This week was my final regular work trip out to Sweden, so I wanted to grab some images of the country whilst I still had the chance. Marstrand in the Gothenburg archipelagos was recommended as a great local site. This shot was taken on the far side of Arvidsvik Island, by one of the island’s several lighthouses, looking out west to the North Sea.
Spent most of the last week in Gothenburg, so decided to capitalise on the great weather last Friday and went up to Klippan on the ferry. From there, I walked a couple of kilometres to a great vantage point where I watched the sun drop behind the horizon. Aside from the plethora of mosquitoes on hand, the experience was very serene, as only Sweden can be.
I was in Stockholm at the end of last week and wondered down to the harbour in search of a morning shot before the working day commenced. The weather forecast had stated it would be a clear, sunny day, yet as I stood on the quayside, it started to snow gently. As the opalescent cloud drifted off in a south easterly direction, the dawn light emerged along with some dawn colours.
The second shot below I took a short while later, with a Lee Filter Little Stopper (x6 ND filter), to lengthen the exposure. I lost the colour in the clouds but the movement of the ferry and sky made for an interesting alternative version of the same scene.
Last week I was in Gothenburg for business as is usual in my role. After work, I headed over to the south side of the river to grab some end of day shots. This one is of the north side, called Lindholmen, where our new office is located.
This version really does not do the shot justice as this is the result of stitching 5 images together and cropping some of the scene to either side of the image.
Julien had a little bit of a late start this morning as it took him some time to recover from the 95 miles he cycled yesterday.
He knew that today would be a bit shorter and was expecting to cover around 120km.
He set off towards OverKalix and cycled towards the town for 53km. The route was very hilly and Julien faced a constant headwind that really slowed him down.
The hills and the wind meant that it took Julien 4 and a half hours to reach OverKalix, rather than the two hours he was expecting.
Julien stopped in briefly at OverKalix, which was a really nice picturesque town. He pushed on and was excited about heading towards Finland.
Julien cycled to Övertorneå and again faced a strong headwind. This meant he arrived at the town about an hour later than he was expecting.
He had a bite to eat at Övertorneå and then cycled onwards crossing the bridge from Sweden in Finland.
Crossing the bridge Julien had about 50km of great cycling. The road was finally flat, the wind died down and there was very little traffic.
Julien passed the campsite he had originally planned to stay in and decided to push on to the Artic Circle.
Finland is two hours ahead of the UK so by the time Julien arrived everything had shut down, but he was still really chuffed to have made it the Artic Circle after 2000 miles!
The excitement of reaching the Artic Circle gave Julien a boost of energy and he continued on for another 25km.
However the wind picked up and he was very tired by this stage so it took him a couple of hours to reach the nearest campsite.
When Julien arrived at the town it was absolutely buzzing with people in the streets and a band playing.
Julien had to queue to get into the campsite and once he made it inside he discovered that a massive motor racing event is occurring over the next couple of days.
At 11.30 it was still really bright outside with the sun still a fair distance above the horizon. Combined with the party atmosphere Julien is not expecting much sleep tonight!
Still, hopefully Julien will get some sleep before cycling on tomorrow – he really is on the home stretch now!
Please also visit the Child’s i Foundation and see if you can do anything to help out!
Julien could not get a signal on his phone last night, but I just got a text from him with an update on what he got up to yesterday.
He started out a little bit later than usual because his clothes were stuck in the campsites washing machine!
Eventually the owner of the campsite managed to fix the machine and Julien set off at about 11.
He cycled towards Lulea on a rough road and was shaken around quite a bit on the way. On the plus side he saw some stunning views on the route.
He stopped in for lunch but couldn’t read the menu so randomly ordered something to eat. He is still not sure what it was but said it tasted ok!
Julien did not particularly like Lulea, he got stuck on a dangerous dual carriageway on the way north to Tore.
The hard shoulder was sometimes only 10cm wide and traffic was passing him by at 70mph!
To avoid this Julien decided to take a much longer back road route which turned into stone / mud tracks. He did an extra 50km as a result.
