BIKE RIDE IN SWEDEN–THE ROUTE MAP

This map shows the bike route we will taking.  It starts in Stockholm, moves south and west, then north and back east to Stockholm.   As you can see there are numerous lakes and waterways in this part of Sweden.  In fact, Stockholm is spread over 14 islands with about 30% of the city being covered with water.

The notable things about the landscape on our ride is that the southern part is generally covered with large wheat fields and very little commercial facilities.  In the northern part of the ride there are major forests and more hill climbing then in the south.  All in all the country is beautiful and very natural.

Another distinctive thing about this route is there are something like 300 castles along the way.  We will be visiting a few of them on the ride.

Sit back and enjoy our RIDE IN SWEDEN.

 

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BIKE RIDE IN SWEDEN—DAY 1–STOCKHOLM

 

Our first hotel in Stockholm was the Hotell Reisen .  It was located across from the harbor in Stockholm.  Nice!

Once we got situated, we took a tour of some interesting spots in the city.  The park known as “Millesgarden” houses multiple statues created by Milles and other artists.  It is beautifully located along the river that flows through Stockholm.  The last picture is of the three girls (Georgie, Mimi and Lynn) trying to get their statues represented in the museum.  Good luck.

 

MILLESGARDEN

 

 

VASA MUSEUM

We also went to see the VASA Museum.  This museum houses the infamous sailing ship the VASA.  This ship was built in 1620 at the request of the king.  On its maiden voyage, however, it sank in the harbor soon after it was launched.  The engineers had misjudged the balancing of the bow needed to keep it floating upright.  Incredible art work can be seen on the outside of the ship.


 

We walked around town for a while longer and saw many interesting things.  Stockholm is a very interesting town and the people we met were very nice and friendly.

 

 

 

 

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BIKE RIDE IN SWEDEN–INTRODUCTION

On August 1st we boarded the plane for our flight to Stockholm, Sweden.   This was the start of an 11 day adventure that would cover nearly 200 mile of the beautiful Swedish country side known as “Sormland”.  This region is marked by many lakes, large wheat fields and beautiful forests.  In addition there were several unique sites along the way that we visited.

Our group of riders on this trip consisted of 19 bikers and one special helper to the guides (Georgie).  Our route was generally rolling hills for most of the journey.  Most of the folks had electric bikes and only a few of us had the old manual style—self-propelled.  It was a little difficult getting up some of the hills and after the second day I decided to go to the electric bike.  Normally this is not my preference, but I was missing out on the site-seeing while expending a lot of energy getting up the hills.

Today’s blog will be the first and will be followed by several more along with pictures of the beautiful landscape we encountered.  This is the first time I’ve been able to post on the blog since we started the trip as the hotels did not really have the computer/internet facilities available for me to post.  In addition our schedule was very busy so not much time to blog.

Then when we got home, we found our internet was out due to thunder storms in our area.  It is still out today but there is suppose to be a technician on the way.

So that’s the story.  I look forward to sharing our story with you and to show you the beauty of Sweden.  I might add that the people of Sweden were exceptionally nice no matter who we dealt with.

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Error

I published a draft from the end of our trip in June.  It posted after my latest blog telling you that I am about to start an adventurous bike ride in Sweden.  That post is just after the one about us stopping in Indianapolis.  So dropped down one blog and you see the most current post.  Just trying to get use to this again.

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Today is our next to the last day on the road.

We left Indianapolis about 9am this morning with no great plan other than to get to Knoxville, Tn., this evening.  Georgie, however, was actively looking for cool things to see on Road Side America.

The first place we stopped was Greensburg, Il.  The reason we stopped there was to see an actual life tree growing out of the very top of the Court House Tower.

      

And there it is.  The area in front of the Court House was totally devoted to honoring those that had served our country in the various wars and conflicts through the years.

The placque in the very center of the Court House states “The Nation that Forgets its Defenders, Will be itself Forgotten”.  The truth our Nation lives by.

We left Greensburg and headed for Cinncinati.  On the way there Georgie found that there was “Sign Museum”.  With no idea what we would see, we went to this museum.  As we entered the parking lot there was a big sign that said “Holiday Inn”.  Did I make a wrong turn?  No, that was just one of the signs.  We parked the RV and went to the entrance.  Here is Georgie surveying the building.

So this was just the start.  On the inside,as you will see, there were hundreds of old signs–some neon and some that were painted.  I can’t possibly show you all of them but here are a few dozen to wet your appetite.

   

  

   

And finally, for my son, Rob, here is a sign he might reeognize.

I know my pictures don’t do this museum justice.  This is a unique place that should be put on everyone’s travel calendar.

After the tour through the museum,we went out to get to our car.  How could I resist getting a picture of Georgie with this fine animal.  Has see lost weight????

