Zurück zur Home Page Thumbnail-SeiteEuropakarte Mailarchiv

Chapter 4: Varberg - Svinesund

Leaving at Grenaa

Arrival Varberg
As the bikes are stowed one enters the stairs and climbs up in the ship, at the top there is the sun deck. I am not sure how to overcome the four hours of the journey. Of course a walk around, change the rest of Dansk mony to Swedish Kronen. Moreover there is a supermarket, slotmachines for the youngsters, a cinema and fast food supply. I better return to the sun deck, look for a nice place on the floor, put the bag under my neck and soon I must have been fallen asleep for it is 1 1/2 hours later after some time.

As I have finished to wipe my eyes the Swedish coast is in sight already. We then come to Varberg and in fact there are some flat rocks like skerries (Schären). The cyclists are the first again to leave the ship. We have 5 pm, the sun is shining and the wind comes from the south while I want to go north. So it is not the time to look for an accommodation. I soon find a bike path, this is named Ginstleden Cyklespåret, whatever this will be. I am quite naive and have no map. At the left side now and then there are some skerries, so we must be right. I ask the next cyclists that come from ahead if this is the right route to Norway. They look somewhat stupid but then agree that it will lead to Göteborg anyhow. Then it is OK. At the Campingsite Kärradal I get a shock again: full booked, this area (Halland) is called the Swedisch Riviera. I buy my stuff at the camping shop and am ready for a night behind a heap of hay.

Furtheron we have a nice ride to the north, but then I make a nasty mistake. I cannot believe, that the cycle path turns to the E6 and choose another road and sign following my mental orientation. After 7 or 8 km on a boring road along power stations and industrial sites I end at a peninsula and a village named Bua. The only way to continue is the way back. I am angry but otherwise I am glad to ride alone and not to be the fool of the gang. As I return to the place of misunderstanding I find the cycle sign 20 m ahead.

A Fork with Skerry Rock


Then I see the first sign : Rum & Frukost and some time argue about alcoholics and fruit until I understand: Bed & Breakfast. But this sign is rare and the next Rum is offered after some distance at some houses named Stravalla. I enter a gravel path to the house, ring a bell and an older man comes out. Everything OK, there are rooms behind the garage area and I get the cheapest. I will cater for myself again and pay in advance, so I can start early tomorrow. By the way I can state, that the sleeping bag for the Youth Hostel which I had bought before, is very important meanwhile for these simple lodgings which have no bed clothes.

I finally ride to the "beach". This is behind a railway line and some youngsters have their bath. Nothing more to be seen. I return and read some pages of the guest book:

"Thank you for all. We had a super night.
The beds were soft and the pillows comfortable."

But another entry:

"At last I know how to feel in prison.
But the beds were dry at least.
The air was somewhat mouldy.
We never got off so early."

May be I better should have continued my ride today, but I have a good sleep.

12 Monday, 29.7. Stravalla - Orust/Hjälmvik, 160 km

I get up at 5.30 am, breakfast and tea. Wash up and off. I should not have continued yesterday for there is no other accommodation nearby, at Åsa there is a sterile looking Motell and the next B&B is 20 km ahead. We reach the town Kungsbacka, this is still asleep. This time I stay to the sign and there are nice side roads. Some time along a former rail track with lots of barriers to stop the speedies. But it is tedious and you find no rhythm (Shall I remember you that my pedals still crack?). But the aching muscles have gone. At one place the route is blocked. They have spanned a cable across the road and try to pull out a six-wheeler truck out of the mud. This is boring, and after some time I slip under the rope and rush away. The workers crie at me but how long would I have been waiting otherwise?


Arrival at Göteborg

So it is adequate that I loose the bike sign again and find my own way into Göteborg, and this is parallel to the E6 and busy. In the city I can find no city map. So I need some time to find the tourist information. But you cannot go to one of the ladies and ask! "You must take a number" someone says. Then I have a Seventy Seven and soon I am called. There is a city map torn from a block. I ask for a cycle guide for the NSCR. I get the brochure Cykelspåret Bohuslän. This path leads up to Norway. The booklet is in Swedish only and the maps are not so detailed. But one knows where to go. They tell me the biggest bookshop of Göteborg around the corner (Akademiebokhandeln), but those have less than nothing for cyclists.

Chinarestaurant at Göteborg

I think to have spent enough time in this busy town - the buildings seem to be so big. I pass the bridge over the Göta Älv. The cycle path is signed towards Kungälv. Good signs are necessary because we zizag between Highways, Autobahnen and mainroads. At last there is a high bridge and I cannot resist to cross over. Then there is a steep uphill so I hesitate. And after some meditations I understand, I am wrong except I would like to go to the Vänern Lake.

Bohus Fortification

So back across the high bridge and I find the cycle sign into the opposite direction. There is the "right" bridge over the Nordre Älv is just turned upwards to let pass a boat. To the right there is the Bohus fortification. We now ride up the river Göta Alv and then the path leads into some hills, unusual meanwhile. The landscape is nice, meadows, lakes in the forest, a golf course. At the end we reach the coast again at Jörlanda. We then have to stay on the main road with much traffic. At last there is a building site and a traffic jam. But we can see it already: the big bridge at Stenungsund. This bridge leads to the island Tjörn, part of the Skerry Archipelago.

Bridge at Stenungsund

At the bridge is much trouble and a petrol station. The cyclists must use an undercrossing to the cycle path over the bridge. So we fly high above the water and have nice views.

