Wednesday, 29 September 2010

on a farm

Ten days at the farm went by in a flash. Hard working days and good foods were so good. Each night the dream world came as soon as I hit the sack. Yes, I had a fine time.
The thing I did is called HelpX, helpers help a host and they'll help the helpers by giving food and accommodation. Lots of helping going around.
There are always things to do on a farm. Take care the cattle, cultivate the field, chopping some wood, grass cutting, and hunting for some berries or mushrooms into the forest… Good times. Most of the foods I ate there were produced at the farm. The food only traveled a few meters, only one or two human contact and it was already on my plate. Groovy!
I learned a lot and made me think a lot. And that's what I wanted. And also since I was missing my dog, I had a very good time with the dogs at the farm. There was a very handsome rottweiler who loved to play. Tackling and pulling ropes, he was a tough one.
My next destination is Copenhagen. Germany will be the next after that.
picture: above, rottweiler. below, his only son. he has the energy just like his father

Thursday, 16 September 2010


From Gotland, I took bus and train to Goteborg, my last stop in Sweden.
The city is like Stockholm, surrounded by water and the buildings has some history. There are many parks, small one to big one, all near from the city central. Easy access to green, nice roads to walk, I like Goteborg. There were many tourists but it didn't feel so crowded. I enjoyed walking in the park or even in the busy streets where the tourists and the shoppers were. One thing it wasn't so great was the weather. I had some sunshine in the morning, but it rained everyday.
I took the ferry today from Goteborg to Frederikshavn, Denmark. I'll stay here for two days and then going to work for ten days at a farm. I'm very excited, I hope I'll learn a lot.
picture: ducks at Slottskogen park

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Cycling day five

I rented my bike for five days so today is the last day. I'm having a day off today and am now off to return the bike. I'll leave Gotland tomorrow and my next destination is Goteborg. From Goteborg, I will enter Denmark.
picture: waiting for the glue to dry. puncture on day one.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Cycling day four

In the morning, the same atmosphere was still there. It was like being in an empty amusement park or living in a mansion alone. I don't know how to describe it but there was very unusual, kind of sad feeling in the air.
Today, I had to ride almost 65km. Well, I didn't have to but I wanted to.
It rained sometimes, but like at the Hoga Kusten, my rain gear saved me from being wet. I rode quite smoothly without no problem till I saw the sign seven kilometers to Visby. There, I rested for a bit to go the last distance. As I resumed my last ride, I felt the bad feeling again… rear tire was punctured. I thought about ignoring it for a bit, but there was the bump again. I stopped and investigated but I couldn't find the puncture. The rain was washing away my concentration too. So, after all, I continued to ride the punctured bumpy bike for another hour.
Although with some difficulties, I reached Visby earlier than I planned.
I was so pleased when I saw the ruins from the distance.
picture: stone path. visby

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Cycling day three

Around mid day, I reached the ferry port. Faro island is only a kilometer away from Gotland. Just few minutes ride and I was on Faro island. I followed the main road to find somewhere to stay for the night. I also wanted to ask a good place to visit. About ten kilometers from the port, there was an hostel. Luckily it was open and I got a bed. I also got an information for a good road to ride.
From the hostel, the popular coastline was only seven kilometers or so and was an easy ride. The major sight is a natural curved rocks. But I was more happy to see the golden eagle. It was a bit too far but I could see it's yellow beak and the big body. It was gliding smoothly in the clear blue sky.
I rode along the coastline and went to supermarket. Got back to the hostel around five. The hostel was even worth than the campsite! Nobody…I felt more alone than I did at the campsite. The lights were all gone and the buzzing sound of fridge and the rustling sound of the pine trees were the only noise I could hear. As it got dark, I noticed. I picked the wrong place to stay. To avoid the eerieness, I went to bed around nine.
picture: above, stacked stone. below, golden eagle in the distance

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Cycling day two

I woke up around seven. I wouldn't say I slept good. At night, the campsite had an eerie atmosphere. I woke up sometimes hearing a weird animal scream or a galloping sound just outside my tent. It was a quite big campsite with many cottage and fields, but I think I was the only one there. I don't know but the humanness was gone. It was like a movie set or something, I never felt so alone.
So glad to see the sun, I got up, had breakfast, packed my tent and started to repair the puncture. Since it was making a mysterious bump, I decided to change the tube. Took the wheel off and taking off the tire, I found the cause of the bump. The tube was bundled up and making a ball. I took out the tube and realized that tube was far too big for the wheel. I don't ride a bike usually so I don't know too much about bicycle, but it was unmistakably big. There was a spare tube in the kit so I changed it. The spare one was 35 inch and a bit big, the one it was in before was 40 inch… I think that ain't right. I changed the tube, and the bike was set for another ride. Since the bike was now in a good condition, I tried to load my backpack on the back again. I used the rope for my tent and it worked. It wasn't super steady but at least it's on and no need for me to carry it on my back. Feeling mighty and confident, I started cycling. Fine weather again.
Riding along a beautiful coastline, I reached a town called Larbro. Stayed at a hostel for a night.
picture: ruin in Visby

