On Sunday we went on a 13 km hike along the Uppland trail. We took the train from Uppsala to Marma and then walked the distance until its next stop, Älvkarleby.
After a couple of hours of changing sceneries and handfuls of wild raspberries we lunched by the lakeshore.
With regained strengh we continued until we reached Laxön, a small island in the Dalaälven where one can spot salmon that have returned to their birthwaters to spawn.
A pit stop for coffee imposed itself before making our way to the Älvkarleby station for the return train, having completed a walk of about three and a half hours. We burst into laughter at the irony when, after five minutes, the first stop was announced – Marma.
This weekend we celebrated an important birthday: my father’s entering into a new decade.
I can only wish him health and joy.
What better is there to wish for? My father is a person who knows what he wants. He is a man of simple, yet distinguished taste. He finds pleasure in taking long walks, scouting the forest for mushrooms and berries, baking and cooking, building and repairing, gardening….He is not easily impressed by cafes and restaurants, so a fancy dinner, or a spa weekend would not be his cup of tea.
However, we have all been bitten by the same bug, so his birthday present will be a city-trip. I suggested St. Petersburg because I had a sneaking suspicion he would love it. He seemed quite enthused by the idea. So now we need to plan – just enough for this gift to materialise.
If everything goes well, God willing and weather permitting as I like to say, we might be celebrating some more with blinis and samovar tea in the near future. Definitively something to look forward to.
Oh, the balloons of the first picture were blown up on my father’s birthday one year ago! We kept them for an entire year and solemnly replaced them with a new batch. That’s what I call quality.
Monday morning. I wake up at 04.30 am, jump on the bike at 04.50 to catch the airport shuttle at 05.18 and board the forty minute-flight to Helsinki. At the security check I am queuing with people going on charter holidays.
Climate-wise Helsinki was exemplary. I have always had luck with the Finnish weather, and this time, I appreciated the city more. I enjoyed the long walks by the sea, the market places, the distinguished modern architecture and the friendly people. Finns may not be known for being talkative, but it should be noted that they are very helpful. Spending two days in the capital with a personal tour-guide was definitively the cherry on the cake.
Early Friday morning I repeat the same exercise. This time I get on a north-bound train to Sundsvall. Every time I travel north it is like taking a breather. I get that “feeling”. Nature becomes more passionate and majestic, people interact differently. Originality is easier to spot, because everything is lower-scale.
I stroll around the town on a mini nostalgia trip and stop for early lunch at a cafe cum restaurant. While I slowly work myself through my gluten-free pesto sandwich, I overhear interesting conversations as clients come in and chat with the owner. I am loving the moment.
Before I know it though, I have to take the train back. Just like that, I have spent five days in three different locations in two countries.