He got to Tore and found a campsite that had some gorgeous views over the sea.
Julien thinks it was a bit of a mistake to come to the Baltic coast, as the roads are all so busy.
Julien is now heading on to Finland. Here is the Google Map of yesterday’s journey.
You can sponsor Julien on his Just Giving page.
Today was all about getting to Älvsbyn so Julien covered the miles as quickly as possible.
He left Slagnas this morning and was on the road for a while before he saw any other vehicles.
Julien has noticed that the roads are getting significantly quieter as he heads towards Nordkapp.
After cycling for about 94km Julien made it to Arvidsjaur where he stopped for lunch.
He left the town at around 2 and had to contend with more hills and insects as he pushed further on.
To try and avoid the bugs Julien had to maintain a fast speed.
The one time he stopped to change the audio book he was listening to on his Ipod, Julien was surrounded by a swarm on insects – horrible!
So he kept up the fast pace and powered on, arriving at Älvsbyn at around 6.30.
Julien will make it to the Baltic tomorrow and is aiming to camp at either Tore or Kalik. By the following night he hopes to arrive at the Artic Circle.
Here is the Google Map for today.
Please remember that Julien is undertaking his massive journey to support the Child’s i Foundation, a great charity that is aiming to build a home for abandoned babies in Uganda.
You can support the charity and sponsor Julien by visiting his Just Giving page.
Julien started off feeling a bit down this morning.
He stayed in a campsite right by a road and the noise made by passing cars and his fellow campers meant that he kept waking up last night.
To cheer himself up Julien set off early, had a big breakfast and bought some provisions for the day. This did the trick and he started feeling more positive.
He cycled towards Stromma knowing that there were major roadworks up ahead.
The road Julien needed to take had been completely ripped up and replaced with flat stones and a new layer of sticky tarmac.
Most of the road was very jagged and Julien’s bike was constantly shaking as a cycled on at a slow pace alongside a number of motor homes!
He made it to Stromma by lunchtime. But it turned out to be a pretty dull place. The only café in the town was in a library!
After lunch he pushed on to Sorsele. The route there was pretty tough going with more hills that took a long time to cycle up and over.
Julien suffered some sudden pain in his left leg but after taking some tablets this subsided.
Sorsele was also a bit of a disappointment with a very basic campsite, so Julien decided to cover some more miles and head towards Slagnas.
Despite the unfortunate name Slagnas tuned out to be a really nice place with a campsite set up for travellers.
The owner of the campsite told Julien that a few other people had already passed through on the way to Nordkapp.
Overall Julien cycled for 12 hours today and covered a huge 109 miles.
I am pleased to report that Julien had a much better day today.
He took good care of his leg keeping it heavily strapped and he suffered very little pain throughout the day.
Thankfully the roads also started to flatten out a bit. There were still some hills but they were not as big as they have been over the last few days.
Julien started by cycling to Hoting. From there he cycled along a long road surrounded by trees on either side.
He made it to a nice town called Dorotea where he chatted to some locals about the route ahead and the conditions in Nordkapp.
Julien also met a Swedish traveller who is cycling from the north tip of Sweden right down to the southernmost point and he and Julien were able to compare notes.
Whilst chatting by a railroad track Julien spotted a Reindeer and its baby who walked close by before returning to the forest. Julien says it was a bit of a magic moment!
From Dorotea Julien cycled along a fast stretch of road and stopped at Meselefors for lunch. He met another Swedish guy who was travelling across the country.
He warned Julien that the roads ahead are in a bit of bad state.
As a result Julien is expecting to have to push his bike along for the first hour or so tomorrow.
Before making it to Vilhelmina where he is staying for the night, Julien saw a sign that told him he officially entered Lapland.
He covered 82 miles today and is planning to cycle around 95 tomorrow to make it to Sorsele. Julien hopes to make it to the artic circle in about five days.
The bad news is that Julien is going to have to put up with almost 24-hour daylight for a while longer.
It also sounds like there are many more insects to come as he heads further north.