Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Les Vacances

A quick post to say that I will be out of touch for the next week or so.

My summer holidays have not yet finished.

Tomorrow I head down south for a week (maybe more - depending on if my ticket can be changed) of sun and swimming with good friends.

There is no internet or mobile phone reception where I am going. Just miles and miles of forest and vineyards.

We will be swimming either in the pool or at the beach every day and barbequeing every night. Bliss!

I will miss my boys, but there are lots of furbabies in the hamlet to keep me occupied.... that is when I am not swimming of course.

A bit of sightseeing may take place, but it is not the priority. The priority is to relax and enjoy some time in the sun with my friends.
There will also be jam making from the grapes growing in the garden. Late at night if the temperature drops enough to turn on the stove.

See you when I return.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Summer sun versus summer rain

Thought I would share a few highlights from our trip.

The first week the weather was spectacular. Really hot and brilliant sunshine. It was perfect riding weather.

Each stop involved cold rehydration drinks and a shady spot. It was so nice to sit on lush green grass, under a tree, in the shade and enjoy a break.

Every living thing was rejoicing in the sun and warmth. Bees buzzed through the flowers, horses munched grass contentedly in the paddocks, birds sang in the trees.

In Denmark we ate dinner outside, and then returned to the same spot for breakfast the next day. It was impossible to miss a moment of the glorious warmth and sunshine.

Then came day 2 in Sweden......
It rained.

Not just gentle summer rain.

This was gale force freezing cold winds, rain that stung and felt icy cold, and temperatures that made us wish we had every item of clothing we owned on all at once.

This weather continued on and off for the rest of our trip....... thank goodness not all at once like the first day though.

We still made the pilgrimage to Ales Stenar. Walking along the path from the car park to the hill I was astounded at the number of people who were also making the visit. This site is so spectacular and so significant that no amount of bad weather was going to stop the visitors!

A picnic had been packed with the intention of eating somewhere along the cliff tops enjoying a sea view. It was so cold and rainy that we opted instead for a hot meal in the tiny restaurant at the bottom of the cliffs.

I personally am glad we had the change in meal. The fried mackerel that I ate with mashed potato and lingonberry sauce was superb! They had bar be qued the fish on a huge grill plate and it was cooked to perfection. I had never eaten lingonberry with fish, but am now a convert.

The Swedes have a saying "There is no such thing as bad weather.... only bad clothing and equipment". We came to appreciate this saying over the next 2 weeks...

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

We made it!

It is with a great sense of accomplishment that I say we made it.

Six thousand odd kilometres on the bike in three weeks is nothing to sneeze at.

But we did it and had a ball while we did.

I must say a huge thank you to our friends along the way who gave us meals, and/or accommodation. It was lovely to see you in your homes and to spend time enjoying your part of the north.

Special thanks to one friend who crossed a border to come and have dinner with us. A hilarious night of fun and frivolity learning to play Viking games and drinking red wine. I still stick to the point that the boys were cheating though!!

We really needed 3 months to see and do everything along our way. I think we had a good "taste" though and it has left us wanting to go back and visit certain places.

Over the next few weeks I will post highlights from the trip with photos. This week I am catching up on correspondence, washing/shopping/cleaning gear and daily life.

Most of my time however will be dedicated to the boys. Eric is growing at an enormous rate and has changed from a kitten to a young cat in our absence. Guy is just his usual gorgeous self. I missed them terribly while away and was extremely grateful to the updates from our friends who babysat for us. Cannot thank them enough for moving in and looking after my furbabies for 3 weeks.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Day 16 - Last Day in Sweden

Here we are, still going strong and on the homeward stretch.

We reached the Arctic and had a great time.

Have seen, done, and eaten so much it is hard to comprehend.

Tomorrow morning we are on the ferry from Swedne to Denmark, then back through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and into France.

All is well and we look forward to being home with the furbabies by sunday night.

Will post - with photos - when home