Outlook from the Stenungsund-Bridge
On the first island we use side roads. The villages are very small, there is neither any shop nor any accommodation. A dam (or bridge) leads to the next island Mjörn and another bridge to the island Orust. And there is a sign: Rum. I start to go there after some distance there is another sign: Full. So I return at once and some people in front of a hut self-contented look at me. I think of a night in the outback again. The usual story: finally there is the one and only sign B&B aside the road. I turn to some gravel paths, at every fork the sign is placed thoroughly. And the last house, there it is, and there is no other guest, I can reign on a complete comfortable upper storey. There is a nice view to a skerry bay from the balcony.

Outlook from the Balcony in Hjälmvik

Due to the distance of today I need a regeneration very urgently and finally enjoy my selfmade dinner.

13 Tuesday, 30.7. Hjälmvik - Grebbestad, 121 km

I get a fine breakfast and will enjoy this day which will present some delicacies in the skerry landscape. The landlady tells that she is the only B&B station of this island. The locals don't like to get people from the road. The address is:

Lena Hansson, Hjälmvik 3249,
472 97 Varekil
Tel 0304-41060 Fax 0304-4853

Mail Boxes, so...

...or so!

I start into a wonderful day. The first village is Nösund. Sleepy at this time, the first people come up for a bath. There is a beautiful view over the waters and the skerries and it is worth to meditate about this for a while (Panorama).

Panorama at Nösund

Coastal View with Tunnel

Ferry to Malö

Ferry Persäng


Panorama from the Skaftö-Bridge

Charterboot Harry
Some time later we have a nice ferry transit to Malö. In spite of the island situation the route is pretty hilly until we reach the final town Fiskebäkskil. This is touristic again with crowds of people. I look for a ship to Lysekil. There is the charterboat Harry just leaving off and they have difficulties to keep me out there. But Harry will go to quite another place.


The ordinary boat comes some time later and we enjoy the crossing. Lysekil is the most famous town of this area, may be due to it's exposed church, the rest is not so romantic. I don't stay here very long, unfortunately the nice section of today now ends. We stay to the main road 162, sometimes on the old track, then on the 171 to the Åbyfjorden. We find a shortcut and avoid the slope via Bovallastrand. So I cannot tell you, what we miss at Bovallastrand. We master some hills meanwhile with still cracking pedals.

Svenneby: Paintings

Bell Tower

The route then stays to the coast, if we reach the sea, there is a downhill, and if we leave it, we have to climb again. We come to Hamburgsund, a bit larger and with a tourist information. They say, that hotels and other accommodations will be booked. So I will have a look from now on for a good occasion. The first Camping ground Långesjö is full. At an estate with the sign Rum there is no one to find and ask. The other signs at the road are hidden by clothes or something like that to demonstrate, that there is nothing available. I cannot understand this situation for it is no weekend. Near Grebbestad there is a sign Stuga once again.

I find a man in a garden and can talk to him in English. He has no free room or hut. He and his wife then try to help me and phone at the tourist bureau. But there it is too busy, one should go there personally, they say. I should look for some time, and if there is nothing, I could return and sleep in the barn, the man finally says. "Then I stay at once" I say. And "I am a romanticist and like the individual atmosphere".

Lodging in the Barn
The man must ask his wife first but then we are at one with the matter. I get a camp bed and then I am introduced: "No open fire inside the barn, there is a watertube and a tin bucket to wash, the toilet is a simple two-holer with sawdust to flush. In the barn there are tables and chairs for festivities now and then. In a bench we find one-way plates and plastic fork and knife. The representation table is a former field trailer (Ackerwagen) with some raw planks on it. Really romantic everything.

At my lonesome dinner (shrimps once again) I get some entertainment by a family of swallos, who have their nest under the roof and are somewhat excited. Another noise comes out of the wooden roof construction but cannot be identified. May be it is a marten? So I hang up my food in a plastic bag on a nail, like the trappers do in Alaska against the bears. As everything is complete I creep into my sleeping bag and have a wonderful night.

14 Wednesday, 31.7. Grebbestad - Frederikstad, 134 km

The swallow's concert starts at 5 am. No more sleep is possible and I can start very early again. Not to be any Anonymus I leave my visiting card and 100 SKr. on the table, write a farewell and thanks and hope, that the next poor cyclist is welcome again. A look at the door for the names of my benefactors only yields: Turi & Hans Martin.

Church at Lur

The first town is Tanumshede, where I meet the cycle path again. The signs for rooms aside the road are all hidden. I cannot say, if the hotel in Tanumshede is booked too. The first rest today is at the church of Lur. We have an agricultural landscape again with forests, heather and fields. Finally we reach Skee at the E6. A short section on this Autobahn is inevitable but then we turn to the botany again towards Strömstadt. I meet two cycling girls from Münster who ride from Göteborg to Oslo. They offer a bisuit and show me a wonderful brochure of the Norwegian route. I did not organize these things in advance, because I do not want to carry all the heavy paper stuff all the time. May be I get it at the border.

Near Strömstad


Before Strömstadt there is a last nice section of skerry coast (apart from an ugly camping ground on a hill). Strömstadt is not so impressive on me, too hectic and much traffic. Soon we are in the nature again and master the last hills of Sweden. Near Svinesund the roaring traffic sucks us up, and at last there it is: the bridge of Svinesund. And I can tell you: while I leave Sweden my pedallery condescends to stop the cracking noise. I cannot explain...


Chapter 5. Svinesund - Kristiansand
Back to the Index-Page
Back to the HomePage