After finding myself still alive we decided to go to a local diner for lunch.  We chose a place called “Camp Washington Chili”.  And yes they served really good chili.  I picked a number 3 combo which gave me chili, spaghetti and cheese.  Check it out.

Georgie settled for just a bowl of chili.  It was all good.

After this adventure, Georgie had scheduled one more stop in Berea, Ky, to see the Historic Boone Tavern.  We drove through the town and finally found the Tavern, which turned out to be a complete hotel, with restaurant and bar. 

As we wandered around in the hotel looking for the historical part, a gentleman asked us if we had been there before.  WE told him that we were just passing through but wanted to see this site.  He turned out to be the Director of the Hotel and he personally showed us around and explained some of the sights.  I asked him how long he had lived in the town and he responded with “Oh, about a year.”  I’ sensing a pattern here.  If you recall the Director of the Museum in Bloomington had also moved there about a year ago to take his job.  We seem to find the right people.

The one last thing we saw today was this sign in the park across from the Boone Tavern.  It read “Daniel Boon Trail. North Carolina to Kentucky.”   How about that.

As I finish this blog today, the rain is pounding down on us.  Well, we have to get ready for our return to Flat Rock tomorrow.  Hope you have enjoyed these blogs.  Georgie and I have certainly enjoyed seeing these unusal places and things.  Good night, Friends.

 

 

 

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It’s been awhile but here we go again.

Dear Friends,
It has been awhile since I have posted on this blog. But tomorrow we board a flight to Stockholm, Sweden. We will be starting a 10 day bike ride in that beautiful country and I am going to try and blog the adventure to you each day. The only problem will be trying to find a computer that will do the job. At any rate, it should be a very interesting trip and I hope you will be able to follow the story and the pictures.

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PAGE 3–EVEN MORE ADVENTURES

So we actually left our campsite at 8am and had about a 4 hour drive to Indianapolis, Il., where we would be staying tonight.  As it turned out, it took us from 8am to 5pm to cover the 312 miles.  This was the result of numerous stops, many of which you are reading about.  So here is the story of the final stops.

In Oakwood, Il., there were two important stops we had to make.  The first was the Ludwig Creamery that posted signage regarding their famous cheeses.  The second, was the Sleepy Creek Winery that offered something to wash the cheese down with. (My words not theirs)

The Creamery was about 6 miles from the freeway exit but when we found it, we were only 100 feet from the freeway we had just gotten off.  In the yard were several cows, obviously the real producers of the place.  Before going inside I took a few pictures of the building and signs.

Inside the Creamery, they had a display of their various cheeses that you could sample individually.  So sample we did.  Then once you decide the ones you like, you turn around and open the refrigerator and take them out.  You pay the attendent and ask several questions and soon you are on your way.  Ludwig is an award winning producer based on these placques and ribbons on the wall.

With our tummys full of cheese we headed for the only sensible place we could get something to wash it down.  Yes! the Winery.  It was about 10 miles out of town but I drove fast to get there.  On the way I took a picture of this field of canola plants that Georgie told me were used to make Canola Oil.  Ok.

We finally arrived at the Winery.  Georgie moved in quicky on the slim chance they would be out of wine by 3:30pm.

They had plenty.  The bar-keep gave us a menu and said to pick three of the ones we wanted to sample.  Here are my three;

Labels: Bull Headed, Lunacy and Calavera our Cat.

The wines were pretty good.  Not the best but good just the same.  I ended up buying three bottles of the ones I liked.

Unable to stand at the bar much longer, we thanked the bar tender and headed for the car.  We soon arrived in Indianapolis at our camp site.  We got to our site and I hooked up.  We had talked about going to the movies tonight but were concerned about getting dinner taken care of before the movie started.  We then realized we had moved to a new time zone and we were an hour later.  Woops, no movie tonight.  As it turned our we had some nice neighbors whom we talked to and that passed the time.  The man was a demonlition expert who was working on a job in the area to take down on old building.  I gave him a bottle of wine in hopes he would not practice on our humble RV.

All in all an adventures day.  Hope you are having as much fun as we are.

 

 

 

 

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PAGE 2–MORE ADVENTURES

I’M BACK.    Yes there are more adventures to come in this day.  Here we go.

Next stop was the town of Bloomington, Il.  We stopped here to see a very historical figure.  There are some statues of  Lincoln in Bloomington.  And ,of course, we all know that the town of Lincoln is not far from Bloomington.  Anyway, we went to Bloomington to see the statue of Lincoln in a struggle with two of his close friends over his “free the slaves” speech.  The two men were David Davis and Jessie Fell.  Lincoln stood strong and prevailed in this fight.  The interaction was called the “Convergence of Purpose”.  The statue was erected in 2010.

