Published: August 28th 2006August 28th 2006
I have a photo of the side of her in the Thailand blog, she is pretty elusive when it comes to taking pics.
Aug 5 to Aug 28
Flying into Oslo to visit Stine, my dearest friend Ive met travelling, 16 months ago. I spent nearly three weeks with her rock climbing and hanging out in Krabi, Thailand. Over the past year she kept me entertained with funny stories into her daily life via email. My first day there we road our bikes to her local lake for a swim in a beautiful pine surrounded lake with diving board and sunning rocks, and even better, a huge underwater rock you can stand on in the middle of the lake. Having swam there since she was a kid you would figure she could find it right? On my first two visits her and I swam in a grid pattern while the people on shore had a chuckle in our hopeless attempt to find the rock. I think its not there or it just got up and moved.
Hanging out with Stine was a dose of what I haven't had since I left, movies, cups of tea at the kitchen table, and cooking at home, something I miss quite a lot, cooking from one small pot limits things a bit.
My one night
Sofie and Sebastian
The before and after red face of my long ride.
out on the town was very local, we hit a bar decorated in red Russian props and decor and took in a live act of a crew sounding somewhere in between Cake and 2 skinny J's. A monologue type voice over strange electronic beats, but they covered Madonna, so no complaints. For all the cooking we did our master creation was Asian wok with rice noodles and a side of Elk burger. Sounds good right? When we stumbled home at 430 I'm sure I've never had left overs taste so good.
The night before I left we went for one more post midnight swim with some of Stine's friends who took us to the underwater rock island some 100 meters from where Stine had us searching. Once we found it though, what a site, in the moon light in the middle of a large lake looking as though you were walking on water.
When you look at a standard map Scandinavia is a bit out of proportion, leaving Oslo to southern Sweden was far, at one point I rode four one hundred mile days to hit Vaxjo, too excited to see my friends over camping in the Swedish
I met Sofie and Sebastian back in Indonesia along their gorgeous daughter Lea. My riding was rewarded with great timing for a birthday party honoring Sebastian's uncle from Chile. With me at the table there was Spanish, Swedish and English shifting constantly over massive plates of Crayfish and shots of a rather nasty Swedish toasting drink I really had too much of. Off to the club where I realized that Swedish music may sound good but the translated lyrics are best left untranslated. Both great cooks I did the dishes and enjoyed hanging out at home, watching movies and chatting over coffee, taking walks in the park, really just the normal everyday stuff that I haven't been around. I played football with Sebastian's family, his uncle we had the party for was amazing while I feel like I got two left feet.
Worn out a bit from riding and thinking a week better spent in the south of France, I decided to jump my first train to Amsterdam. Sofie and I hopped in the car to Malmo, she let me drive, my first time since scaring the hell out of Jon with my degraded skills back in
New Zealand. Malmo is just across from Copenhagen where I would jump my train. There we spent some more time cooking and lazing about with her friend Ella.
In Amsterdam I took in the Art museums with great interest, Van Gogh was very moving. But as for my experience there, its best to visit that city in a group, all the things its known for aren't easy to enjoy on your own, kind of depressing if you did. So I may be the first 20 something to visit and not partake in any activities that would be illegal almost anywhere else.
Riding out and south towards Belgium gave me a good look at just how much the land is artificial and reclaimed. Houses on islands, good security but nasty green algae surrounds every one's moat. As for cycling there, heaven, massive bike lanes, excellent signs, bike only overpass bridges and special trash bins for two wheelers.
Needing to be in Madrid October 10 to meet Scott, Jessica and Emily I'm done to my last three countries though France and Spain aren't small..
There are more photos below