Closing the circle

I’m almost there, back in the region Värmland, just another few days. Must make the most of it while I can, riding around visiting friends is awesome but I feel autumn is coming.

I rode north with Ingalill and Gunvor from Swedish WIMA. We had a couple of intensive days of riding, first trying to stay off the highway favouring smaller roads but it proved to take too long of course. But the countryside in Poland is amazing, the mix of people, all those hens on the loose, the dogs, the old lady walking her cows, several groups of pilgrims chanting and numerous Jesus statues scattered around all over the country.

Seeing all those statues made me hum this song in my helmet: "Well, I don't care if it rains or freezes, Long as I have my plastic Jesus"
Seeing all those statues made me hum this song in my helmet: Well, I don’t care if it rains or freezes, Long as I have my plastic Jesus
Amazing architecture in Chocholow, an UNESCO site
Amazing architecture in Chochołów, a UNESCO site
Beaware! "striding cow" judging from the signs the Polish cows walk much more purposefully than Swedish cows :)
Be aware! “striding cow” judging from the signs the Polish cows walk much more purposefully than Swedish cows 🙂

The riding was enjoyable after we left the crowded road to Krakow behind. We foolishly didn’t expect a traffic jam on a Saturday morning, but we were wrong. On top of that we were meant to ride around Krakow but for some unknown reason our two GPS’s lead us right through it, with the benefit of us being able to fill up on tasty vegetarian food.

Helmet parking with a view
Helmet parking with a view

We had to use the highway the second day and we were surprised how expensive it was, for 16 zlotys we could ride about 70 km then we had to pay again. This seemed terrible to me, especially since I dread the highway because the vibration from riding at higher speeds makes my left leg go numb and it worries me. In the end, we found some medium-sized roads that let us cover distance without needing to pay a toll.

Finally, we entered the ferry and had a last piwa (beer in Polish) before sleeping our way into Sweden. We met with a few more Swedish WIMAs on the ferry and one very happy Polish guy who was on his way up to Branäs for a bike event. He was surprised we were all riding bikes.

Entering Sweden, we went our different ways, Ingalill and I raced to Malmö for a vegan breakfast. After that, we were ready for the small twisty roads in the region of Skåne. After having spent several years abroad I always feel happy riding in Sweden and we had some good hours riding before parting in Ljungby. We had a pizza and a stroll, this is the location for next year’s WIMA rally which Sweden is hosting so it felt appropriate to check it out.

The next destination was Jönköping and then further on to Gothenburg, where I had the opportunity to visit Jungrens café on Wednesday evening. This is when the west coast Swedish Ducati club meets for coffee. This is what I miss the most from my years living in Gothenburg. Some of my best Wednesday evenings I spent in that café.

Riding a Ducati is the appropriate way to arrive at this cafe, but hey, I'm happy nevertheless.
Riding a Ducati is the appropriate way to arrive at this cafe, but hey, I’m happy nevertheless.

Next destination is Västerås: tomorrow there is a Wheels & Wings event.

Lunch in Slovakia

The last day of the rally was spent riding, from early morning to just before dinner. We had to make the most of it, compensating for the rain we had in the beginning of the week. Ave, Mirja from Estonia and I followed a suggested route that took us over the mountains and into Slovakia – and then back again a bit further on.

One of many beautiful views from this dusky morning ride
One of many beautiful views from this dusky morning ride
It feels great to be riding, V for victory over the rain :)
It feels great to be riding, V for victory over the rain 🙂
After lunch we put on our rain gear and it didn't rain any more
After lunch we put on our rain gear and it didn’t rain any more
Ah, how lovely life can be!
Ah, how lovely life can be!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We had fantastic weather in the sense that it hardly rained at all, apart from when we had lunch. We rode some very nice twisty bits and stopped for coffee numerous times and even for a castle visit. Riding with friends has its advantages.

Toris hell

IMG_20140730_162903

Sightseeing on my way back to Tallinn; Toris hell is a group of rock formations next to the Pärnu river, unfortunately you can no longer visit the caves since the entrance has collapsed but the rocks themselves are worth seeing.