Report 21
TOURING SCANDINAVIA Week 17: from June 23 till June 30

Scandinavian summer nights are delightfully long and the sun hardly sets. I take leave of my fellow travellers in the cyclist classic Trondheim – Oslo and find myself a resting-place for the remains of my first night in Oslo. The camping ground only opens within a few hours and the many bus shelters look inviting to take a quick nap. An unwise choice on Saturday evening as a lost drunk comes staggering in looking for some attention.

Luckily I find myself soon at the Ekeberg camping side. It ‘s located on a knoll southeast of the city and is named after it. Here you can admire the capital from a majestic angle. The price of the camping-site though is not that attractive. 16 Euro a night is a real inroad on my budget! After some bargaining about the price the friendly manager - sensible to my "cash flow" problem - offers me a free night …

Oslo wakes up under a brilliant sun and together with Anni, my Irish-German companion I explore this pleasantly low-key city, quite casual and manageable.
It’s the oldest of Scandinavia’s capitals. After the fire in 1624 King Christian IV renamed it Christiania, a name that stuck till 1925.
The night view is magnificent. As far as you can see you overlook the Oslofjord, which is offering you breathtaking harbour views, stunning scenery of blue and green, of white sailing boats bobbing up, luxurious cruisers and speedboats.
Norwegians tend to be an independent and outdoor-oriented people, it’s a pity though that everything is so expensive and that the street scene is disturbed by the many drug addicts rambling around.

The next day I have to say goodbye to Anni and this is harder than I expected. What fun we had together!
Life as an Euro- biker is hard at times and because I’m not at the end of my tour yet I get up into the saddle again heading for the next Scandinavian capital: Stockholm.
The moment I leave Oslo the heavens open and someone must have forgotten to close them again! Therefor I decide to cycle on till Sweden and to look for resting-place there.

The next morning, waking up in another bus shelter, I’m glad to see the sun is shining again. Stockholm is "only 431 km" from here so why don’t I get a move on and finish the job in one go. So another challenge awaits me! It’s getting late, the Swedish turn in for the night and I simply cycle on in eastern direction through the province of Värmland. Sweden takes in vast forested and lake-studded landscapes. The necessary breaks included I arrive some 30 hours later in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

The friendly, modern Stockholm is one of the most beautiful national capitals in the world. It is built on 14 islands, which divide the East Sea from Lake Mälaren, the heart of the country. This dynamic town offers plenty of culture, nature and entertainment.
The town is surrounded by forested green belts and is best seen from the water. The eye-catcher is unmistakably the - at times abused but often praised - ‘Stadshuset’ built at the beginning of the 20th century. This town hall with Swedish and Italian influences is the symbol of Stockholm and is most famous for its blue Hall. Each year on December 10 a banquet is held here celebrating the Nobel Peace Price and attended by the Swedish royal family. Unfortunately my metro pass is not valid till December – what a pity for the Swedish crown princess! – but now it offers 3 days of unlimited travelling pleasure on the ‘tunnelbana’.

At the end of June the sun shines almost around the clock and Stockholm has a vibrant nightlife. I experience it to my cost when I end up in one of the many street parties. With the world championship drawing to an end the Turkish and Brazilians football supporters have their own reasons to celebrate!
See you in Finland!




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