So much has changed for us over the past two weeks! We knew the change was coming, and to be honest, it was just what we needed. This week of riding in cycle lanes, blending in with the locals and speaking a lot of English has been refreshing!
Our journey itself was a bit rough… over a 36-hour time period, we got only 6 hours of uncomfortable sleep and airplane meals that were insufficient for our cyclist appetite. Then we landed in Oslo, put our bikes together in the airport, and rode 50 kilometers to the city to stay with our host, Maarten. We were completely exhausted upon our arrival!
During our stay in Oslo, we rode our bikes around the city and instantly became aware of the reality that we had entered a new world of bike-friendly culture. We visited Norway’s National Gallery of Art and the Viking Ship Museum. We rode around parks, the waterfront, and the royal palace. Everything felt so different from the world we had just ridden in for 10 months!
We left Oslo and headed south through the forests of Norway. We rode into Sweden on day two, and instantly appreciated the lack of border controls in Europe–we just rode right across! In both countries, free camping in the abundant woods was absolutely no problem. In fact, we haven’t paid for a place to stay since we arrived in Europe!
Inland Sweden was dotted with pristine lakes, and the farther south we went, the flatter the terrain became. That was another huge change for us after months in the Andes! We made our way to the Swedish coast, which actually reminded us a lot of our time riding in New England.
After one week of riding south (and one short ferry ride), we arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark. It’s overwhelming to see so many bikes out on the street and parked on the sidewalk! It is literally a way of life here. When we arrived we realized we had ridden through three cities of more than 500,000 people in the past week, and every time we were able to come in and completely through the city totally on bike lanes… how nice!
Now we head south toward Germany… we hope to make it to Berlin in a week!