Söderkoping, Göta CanalJune 8, 2017 in Sweden
We filled and emptied the van in the pouring rain before continuing to make our way towards Stockholm. Söderkoping provided a free car park next to the Göta canal where our stay was limited to a maximum of 4 hours before 6pm and 4 hours after 8am. This allowed us to arrive in the afternoon and stay until noon the following day.
We had a little look along the moorings which were being used by a couple of yachts and a river cruiser. The town was unremarkable but there was an icecream café along the canalside that sold everything from a simple cone to a icecream trophy cup through to a bucket full of different flavours, steaming with dry ice. Having treated ourselves to a lot of meals out in Gothenburg we managed to resist temptation!
Before we left the following morning we took the tandem along the towpath. It was warm but the skies above were steely and threatening. On our travels certain flowers seem to predominate in certain countries. We will always associate France with red Field Poppies and Germany with blue Cornflowers. Sweden's flower is definitely the Lupin. Pink, purple, cream and blue varieties fill motorway verges with swathes of colour and along the Göta canal we passed a little cottage whose garden was full of them; beautiful!
The locks (all electronically operated) were overflowing with the recent heavy rain but the gravel surface had drained well so cycling wasn't a problem until the bike started almost groaning at us very insistently as we peddled hard uphill. We stopped to check it and found 6 spokes were broken and the back wheel buckled - must have been all those delicious Swedish buns Vicky had been scoffing! We were able to carefully ride it back to the van before the heavens opened but we wouldn't be able to use it again until we got replacement spokes.Read more