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Old 09-28-2012, 04:43 AM   #11
Thijs_B OP
Keeps on dreaming
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Joined: Oct 2011
Location: That floaty bit just north of France
Oddometer: 84
Thumb Day 3 - Getting to Stockholm

Today was going to be about getting to Stockholm for the ferry to Turku in Finland. This meant following the E22 all the way (which would be a two-lane-can-only-overtake-every-few-kilometers-road as described before) and then the E4 highway for the last bit.

GPS track of the day

The day before I accidentally bumped the Contour of my helmet while arriving at camp. The stupid mount failed. Just happy it didn't happen while going 100 km/h, but bashed myself because I forgot to take a backup one from home. Kept a look out for one for the entire duration of the trip, but since it's mostly available in internet shops, no luck. I didn't want to risk using glue or anything, as I didn't want to lose the camera with all the already taken footage. This means no helmet cam shots for the rest of the trip

Breakfast of champions, add hot water to the space-food packaging and leave standing for a couple of minutes. Could last almost an entire day on one of these.

I had to cross through Norrköping, which was a bigger city than I expected. Lots of traffic as well.

Somewhere along the E4 looking for a place for lunch and to stretch the legs I found a little island which could be reached using a very small dirt track. The weather was great, so I just layed down in the grass and closed my eyes for a couple of minutes.

This adventuring business is rough, having a very hard time here.

From there on there wasn't really anything interesting until Stockholm, the last bit was really just highway, and remembered me of the Rotterdam area including all the traffic jams. That there was a lot of construction work in the harbor and traffic was even messier there didn't help things either. Got very hot and sweaty, felt like summertime.

I arrived at the ferry terminal an hour early, and met a bicycle rider from Switzerland who had been cycling through Europe for the last 4 months. Was nice talking to the guy, but we didn't exchange names which I very much regret. He seemed impressed by the distance I was about to ride, since the Nordkapp is as far from Oslo as Rome in Italy, but naturally he was used to 'only' 60 kilometers a day.

Then the boat arrived, in camouflage, and the check-in opened.

For the helmet cam I had another mount so I could attach it to my front wheel. Only used it to get some shots of the (dis)embarkation of this ferry. Haven't used it since, because it's a lot of hassle turning it on and off for short shots when it's out of reach like that.

Following mister 'I'm-Swiss-and-not-a-European' through the waiting line (got a little discussion about the Euro crisis going before).

While we were waiting, talking to a Fin who told us about the coming weather in Finland ('could be cold and even snow, could be warm and some rain, depending on wind direction', yeah very helpful), a biker on a R100GS came up our rear (we were in the bike-lane). He got off, and seeing my plate he suddenly said 'Waar je ook gaat, je komt overal Nederlanders tegen' ('Wherever you go, you always meet Dutch people'). He was Markus from Germany, who worked in the Netherlands and could speak (heavily accented) Dutch.

He was right, we are a very travel-eager nation, with Dutchies traveling all over the world. I got accused of being a 'crazy Dutchman' for trying the Nordkapp in September ('What, you're going now?! Crazy Dutchman!'). He was none the saner however, as he left Bergen in Norway the night before and only had 2 or 3 hours of sleep while riding to Stockholm. He said there was nothing but rain in Norway, and his boots were still half-wet. He was going to Helsinki airport to catch a flight to Oulu in the north, an a business trip. The R100GS was relatively fresh, only 70.000 km on the odometer, although it looked like it had been through some tough times.

Boarding the ferry, with Markus riding in front.
I always wonder if Germans get training in riding at walking pace when they get their license,
since I always see them dragging (sometimes both) their feet at low speeds.
I was taught to put them on the pegs whenever not standing still.

Immediately after I got to the cabin I took a nice hot shower to wash all the kilometers off, there was even someone at the door at one point who said the silent fire alarm had gone of (we where still in port). Yep, having a rough time in Scandinavia so far.

After that and dinner I went outside, seeing I just missed the sunset.

Still very beautiful, click on it for full size.

And late at night I went outside for some fresh air, and took some more pics.

Colorful boat this was.

Even though Tallink Silja is Finnish, the flag on was Swedish.

The next day the trip would start for real, no reservations or bookings from now on.

Scores for the day:
Travelled 460 kilometers, with 6 hours in the seat. Average of 77 km/h.
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