Day 3: Rolling Hills

Today's Stats 111km, 30C sunny
Today's Route: Nykoping to Vlademarsvik
Favorite Sign: car going into water at ferry dock
Favorite Food: funny yellow melon


Costs are per person in local currency, 1USD=7.317SEK=0.793EUR.
ViNipizza lunch w Pepsi50
ICApineapple kiwi juice14
Daviddsonsbuffet and beer185
Hotell Vikensimple room w bfst350

Another big breakfast and another eight oclock start. When I went to the tourist info place last night I got an English translation of the cycle guide that tells about the route up the coast. It goes the opposite direction we are going and it includes 21 stages all the way to the very north of Sweden, but I realized the sourthern end of the route is perfect for us. We followed the route a bit yesterday by accident, and we were on it right out of town this morning.

After less than a half hour on the big eastwest road, we turned south through some quiet farm country. Everybody really does have a red house out here. I saw one place with red barns, red house, a red tractor, and red cars. And more than half of the cars we saw were defintely SAAB or Volvo. I read that one of the SAAB factories is not far away from here in Linkoping, so maybe the cars sell especially well around here.

Unfortunately, the road turned to gravel after a bit and stayed that way for about ten kilometers. I can see why the route planners sent us down here off the main road and the gravel was not as bad as some of the stuff we rode in Poland and elsewhere. It was nice country and it was definitely the quietest approach to the ferry dock.

We had some sweets to eat while we waited for the boat to come back across. The guy directing the cars and motorcycles was very friendly and the ride was free like yesterday. On the other side we did not have much traffic for awhile because we let all the cars off ahead of us. More rolling hills and quiet roads heading into Soderkoping. We arrived at almost exactly noon.

This is a cute town which, as Yoel woud say, is in the book. This city has a nice church and happens to sit at the eastern end of the Gota Canal which links the east and west shores of Sweden with the help of many lakes and natural rivers. We had a nice walk around before settling down for a cheap pizza and soda. We couldn't eat all of our pizzas, so we put the extra in a ziploc for later.

Then we headed over to the library and info center to ask about accomodations in the town we were headed for. Luckily we found both and BandB and a hotel. Also, I found a free book and map, in English, which tells all about staying on farms throughout Sweden. Then, we used the internet for a bit. I put an ad on for anyone in Hamburg who might want to buy my bike next week. I also found out that my condo back home may be rented. We have spent a lot of time on the internet making arrangements like this. Today was one of the few times it was free, though.

We only rode abour 45km in the afternoon, but we had lots of rolling hills and a bit of a headwind. Also, this had to be one of the hottest days ever in Sweden. We stopped midway through the afternoon and a woman who was tending graves in the church cemetery made a comment about the heat. We pointed out that the wind didn't help much either. It is amazing how many people out in the middle of nowhere speak English really well. It is quite convenient of course.


The BandB in Valdemarsvik was full, but the hotel had a decent room at a good price. After the usual showers and wash we walked down to the marina where a party was starting up. Even though it is only Thursday, a band was out playing American oldies. A parade of about ten old American cars was making the rounds on the roads. We sat outside on the balcony of the restaurant and bowling alley and stuffed ourselves at the buffet. Aside from me and the waitresss, everyone here seems to be over sixty, but it is a nice place to spend a Thursday night.

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