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Our two bikes in front of the ferry center in Rostock.

Sabbatical 2021 – Prologue – First stop Sweden

When we started planning our Sabbatical more than two years ago, we imagined to start cycling southward and to spend our first weeks in France and Italy. But then the Corona pandemic hit and over a year there were ups and downs if travelling is possible or not. Also it was and is very uncertain when the pandemic will end. So we sticked to the plan of starting the tour in April 2021. During the last weeks before the start the third Corona wave hit Europe. Again it was not possible to travel in most of the european countries due to restrictions. But among a few other countries, Sweden has a strategy with less restrictions. So it is still possible to enter the country (with a negative Covid test), stay at campsites and even go to restaurants (if one wants to do so in these times). Also on the plus side it is not very populated in a lot of regions. This could reduce the risk of getting an infection. So we packed the bikes and started our trip via train and ferry to Sweden.

Catch the train in Bensheim

Having a negative antigen test result from the evening before we were ready to start our journey. We started very early from our flat to catch the train at 8:09 in Bensheim. This route is very familiar for us. However, as we had to be at the train station in time we feared a flat tire which would crash our time table. But no problem, the 10 km were very smooth and we arrived in time. The hardest part was to put the bags and bicycles on the train. After a little assistence from a nice train service lady the bikes were at the right place. Thus we could relax during the train ride, get some sleep and read a bit about Sweden. Interesting fact: we got two of the three available bike spaces to reserve on this train, although we booked more or less spontaneously 😅.

Route – Hemsbach to Bensheim

Total distance: 11.44 km
Max elevation: 108 m
Min elevation: 97 m
Total climbing: 53 m
Total descent: -55 m
Average speed: 15.57 km/h
Total time: 00:45:48
Download file: 000_Sabatical_2021_Prologue_Hemsbach-Bensheim.gpx

Rostock to Sweden by ferry

The train took almost 8 hours, so we arrived in in Rostock during afternoon. There was really nice weather, perfect for relaxing in the sun. Also the city was very nice, with modern buildings on the one hand but also historical on the other. Too bad that we had to catch a ferry to Sweden (we thought it would be good to hurry up at this point…). The 10 kilometers from the train station to the ferry port were also mostly flat. We were a little confused at the end of the tour, because of misleading signs for the port. But in the end we found the correct way. And then the waiting began…

We knew we showed up very early for the ferry, but we did not expect to get on the ferry just 30 minutes before departure. First we waited in front of the ferry terminal, than in front of the check-in (to confirm we have a negative Covid test) and then again in the lines for boarding. But so we could watch the sundown, the lively hustle on the port area and just endured in the dark. Without the sun it got quite cold very soon. In the middle of a bulk of enormous trucks and a few cars we looked out for signs that the boarding would start.

When we could finally got on the ferry (led by a nice man from the ferry line on a city bike) it was 22:15. We parked our bikes (somewhere in the entry of the parking area, more or less secured), went directly to our cabin and fell asleep almost instantly.

Route – Rostock train station to ferry port

Total distance: 11.24 km
Max elevation: 22 m
Min elevation: 6 m
Total climbing: 59 m
Total descent: -67 m
Average speed: 13.57 km/h
Total time: 00:56:15
Download file: 000_Sabatical_2021_Prologue_Rostock.gpx

Fresh off the boat in Sweden

One hour before the scheduled arrival (meaning 4:30!) an announcement awaked us. It was the call for breakfast which we could skip because we had everything with us. So we decided to sleep another 30 minutes. When we finally stood up and went to the deck where our bikes were parked almost every car was gone. So we could directly jump on our bicycles and start into the dark, but surprisingly mild Trelleborg morning.

After we left the ferry terminal we could follow the coastline for a bit accompanied by gentle bird songs. A lot of our route was on the Sydkustleden, a good signposted bicylce path. The road was almost perfect and also enlighted. Later we had to switch to the normal street, but in the morning not many cars were on there way, so it was still peaceful cycling. We went along lonely houses illuminated with typical tiny lights giving you the “hygge” feeling and a constant wish to stay there. Once in a while we saw some huge rabbits and some pheasants.

Arriving in Skanör – a small swedish town

Our goal was the small town Skanör. We booked a cosy one room flat for a week there. Skanör is located on a peninsula, and before we got there we had to cross a beautiful nature reserve. We were really tired so we did not take the time to look around some more. But we will catch up later during our stay. Finally, we arrived at our guesthouse and were really desperated to catch some sleep.

Route – Trelleborg to Skanör

Total distance: 21.98 km
Max elevation: 17 m
Min elevation: -2 m
Total climbing: 72 m
Total descent: -75 m
Average speed: 14.39 km/h
Total time: 01:38:21
Download file: 000_Sabatical_2021_Prologue_Trellborg-Skanoer.gpx

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Paul Williamson

    Hej Alex and Alina,

    Nice that you could stay in our little place in Skanör. I look forward to following your journey in Sweden and reading all about your adventures. Hope the weather is kind to you and that you enjoy Sweden. Stay strong and have fun!

  2. Lothar Hermann

    Hallo Alina, hallo Alex,
    Auch ich verfolge eure Reise durch Schweden.
    Bin schon auf die nächsten Fotos und Berichte gespannt. Viel Spaß auf eurer Reise und bleibt gesund.

  3. Christian K

    “One hour before the scheduled arrival (meaning 4:30!) an announcement awaked us.”

    Ich hoffe, Ihr hattet Instant-Kaffee dabei…

    1. admin

      😄😄 Nein hatten wir leider nicht. Aber wir wussten ja, sobald wir in der Wohnung ankommen, können wir uns erst mal schlafen!😉

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