’s home, did fall with my bike. It was at a junction. There were different lights for pedestrians and cyclists and the lights for the cyclists were very fast on and off. I was not really comfortable to the direction I had to go and by the assisted power of the bike, I fell and the bike on top of me. I was almost halfway on the street. I saw, that cars were coming, but the first driver arriving did stop his car in a comfortable distance, left his car and helped me up. He also was asking if I need an ambulance. I did not feel for it and continued to my son’s home. There I put my e-bike in his garage, because I was afraid, someone would steal it. By the way, also this day the battery was on red, but I made it all the way.
My son had an upset stomach, his wife and children were not at home, because they were on a trip, which was planned a time ago. Fortunately, there are two bathrooms in the house, though I used the other one than my son. I also had to prepare my own meals, of course, but we were able to have company. Later that day I was chatting with my son Marcus by Skype. When I was going to bed I have seen, that I had an injury at one of my elbows.
31st July 2021
Even my son and I had company this day, we did not talk a lot. My son was not able to. I had been to a grocery shop and bought chamomile tea and also cooked for him, though his stomach may calm down a little. In the late afternoon his wife and boys were coming home. The youngest one had problems with his stomach as well. Though I decided to go home the upcoming day, even I had planned to stay until the morning of the 2nd August, my son’s birthday. I sent a message to Inger, because she had been so kind and told me, that I can stay with her on my way back as well, even she starts working on Monday, 2nd and she will not be at home, when I arrive. I did not get any answer of her this night.