Tale from the trail (8): Swedish kindness

While crossing the Öresund bridge on our holiday last month we were reminded of a particular tale of the trail from our trip of a lifetime. While the crossing itself was quite uneventful, that first evening in Sweden is one of our fondest memories.

Because you aren’t allowed to cross the bridge by bike we took the train from Copenhagen to Malmö. A pleasant journey with some great views on the strait. Once we arrived in Malmö, we spent the day sightseeing. In the early afternoon we got on our bikes to start looking for a place to camp.

Our bikes in Malmö

Getting out of Malmö and back to the seaside took us a while, but on this trip the one thing we had plenty of was time. Once we were out of the suburbs we started keeping an eye out for a place to pitch our tent. When we came to some fishers’ cabins and a picnic table we stopped. We were a bit worried of trespassing, but decided this would be a good spot anyway. While I cooked us up some dinner, the boyfriend had a look at our route for the next couple of days.

We were about to start eating when an old man arrived and eyed us a bit suspiciously. He started saying something in Swedish what could only have meant: what are you doing here? This is my table and my fishing hut! Luckily I had been practicing on how to say “I am sorry, I don’t speak Swedish” in Swedish (Förlåt, jag talar inte svenska). The man’s angry face turned into an amused one. We started looking for a language we had in common and settled on something in-between German and Swedish.

We explained the trip we were making and that lightened the mood. He started talking about fishing and his cabin while we ate our dinner. After a while he asked us where we were heading tonight and we confessed we were planning to set up our tent right there, immediately adding the option to cycle on a bit if he didn’t want us staying there. He laughed and made clear he had no intention of chasing us off.

He stayed silent a few seconds and then added that, if we wanted to, we could stay in his cabin. It wasn’t anything fancy, but he had spent quite a few nights there when he was younger to get up early to fish. We eagerly accepted the offer. It meant we didn’t have to set up the tent tonight and could sleep in a bit later tomorrow. He showed us how to lock up the cabin in the morning and left us to it for the night.

We watched one of the best sunsets I have ever seen and turned to the cabin to set up for the night.

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While making the bed I saw one of the biggest, hairiest spiders ever. It ran away as soon as I saw it and I couldn’t find it again. I decided to not tell my boyfriend, because I didn’t want to ruin his sleep but I lay awake most of the night. I was absolutely sure I felt it crawl over me at least a dozen times. The next morning during breakfast my boyfriend confided in me that the night before he had spotted a spider, but didn’t tell me. He didn’t want to ruin my sleep, but he lay awake most of the night. I’d say we make a great, sleepless team.

10 thoughts on “Tale from the trail (8): Swedish kindness

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