Saturday, August 27, 2011

Day 30 - Mission accomplished! - Stockholm (Bromma) - 85 km

We did it! We finally arrived in Stockholm after 2898 km of tarmac, gravel, ferries, mosquitos, lakes, trees, sweat, sun, rain, cold, heat and lots and lots and lots of fun!

We dedicate this day to our parents, our family our friends and all of you guys who followed us on this blog and wrote us nice messages.

We also wanted to thank very warmly all the people who hosted us on our way, offered us some water, some coffee, some one finger salutes or some high fives: Thanks to Ellen and Kuen in Belgium, to Marie and Jacques in Amsterdam, to Gabi in Lubeck, to Eva and Bo in Smaland and to Dave and Christine who are giving up privacy for the well-being of the crew.

A special thank you to Bjorn also who posted most of our messages when we were out in the wilderness!

Photos to come!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Day 29 - Adventure - 99km's - in Granlund (95km from Stockholm).

Another day basking in the beauty of the Swedish forrests. For lunch we opted to finally open our can of fermented (not pickled) herring. Vivien was momentarily blinded as the pressurized can erupted upon puncture, spraying juice into his eyes. In the end we were truly defeated by the fish, almost all of us gave it a taste, but much was wasted, and we apologize for this. The smell was truly horrendous, and it tasted about the same, worse yet were the burps that came up the rest of the day. We ask any Scandinavian readers to please let us know how people can enjoy it.
In the afternoon we were truly in the back-country. Vivien led a tour of a dairy farm and netted us 500ml of fresh milk; we saw a ten year old boy driving one on the bigger tractors that we have ever seen; and a Volkswagen enthusiast gave us a flailing one fingered salute, he presumably thought we were Dutch.
We found yet another perfect lake side camp site, our last. With a small campfire and plenty of marshmallows we will reminisce about our adventure. 30 days, 6 countries, and a lot of stories. It is so different to wake up every day and not know where you will sleep, or what weather you will face, but it is really exciting when you find the perfect spot at the end of the day and feel satisfied that everything worked out. So different from our generally predictable day to day lives.
Tomorrow we should reach Stockholm, and prepare for our third semester. We dedicate the ride today to our two new classmates Antonio and Ray who left their PM3E family to join ME3 for the Stockholm semester!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Day 28 - 2700 km's later - 108 km.

Dave has proved to be quite the fisherman, plumping up small fish with all sorts of grubs, but no luck yet. We enjoyed a morning of cycling just north of lake Roxen riding up and down windy roads through medows and forests.
Our beatiful surroundings reminded us of Alejandra and so we dedicated our day to her. Can't wait to see you this weekend.
We went for a swim before lunch and were entertained by fighterjets and swedish school kids playing games like tug-a-war and toss the gum boot as we ate.
Rob managed to attract the pee of a rather frightening looking dog on his leg and shoe shorty before we passed a small village titled Bjornsnas. Which brings us near the town Krokek beside the estuary Braviken.

Reposted - Day 2 - Crusing Along the Mayenne River - 106 Km - North of Laval

We dedicate today to our dear friend, Guy. We wish him and his wife all the best as their wedding draws near. We spent most of the day riding the dusty trails that border the Mayenne.
The days scenary included an abondance of blank faced cows; new age fisher men speckled along the river bank dressed in camouflage; countless locks decorated with flowers, churches and peniches; blasts of dust from Bjorns popped back tire ( times 3 ); and an Elvis Presly concert.
Which brings us to our place of rest, nestled between a cow field and the river in which we bathed and washed...

Day 27 - The Wilderness - 119km - Next to a river just west of Alvestad (West of linkoping)

Today we were truly cycling in the wilderness. With no lunch in our bags we cycled 57km along gravel roads up and down steep hills through the forest before reaching the first town - Trehorna. Here we asked a man mowing the lawns if there was a grocery store in town. His reply was "No, but if you want I can open my restaurant for you!" We had stumbled on a newly opened hotel/conference centre made from an old school next to a lake. The place had a really chilled out atmosphere and could be a potential location for the next ME3 retreat! We hammered some more K's in the afternoon, and Dave was excited to see his first Elk after missing the previous sighting. We arrived as it started to get dark at a great spot next to a river where we had an ice cold swim and well needed wash. We also found an old fishing line complete with hook so tried our luck. Unfortunately the fish attracted to our worms were too small to bite the hook! We dedicate this day to Yu Sheng. Dave was reminded of interviewing him in the first Ricardo class when he said he enjoyed chilling out together in a small group - which is what we have been doing the last 29 days! We hope he has enjoyed chilling with his friends back in Taiwan!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day 26 - smaland - 105 km - near Signesbo

We left our camping spot around 10 to go straight north until Jonkoping, a city we have been having fun trying to pronounce with a Swedish accent. We had quite a surprise when we saw a men who we asked directions to, 40 km later, making sure we were on the good way. He even got out of his car to continue the previously started conversation. We had a long break enjoying the rays of sun we have been wishing for since we left France. We also renewed with the hills long gone since eNormandie as we headed north-east after the break. We saw some young fellows who seemed to be just entering the undergraduate world judging their behaviour and dressing code. They reminded us and our first days with ME3 and because of that we dedicate this day to Lili, who started early our Facebook page that made the first link amongst some of us. We landed on a beautiful peninsula we were allowed to squat for a night. Mosquitoes are fiercely taking over as the sun is going down. ll