Alexey Moskvin

Baltic Exchange and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘malmberget

Gällivare to Luleå

with 2 comments

Not much else to do in Gallivare in the morning and after a walk I do end up in the same hotel for breakfast, amongst other slightly bored tourists. Regular breakfast, I’m getting quite used to those – ham, cheeses, pastries, fruit. Lots of coffee. And an extra apple to take with me. It became a routine – collect things scattered around the room, replenish the thermos and the squished bottle with water from a tap, stick everything in the boxes (thank heavens, Ioannis and BMW for the inner bags), strap the sleeping bag onto the bike, attach and adjust the video camera, check the route on the sat nav – all the waypoints are where they are supposed to be. Switch the ignition on and warm the bike a little. Ear plugs… check. Helmet and strap… check. Gloves on. Off we go… Oh, bollocks, forgot the glasses. Stop. Gloves off, glasses on, gloves on again. Now we can go.

The sleepy mining town of Malmberget. Stormy clouds are hanging over the Dundret threatening to turn the sunny morning into a very wet one indeed. But I can’t stay any longer to wait for it to pass, so just have to bite it and go.

The ore mining (research) destroyed the insides of the mountain and a gaping hole appeared in the middle of the town, growing each year and making more and more of the town uninhabitable. It looks scary on the map. In real it’s just confusing. Even my recently updated map shows roads that no longer exist – to go around the fenced area I have to go much wider than expected. I try east, west and south looking for a spot to have a view of the whole thing. Unlucky. I can see a glimpse of the pit but it’s hard to imagine the scale of things.

The clouds are here, starting a drizzle just as I go into a what used to be a mining community, now it doesn’t look much more than a tourist attraction. Still very charming. I buy a bag of sweet pasties from a lady for lunch. From now on, I’m moving towards home, my route is going south.

Sweden is spectacular. I’m waiting to get sick and tired of cliffs and pine forests but it never happens. For lunch I stop by the road and walk into the forest, towards the stream, waaaay below. It’s just rock and wood, with splashes of moss here and there. The landscape is filled with earthy colours, the surface of rock is polished with a recent rain, glistening and hyping up the contrasts. Water is running down everywhere.

Sweet pasties (I wish I remembered what they are called) and water. With an apple, heart of which I throw away, hoping that it might grow, diluting the evergreen forest with something more user friendly.

I’m in the suburbs of Luleå and very glad to meet Jakob. I haven’t had a proper conversation for a couple of days. I park in front of their house and we are discussing what to do – I’m happy to do what he wants, he’s the same. Very soon we dismiss dirt riding (thanks Jakob) – I’m definitely not feeling adventurous, and we settle on some easy riding. Which, in turn, would rule out Håkan but I have to accept the sacrifice. And shortly after we agree that a swim and beer might be the most appropriate for the evening.

Jakob introduces me to his girlfriend Cecilia, they live together in the first floor apartment. Cecilia is as quiet as Jakob talkative, they make a great couple. There is a massive dragon skeleton Cecilia made out of felt in their living room, she’s talking about her shop and other bits she makes.

I quickly cover their office floor with my bags. It’s still hot, after shower I change to shorts and we having palt with bacon and onions and lingonberry jam. Awesome.

Jakob makes his own beer. I’m jealous. Apparently, it is a smelly process, so there is no way we could do it in our flat, beer making needs some space too. The cupboard in their office is full of beer making stuff.

We set off for the local beach, with the bottles clinking in the backpack. Meeting Anna and for a drink, swim and fire.

Written by Alexey Moskvin

5 November 2011 at 01:19