The first half of the day was spent at the airport trying to encourage the airlines to look for our bike boxes. Maybe I’m just overly sensitive, but finding it didn’t seem to be high on anyone’s list. The common answer felt like “call us tomorrow and we’ll see if it turns up.” Eventually a Delta agent I contacted through Twitter responded that the bike boxes were slated to be here by 5. While that didn’t happen, at least it was more specific. Air France is now saying they will arrive at midnight.
We realized that being at the airport wasn’t producing any results, so we took a bus into Gothenburg. We checked into a hotel here and then walked around the city. The place feels abandoned. Today is a Swedish holiday called Midsummer. It is amazing how much of the city is closed. However, we still enjoyed walking in the beautiful green parks and seeing the city center and port area. And we found raspberry sorbet!
Tonight we ate dinner (found a yummy Indian food place open) and did some minimal food shopping. We hope to be on our bike and riding south tomorrow. Fingers crossed that it really arrives on the midnight flight. We are both fighting to stay awake hoping that we’ll have a more normal night’s sleep. This is a different start than we had planned, of course, but we’re enjoying being on vacation together in an interesting, pretty, new-to-us part of the world!
[embed-google-album src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/V1Rqpiyooujn8d82wx0db0ALI96AspYxPo7MPuFt1sjjekZYTddRKeR9sMohabj-o4q8KArmLgD1nMbNFb_WjQSP9rL2SKaAgmfB9aP66f-VVBEar5tcF-qXQFVxywIinwxF5jxWi0E” click=”https://photos.app.goo.gl/J8uiC3ysLL9GqvLp6″ title=”Day in Gothenburg”]
We arrived in Gothenburg yesterday on schedule, but our bike and checked panniers didn’t. Natalie thinks our bike wanted to party in Paris and missed the flight on purpose. Hard to fault the bike for having the celebratory spirit when in France. Now we are spending quality time on the phone with Delta and Air France trying to find it….
We were able to find a cozy Airbnb close to the airport. Uber filled the transportation gap left by our wayward bike. On previous trips our first day has always involved a long ride, which may have made it easier to sleep on the first night during those trips. Neither Natalie nor I slept very well last night due to jet lag. The Airbnb was very comfortable, and our hosts were delightful, friendly, and helpful.
Today’s plan is a bit up in the air. We are at the airport now but waiting here isn’t going to speed the arrival of our bike, so we may find a place to store our luggage and head into Gothenburg and attempt the normal tourists approach to a vacation.
We hope we can be riding by tomorrow.
Update later in the day: The airport notified us they have located or bike boxes and they should arrive tonight!
[embed-google-album src=”https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VkiNoK4cZMeBbhtmE3iQJwpp1awK3Ck_QngMavCKmgOk4vKFmiBH3wBvoWdfvIZEGorUeEy0V5cjVWGcciIAW_mjHuukfTeu66jHn5vVt4nffwwqXY4qgf-3CTN_aDCLp3COamYjrCk” click=”https://photos.app.goo.gl/BADdScJ1o7NBv7kL7″ title=”Airbnb near Gothenburg”]
We spent the last couple of days packing our bags and bike. It is an interesting experience to try to jam 3 weeks worth of stuff into two small panniers. I’m always surprised when everything seems to fit.
Taking the bike apart and fitting it into two bike boxes is a real-life 3D Tetris experience. This year we are using two boxes I retrieved by dumpster diving near a local bike shop. One is a bit small and we were barely able to fit the front half of our bike in it. The bike has to be broken down into a multitude of smaller pieces to fit in the box. In previous years we’ve nearly lost some of these pieces when the boxes failed during their ride on the airplane with us. So this year I attempted a different strategy. I rigged nylon straps that hopefully will hold the box together. We will see how that turns out….
Checking in at the airport in Salt Lake was a little bit more work this time. The people who were security checking the bike boxes decided they needed to take every single thing out. The bike pretty much only fit if everything was packed in the right order, and as they attempted to put things back in they didn’t quite discover the right order. By the time they repacked one of the boxes it was bulging heavily on the sides. When they got ready to put the straps back on they finally caved and let me help.
Right now I am writing this sitting in Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris. Neither of us slept very well in the plane, but now we’re trying to stay awake. In about an hour we board our plane to Gothenburg Sweden. We land around 5:00 p.m., so we just made reservations at an Airbnb close to the airport. Our goal will be to land, put our bike together, and ride to our Airbnb before we fall asleep…. Also, while sitting in the airport, I started planning the first leg of our route along the coast of southwestern Sweden. Some might argue I am a bit late planning details such as this. They would probably win that argument.
We are so excited to start riding. If we can just stay awake.
Some people commented that our Iceland blog ended abruptly. Sorry about that. It was an amazing experience and we love looking back at the photos and remembering the beauty of the country. We are so glad we did it.
We returned home, moved into a different home, and got busy with life. Our new home is minutes from the Jordan River Parkway trail and we love being able to ride so easily.
This year’s trip will take us back to Europe. We fly into Gothenburg Sweden and will make our way to Amsterdam over the next 3 weeks. We haven’t fully determined our route — we’ll make it up as we go, giving us maximum flexibility. We plan on riding about 1000 miles and mixing up tent camping with Airbnb for accommodations along the way. Unlike 2 years ago, we don’t have a single reservation — only a plane ticket there and a plane ticket home.
We are a lot more confident (overconfident?) about our ability to figure out the logistics as we go. We will have access to more resources than we had in Iceland, so we won’t be dragging a trailer with food and water. We will fit our sleeping bags in our panniers (cutting down on our already limited space) and attach our tent below our bike to keep the center of gravity low.
We can’t wait to hit the road again.