After viewing this unique statue and reading all the plaques associated with it, we headed to the City Court House to see a statue of Lincoln sitting on a bench in front of the building.  I had a little trouble finding it at first and had to ask a local where it was.  I finally found it.  As I sat down on the bench next to Lincoln and looked him in the eye before taking the selfie, a young gentleman came up to me and asked if I wanted him to take the picture.  Of course, I responded yes.  Here is the picture.

As I talked to the young man, he began to tell me about some history of the town that could be found in the Museum that was in the Court House.  I then asked him if he lived in this town and he said “Yes, for about a year.”  I asked him what brought him here.  “Oh” he said, “I was offered the job as Director of the Museum.”  So then I asked him if he would mind if I took his picture with Lincoln.  He naturally replied, “Of course. Would be happy to.”

Here is Adam, the Museum Director, sitting with Abe Lincoln in front of the Court House.

I’m sure Lincoln enjoyed visiting with both of us.

Off to the next town and next adventure–PAGE 3.

 

 

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Drove over 300 miles today and nothing happened.

Seriously, do you believe that heading? Of course, we had some adventures.  Here they are.

First we stopped in Peoria, Il., to see three special things.  First we saw a replica of the St. Louis Arch.  However, this one was a bit smaller and had a car anchored in the middle of the arch.

Next we saw an ice cream building that literally looked like the product they were selling.

The third and last thing we saw was the Giant Rooster with a Top Hat.  Notice how I captured the sign behind him that said this was a “Quick Stop”.

But the good news after seeing all of these unique markers, was the fact that the store just behind the rooster was actually a bakery.  So naturally we had to stock up on the good things they had inside.

Ah, yes, the start of the day can be filled with adventures and yummy donuts as well.  Eat your heart out.

I’m going to continue this days blog on the next page, simply marked PAGE 2.

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How about just a short relaxed story of our day?

We got up at 6:30am and got ready so we could go on the 9am tour at the Winnebago plant, which was virtually across the street from the park we stayed last night.  Here I am enjoying a glass of grape juice–Merlot ,I think.  Not at 6:30am.  It was more like 6:30pm the night before.  Geezes!

Didn’t really know what to expect we’d see in the plant but it turned out to be very fasinating.  We met our tour guy, Lowell, and 18 other people a the Winnebago Visitors Center.

We were boarded on the tour bus and driven a short distance to the plant grounds.  Just about every where we looked on the grounds around the plant buidings, there were RV’s in different phases of completion.  Hopefully you get some idea from this picture.

Once on the grounds we were escorted onto a couple of the plant floors.  The first one we saw was where they made all the accessories.  These included furniture, cushions, chairs, cabinets,etc.  They had cutters, sewers, sewing machines, and computer operated machines to cut things precisely to the measurement needed.

Here is Georgie in her tour gear.  Plastic glasses, ear plugs and orange vest.  Fashionable, right?

After this, we went to the assembly plant known as the “Big Bertha”.  Here we saw them assembling the actual RV.  They were putting floors on the chasis, walls, windows and interior finish.  Even exterior decals were attached.  It was quite amazing to see the people perform.  They obviously knew what they were doing and they did it quickly and accurately.  You can really appreciate the quality of a Winnebago when you see this factory at work.

I think the guide told us that they had a staff of over 2,500 employees.  Most came from the local town but many were drawn from the surrounding area.

After this fascinating tour we went back to the Service Center where Georgie bought several little parts we needed for our RV.  Nothing terribly mechanical.

We then went back to our RV and drove into Forest City, the closest town to Winnebago.  We decided to have Chinese food based on the recommendation of two sales clerks in the Winnebago Service Center.  The food was really good.  We had Sweet and Sour Shrimp and Chicken.

We then started our ride to Davenport, Ia., where we were staying tonight.  On the way there, we went through the town of Waterloo, Ia.  The name Waterloo brings up many thoughts from history.  But for us it was about the music.  I looked up the song Waterloo and found a video of ABBA singing the song in their beautiful manner.  Since I had found their album with the song on it, we decided to have an ABBA Concert.  We were singing along and clapping our hands.  Georgie was driving so she could only clap one hand.  Very entertaining.

Yes! This is ABBA.

When we finally got to Davenport, we were really tired.  So a Margarita and a glass of wine, helped to relax us.

Since we had left-overs from lunch, Georgie warmed up the Chinese food and we feasted on it once again.  Yum! Yum!

 

After dinner we took a walk around the RV park and got back to our site shortly after watching the sun start it late night move into the horizon.  I told Georgie to remind me to go out and take a picture of the sunset in about a half-hour.  I forgot but she remembered.  I walked quickly to the edge of the park and caught a few pictures.  This one says it all.

That’s about it for this relaxed day.  Talk to you tomorrow.  Oh, here is our RV parked at the campground tonight.

Good night my friends.

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