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


The ferry arrived at Visby, the main city of Gotland. City with ruins and beautiful sea. Walking up a hill, I could look down the town with orange roofed houses and Baltic sea. Nice.
When I asked where is the most popular sight to visit in Gotland at the tourist office, the guide said Faro island. So I decided to go there, simple. There are bus going between Visby and ferry port to Faro, but I thought why not rent a bicycle. Since there are many cycle roads and it's quite common for visitors to do so. I rented a standard three geared bike. They also gave me a pump and other tools for tire repair. Around mid day, off I went. In my opinion, the weather in Gotland is the best in Sweden!
Although it was a rough one, I had a map of Gotland and it showed the recommended cycle roads. Mainly around the coastline. I tried loading my backpack on the back, but since it's heavy and big, I gave up. I carried it on my back instead. After riding along for a few hours, the bike suddenly felt heavy. Moving forward became difficult, the rear tire was punctured. I thought it would happen sometime, but it came earlier than I thought. Although I felt irritated, there was a repair seal in the kit so it didn't take long. Just find the puncture and glue, seal, done. But, ten minutes later, I felt the same dullness again. Even worth, it felt like there was something in the tire. Every time the wheel span, there was a bump. It was around four so I decided to camp at the next campsite I find and do the repair next morning. I wasn't in the mood to do the repair again. Ten minutes was a bit of shock for me.
picture: Visby

Sunday, 5 September 2010


As a capital city, I imagined a city with skyscrapers. But as the bus approached the city center, I noticed that there aren't any. Another thing about Stockholm is that the city is surrounded by water.
Major sights I visited in Stockholm were Gamla Stan(old town), Nobel museum, Skansen and Vasa museum. To the hostel, I had to walk through Gamla Stan so I walked around the area every day. Walking through an old town with colorful houses and walking by the water to Skansen was very nice. Skansen is a big park with everything such as zoo, farm, historical buildings and restaurants. I didn't look all the parts but the zoo was definitely worth a visit. So many creatures that I've never seen before. Vasa museum is a museum about a ship. The ship sank during the war and was salvaged in the sixties.
The whole ship is in the museum! It's in a good condition and the details are still there.
I also walked around the city center which was filled with tourist. On Saturday, so many people shopping and sightseeing in the city center.
The shopping areas were like other cities but the old towns and other surrounding parts were very unique. Again with okay weather, I had a great time in Stockholm. I'm moving to Gotland next. Three hours ferry trip from main land.
picture: above, the old town on the left and city center on the far side. below, ring-tailed lemur

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Höga Kusten

On the last day in Kiruna, I joined a tour to go down a mine. To be precise, the biggest undermine in the world. The tour departed from the city center at one o'clock. Only five minutes or so on the bus, we arrived at the gate of the mine. As the bus driver held his card to the machine, the gate swung open and the bus entered the mouth of the mine. Soon it got dark and I felt the slope. The road was sloping 10%, I drove a 9% road in Norway and it was quite steep. We got deeper and deeper by the second. There are no lights in the tunnel so that the truck drivers can tell the oncoming vehicles by it's headlight. After a few minutes, the bus stopped at a gate. Inside was unbelievably spacious room for the visitors. There were cinema to show how the mine was made, long corridor where the monstrous machines awaits the visitors, and cafe for a small break. The machines they use for mining were just like the ones I saw on the Discovery channel, big and vicious. It was very interesting tour. The tour group was small and the guide spoke English. I've gone up near the highest of the country and the deepest in the world. Kiruna, sure has it's ups and downs. In a good way of course.
After Kiruna, I took a train. I stopped at Lulea, Umea and took a bus to Docksta, where the world heritage site, High Coast is in a walking distance.
I didn't have enough information about High Coast, but I figured if I go there I would find something. So, after walking for three hours through a forest full of spider webs, I reached Skuleskogen National Park, one of the well known parts of High Coast. (Also known as Hoga Kusten) At the gate of Skuleskogen, there was an information board which read that the hike up to the top is quite demanding, trained man would walk up to the top in 1to1.5 hours and some might take 2to3 hours. Worrying and looking forward how tough it is at the same time, I started the hike. At the start the trail was very well paved with planks but soon it got rocky. It was unusually hot day. After walking for an hour or so, the trees were sparser and the ground were covered with red rocks. I thought I've come quite high and stopped to look around. There was a beautiful view behind me! The top of Skulesberget is 294m above sea level and the highest coastline is 286m above sea level. I wasn't at the highest point and I knew this wasn't the highest coastline, but still it was amazing. Sunlit small islands in the high coast was beautiful. BUT! On my right, I found a huge raincloud. As soon as I found it, I felt a drop on my face. I though it won't come just yet, but I decided to put on my rain gears on. Wise decision it was, soon the weather changed into a typhoon. Strong wind and heavy rain. I thought the summit wasn't too far, so I decided to continue my hike. Soon I came to a place where small rocks were stacked up into a pile. Often seen in the mountains. It wasn't the summit yet, but I put a stone on the pile and decided to descend. The wind was too strong and the wet rocks were slippery and dangerous. Rain didn't bother me since I had a fine gear with me and I waxed my boots the day before. When I got near to the entrance, I got a lift. Very kind old man who drove a Japanese car drove me back to Docksta. Too bad I couldn't take good pictures because of the heavy rain, but the beautiful views will stay in my mind.
I left Docksta and took a bus to Sundsvall today. I'm moving to Stockholm tomorrow. It'll be only a few hours trip from here.
picture: above, three towed woodpecker(not sure). below, the beast in the mine