Cycling in the woods of Sweden

One of the things I like about vaxjo is the cycling and the number of places one can go around cycling. There are lots of amazing cycling routes which one can do. They are well planned that you cover lakes, fields, country side, some buildings, villages, forests ,beach and based on the number of kms one wants to cycle and you can pick up a route.

So the plan was to do a 30-40 km trail with camping in the forest, but there was thunder storm prediction in the night, so it became a cycling picnic trip instead.

So a normal slow biking would be around 12 km/hour speed and to get out of the city to get onto the track would add 10 kms more. So in total it was like 4 hours of cycling with stops in between and the whole trip would take 1 day with all the stops.

So I got onto my miniature bike and started off to zoom away into the woods.

The first few kms of the route was getting out of the city and finding the track we choose. Once we got into the track, it was country side with summer houses all over for the first few minutes. We were going through gravel tracks with people working on their summer chores. The next part was a bit boring as we had to cycle on the highway for a few kms to get into the forest.

Once we hit the forest it was pure magic.The forest was amazing, clean air with the scents of the flowers breezing through ,peaceful trees making way for you, sun streaming through the trees to make you warm. The woods were so deep and old, a few trees were hundreds of years old.

We then came across some beautiful fields with farms, cows, horses, deers .At a place we came across an ancient place which was a burial ground from 500 BC-AD. They were small hills every where and each hill was a grave. If you did not know about the place you would thing that they were small natural hills. We have to trek some 200 meters to reach the graves into the deep woods. It sounds creepy but it was one of the most serene places I have seen and it was actually a nice picnic spot 🙂

We then continued into the country side with farms, and came into the village called GÅRDSBY.Gasslanda village is a beautiful village been inhabited since the Stone Age with acers of crops. The colors were so vivid, with so many shades of green fields and trees, blue waters and skies. You can melt into the sceneries.

We found a old small church which was built in 1800’s and decided to stop in. The person who took care of the church was a sweet old man who voluntered to take us around. The church was nice with paintings by a swedish painter Bengt Nordenberg from 1882. He offered us some Fika( meaning having some coffe and some cookies in sweden). He said he worked on a ship as a cleaning boy when he was young and they sailed to India for a stopover on a journey in 1954 and he told me a few tales on what he saw. Its nice to see people from those times and how they remember India :). I signed their guest book and maybe I am going to be the only Indian to sign a guest book in a remote village in Sweden 😉

After all the cycling it was time to have some food. So we found a place among the woods and had our picnic lunch. It was a amazing meal with food, bees buzzing around you, and naughty bugs trying to creep onto you :).

After a nice break it was time to start peddling again.The road was hilly. It was fun to slope down. Just feels like you are flying sometimes. As this was my first time through the swedish forests we stopped to pick up some wild strawberries and blueberries :). The whole forest was filled with them. It was fun to go into the woods and pick up fruits from the ground and eat as many as you can pick :). Its a common things to go blueberries picking here as people make muffins or store them to use them for the rest of the year.

After all the cycling it was time to hit the waters. With so many lakes around one can never resist from jumping into the water and this is one thing which has become one of my daily habits. Swimming in the lakes with trees around you with the blue water and bright sun is something I fell in love with here. So this lake was a bit different with a bit of algae. But they are natural lakes and each lake has something different and are totally safe to swin in any of the lakes. After soaking in the water for sometime, it was time to hit the route back home.

Must have biked around 40 kms .Was tyring sometimes especially when you have a slope to climb, but amazingly I feel fresh after the day. Thats what forest, woods and clean air can do to ones mind and soul :). Give me a horse, cows, a few chickens and a computer with Internet, I wouldn’t mind getting settled in the farm and woods 😉

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