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Category: Sweden

Family Reunion

Family Reunion

On my solo trip on Barney in 2004, my goal for coming north was just to see where Helmer had come from – I wasn’t expecting much in the way of meeting people, especially since I then had absolutely no idea about the size of the family and only had those two email addresses – I thought I’d be there a few days, see the house, meet the family at the other email address and be on my way. I…

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Stockholm

Stockholm

Between 1820 and 1930, a million and a quarter people emigrated from Sweden, mostly to America. By 1930, there were 3 million Swedes in the US and only 6 million in Sweden. They left because Sweden was then very poor (as hard as that is to believe now), and had been caught in the typical vise of decreasing infant/child mortality and continuing fecundity and hadn’t had any wars for a century. Added to this was the practice of dividing farmland…

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Leaving Home

Leaving Home

I think in the end I was a bit scared to actually go. Normally as I approach a deadline I get super efficient and get everything done like Super Woman and I was counting on that burst of energy and anxiety to kick in. But as this deadline approached, I found myself stalling and not being efficient at all. Was I having second thoughts about it all? Was I actually a bit nervous, even though it’s what I’ve wanted for…

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Leaving Utrecht – From Russia, with Love

Leaving Utrecht – From Russia, with Love

St. Petersburg was definitely worth the hassle. I spent four and a half days there and could have spent much longer. There are so many museums and cultural attractions, not to mention that being in Russia is interesting in its own right both because of its history and what it is now (I was there before any of the recent developments). It’s definitely on my list of places to get back to someday. Highlights include the Dostoevsky Murder Route Pub…

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In Helsinki – Midnight Sun, Torrential Rain and Russian Visas

In Helsinki – Midnight Sun, Torrential Rain and Russian Visas

I tell you, the trip to Norway was absolute torture. Terrible. On the one hand the scenic little villages, steep mountains, glaciers, glass-calm water and constant sunlight were so photogenic that I wanted to stop and take a picture every time I went around a curve. On the other hand, well, there were a lot of curves and the weather was perfect, and I was having so much fun riding that I just didn’t want to stop. Absolutely dreadful being…

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Leaving Umeå – Pining for the fjords

Leaving Umeå – Pining for the fjords

Well, I’m finally about to set out from Umeå. I came up here only knowing that my great-grandfather had come from this area in the early part of the century. I thought I’d meet a couple relatives, get a little family history and be on my way. A couple of days at most. Well, no. I got here and it turns out that my ancestor came from a very large family. My grandfather had 44 cousins, and my mother has…

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In Sweden – Something windy in the state of Denmark, eh?

In Sweden – Something windy in the state of Denmark, eh?

So, I’ve made it to Sweden, and in Stockholm at the house of some very distant relatives. I took the ferry from Harwich to Esbjerg, Denmark and then rode up to Fredrikshavn where I took a ferry to Gothenborg (where an ex-teammate lives), and then rode over to Stockholm.Denmark was very scary, not because of the roads (nice, well-paved and laid out, mostly flat and straight) or the drivers (good, courteous), but because there was a wind and rainstorm for…

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