Dreaming of Beer: The way to Mora - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

August 27, 2013

Dreaming of Beer: The way to Mora

On Monday morning I'd around thirty kilometres cycling until I crossed over the border to Sweden. The asphalt changed from the usual black to maroon and the roadsigns from yellow to blue. And there was a big sign, drive with dipped headlights and wear seatbelts plus speed limits. The landscape though remained silent with a carpet of sedge and blueberries bushes and granite rock-outcrops under thinly spaced pine-trees. And visible through the trees there was nearly always blue stretches of water of a lake or river system.

There were red wooden houses scattered at intervals in the forest or by a lakeshore, but there was no sign of life about these either.

About forty kilometres on from the border, the road descended into a valley with tracks of felled timber on hills across on the other side. Then crossed over a big river to reach the town of Idre in time for an afternoon pause, where I stopped at an ICA supermarket and was instantly struck by how cheap everything was, well cheap in comparison to Norway. Beer twelve kroners a can. How I've missed it. Three point five per cent alcohol, well.... Also they excepted Norwegian money which was handly, though I wasn't sure whether I'd got the best exchange-rate. I think roughly, eleven Swedish buys ten Norwegian. Nevertheless, thirty kroners bought two pastries and a pack of chocolate biscuits which would be a miracle in Norway. Then a coffee in the café beyond the checkout area was fifteen, whereas you'd be talking twenty-five in Norway.

Tuesday: with a hundred and thirty kilometres to ride, I'd my work cut out for me if I wanted to reach Mora and a rest day, which with my present routine of waiting until eight before moving out of the sleeping-bag of a morning as the mornings are getting cold and autumnal with a condensation soaked tent, meaning, I wait for the sun to warm and dry things out. Then in the afternoon I spend two hours over lunch, reading a couple of chapters of "In Patagonia": my seventh reading, but I do so much love this book. It's like a great music album which you play over and over again.

In the event I rode into Mora at half six, not too late, and straightaway found the Vanderhjem, the youth hostel in Swedish, meaning literally, home for wanderers. Its a fair size town with a collosal yellow Swedish style church in the centre, with the copper top of the bell-tower curved and tapering in, wanting to be a dome, but then decided to sprout up in the centre in a tall spire. There's also an old wooden, lone-standing bell-tower dating from the late 1400s across by the roundabout; it is rang every year to welcome the town's claim to sporting fame, the "Vasseloppet", a ninety kilometre cross-country ski race which has, I think, been running each year since 1922 and takes place on the first Sunday of March.

I had a whole dorm to myself so I'd peace and quiet to update this journal. The day outside started with a cloudless sky, gradually clouding-over until it looked like an afternoon of torrential rain was on the way; but at three o'clock, the cloud broke-up and driffed off again and reader, the later photos show clear sky. According to the TV forecast, the good weather is to last a few days more, hopefully until I get to Stockholm, where lastnight when looking at other journals here, I saw CGOAB Chris Pountney is on his way to now.

Moose.
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Lunchtime by a lake.
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River taken from the bridge.
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Big grass roofed house in Idre, housing tourist information and burger restaurant
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A log shelter with picnic table inside.
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The same lake.
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Old wooden bell-tower in Mora.
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Dalarna Horse.
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Famous Swedish Artist that lived in Mora.
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The sign to follow.
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Mid twentieth century Swedish arquitecture.
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I tried getting too much into this shot. It turned out passable.
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The Vassaloppet ski-race passing through Mora. Looking at the ski-wear, I'd say circa 1964.
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Today's ride: 221 km (137 miles)
Total: 5,132 km (3,187 miles)

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