A day to smell the flowers

Instead of lesson planning, writing and studying, I packed croissants and coffee in my panniers and rode northwest towards Lleida and the region of Segrià where the fruit trees are blooming in different colours and the scent filled the air and cleared my head. Absolutely amazing!

 

Riding the Peak District

I love to explore new roads and I did feel I had not actually seen much of the area of the WIMA rally, very much due to the weather and the busy schedule. Therefore, I was absolutely thrilled to be able to take Ron up on his invitation of a guided ride in the Peak District. Ron is a friend I met through Horizons Unlimited and I’ve had this standing invitation from when we first met at the HU in Baskerville Hall back in 2016.

As Ron lives near the Peak District and frequently leads rides there for a couple of motorcycle groups, I knew I was in for a treat. It was like it was my birthday, he’d planned everything from beginning to end, with lunchstop and photo opportunities. And yes, he had brought his dslr to be able to take these photos for me. As we headed out, he casually said we’d do a little ford crossing in a bit, don’t worry, just do what I do. I’ve never crossed a ford before so it was an exciting start to the day. We rode all kinds of roads from large popular “turn the throttle” types to teeny weeny little roads with more grass and gravel than actual tarmac. At one point we did some proper exploring trying out a new road that Ron might implement in his standard route. This day was one of the absolute highlights of my stay in England.

Ron -The tour leader!

Gotland – not as we planned it

My mum loved the unique nature and birdlife in Gotland and this was planned as a family excursion for her, Christopher and myself.

Christopher has a keen interest in medieval history and Gotland has plenty of historical sites. In addition, I have an aunt with vast local historical knowledge living in Visby, so this would make for the perfect family excursion. At least that was the plan prior to mum’s cancer diagnosis. For a long time we hoped our planned trip could go ahead, but when time draw closer, we realised that she wouldn’t be able to come with us. She was still keen for us – and especially for Christopher who had never been there – to go and explore the island and have a good time.

Gotland can be very touristy during the high season, but we were given excellent recommendations by my aunt Siv. On her suggestion, we rode stretch of road in the south captured in the video below, arriving along the coast at Hoburgsgubben, a rock formation which, with some imagination, can be interpreted as a man, or perhaps a troll. We decided to video the journey, so we could show mum upon our return, and here it is now for everyone to enjoy:

In addition to this video, we took lots of photographs for mum, thinking that we at least could share our experience with her. Fortunately, we had time to show them to her before she passed away. As they were intended for mum, the main focus is nature, flowers and birds.

This is Snäck, north of Visby. We stopped and enjoy an evening picknick here the first evening on the island.
This is Snäck, north of Visby. We stopped and enjoyed an evening picnic here the first evening on the island.
Sunset at Snäck.
Sunset at Snäck.
Up at the most northern tip of Fårö.
Up at the most northern tip of Fårö.
Familly of birds, no doubt they have a name and mum would have known it.
Familly of birds, no doubt they have a name and mum would have known it.
Seagull captured in flight.
Seagull captured in flight.
Wagtail coming in for landing.
Wagtail coming in for landing.
Visby is known for its old houses and roses.
Visby is known for its old houses and roses.
The city of roses.
The city of roses.
Old town of Visby, the city of roses, and other flowers too.
Old town of Visby, the city of roses, and other flowers too.
The great wall of Visby, my aunt and I.
The great wall of Visby, my aunt and I.
Flowers in the botanical garden.
Flowers in the botanical garden.
Forget me not (I think) and butterflies.
Forget me not (I think) and butterflies.
A flower among more flowers.
A flower among more flowers.
Mum would have known.
Mum would have known.
Botanical garden and me.
Botanical garden and me.
West coast with a view of Stora Karlsö.
West coast with a view of Stora Karlsö.
Assorted birds.
Assorted birds.
The southern tip of Gotland and Hoburgsgubben. Someone had painted the nose green. There is an interesting myth about this stone formation, google it if you're curious.
The southern tip of Gotland and Hoburgsgubben. Someone had painted the nose green. There is an interesting myth about this stone formation, google it if you’re curious.
Roses!
Roses!
We love cats and so did mum!
We love cats and so did mum!
The smallest of all the small houses in Visby. I'm posing purely for scale.
The smallest of all the small houses in Visby. I’m posing purely for scale.
Raukar, they are limestone formations created by wind and water over time.
Raukar, they are limestone formations created by wind and water over time.
Raukar and me, at Fårö.
Raukar and me, at Fårö.
A ship grave, again I'm in the photo for scale.
A ship grave, again I’m in the photo for scale.
Tornerspel at Lojstad ruin, all the knights are sponsored by local businesses. The first knight is Eskel av bröderaskapet sponsored by Eskelund's bakery following him is Tvenne pilar sponsored by the ferry company Destination Gotland.
Tornerspel at Lojstad ruin, all the knights are sponsored by local businesses. The first knight is Eskel av bröderaskapet sponsored by Eskelund’s bakery following him is Tvenne pilar sponsored by the ferry company Destination Gotland.