Not All Who Wander Are Lost

By Stephen Ewashkiw | August 21, 2013

5778 km so far.

We are planning a long ride along a bike path that twists down the coast, adding many kilometres to our route. The Ginstleden cycle route covers most of the distance between Göteborg and Malmö. It follows the jagged west coast line for much of the way, taking you past beautiful sea views, magnificent homes, and ancient sites. It would be much faster to cycle along the main road, but where’s the fun in that?

First, we wanted to spend a little time in Göteborg. As you know, we don’t usually stop in a churches and museums; we like to experience places by walking where locals walk, eating where locals eat, and drinking where locals drink. In the process we see a lot of the city, a lot of the people, and hopefully have the chance to talk to some locals.

Damn Fine Coffee

When we asked Staffan and Maria what we should see and do in Göteborg, we knew we were asking the right people when the answer was, “Go to the best coffee shop in town and hang out. That’s what we do.”

Staffan and Maria. Thanks so much for hosting us, you two!

Staffan and Maria. Thanks so much for hosting us, you two!

So we did.

They showed us on the map where we could find the da Matteo roastery, so we made it our first stop of the day. We were lucky to find Matts (as in DaMatts…) at the shop.

coffee making da matteo gothenburg

The machinery of coffee, at da Matteo, Gothenburg.

He and I had a great conversation about coffee, the Göta Kanal (he grew up on it), and cycling. I love how almost all good roasters are into cycling as well. Matts has really been doing interesting work with da Matteo, including having an in-house bakery, doing corporate event coffee planning with Volvo, and expanding their coffee shops to become sort of a mini-chain specialty coffee shop.

He’s dreaming big and making things happen. I love it.

Something else I love about coffee roasters is that they love what they do so much, they want to help you find other good coffee. Today Matts helped me locate a great roaster in Malmö called Lilla, and another just outside Malmö in the town of Lund called Love.

After a long coffee break, we wandered around the old district of town, Haga, rode down the main shopping street, and stumbled upon the local university’s freshman initiation festivities.

red bicycle

Lipstick red bike, Gothenburg.

Into The Sun

We want to be in Malmö by Saturday and it is more than 300 km away, so we have some cycling to do. We can camp in the yard of an acquaintance’s summer cottage tomorrow night, but it is about 140 km south of Göteborg, so we have to cover some ground this afternoon if we want to make it there tomorrow.

The ride out of Gothenburg was beautiful. The bike path took us along the coast, through small inlets, past beautiful homes. We rode for about two hours, and as almost all of it was on a bike path it was quite effortless. For the most part we are done with the hills of Sweden, and the riding should be fairly easy going the next few days.

We headed to west to the edge of the Kungsbacka fjord, riding into the sunset. There we found small beach on which to pitch our tent.

lake kungsbacka sweden

Our view for the night, near Kungsbacka.

The remains of a 13th Century fort sit just beyond our tent, and a tourist information signs tells us that “naturally, the site is haunted.” The few fisherman that were here have gone home, and our companions for the night are sheep, geese, a few ducks, and thousands of migratory birds nesting in the reeds nearby.

Evening fishing in Kungsbacka Fjord.

Evening fishing in Kungsbacka Fjord.

Plus, naturally, a few ghosts. I hope they don’t mind sharing their spot with a couple of cycling nomads.  

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  1. Comment by Cassie

    Cassie August 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Ooooh, spooky. Sounds about right – I saw Halloween decorations in the grocery store the other day… *hangs head* Hope you had a good night’s sleep!

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