Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Final Cycling Trip

Alas, I had come to the last of my Sunday cycling trips. My final Sunday in Sweden was spent packing, so I did not go cycling on that day. The person motivating this ultimate trip's location was T, who had mentioned the beaches near Millegarne as a great place to visit. Millegarne is located southeast of Ronneby, further than Aspan and Sandvik.
Here, then, is Ronnebyån as seen from the bridge near BTH. There is another photo in a previous post, where I show the same view in Autumn. In December however, the trees on the banks of the river are bare.

This semi-creepy scene is at a T-junction. To get there, take Heabyvägen southeast from Ronneby, then turn southwards at its termination as if you were heading to Aspan, but instead of turning west again to go to Aspan, continue on the road south. I do not use a name for the road because I cannot find one on any of the maps I have. After you go past the turnoff for St. Oxlaby, the T-junction is the next one on the right. The two pillars were interesting, however I decided to continue on the main road to the left.
These next few photos highlight why I went to the left. It allows you to go along the eastern shore of Bredasund (Broad Sound). This is a lovely calm and open lake located near the town of Korsanäs. I recall it ended up being a king of 'leapfrog' between myself and an elderly man on another bike. We would keep overtaking each other. I would stop to take photographs, and he would stop to talk to another of the people he knew passing by. I saw a kind of rest area and dismounted my bike to take some photos. Here's one which is of the biggest bird-watching platform (alternatively, insert other use for wooden structure here. Bird-watching is the best explanation that has yet been forwarded to me) which I ever saw.
This one is of a white bird (swan?) just taking off as I think I may have startled it.
I even summoned the courage to climb up to the bird-watching platform. This is a slightly more aerial view of Bredasund from up there.
On the way back to where I had parked my bike, I found this patch of mushrooms.
As I said, Bredasund is near the town of Korsanäs (somthing like Cross Isthmus). Here's the 'you are now entering...' sign. I am informed that the orange poles are for when it snows, so that the plow driver knows where the edge of the road is.
If you keep following the main road south, you eventually reach a junction where you can take Västra Köpevägen to the left, which goes to Köpe. Alternatively, going south past the road will lead you into the Bering Sea. I, on the other hand, again kept to the main road and turned right. This road leads to the town of Millegarne. This is a view from near the junction in a southwest direction. Note the sunshine and lack of snow which is somewhat atypical for winter.
I continued cycling west as far as I could go. Eventually I reached yet another T-junction. To the left (south) was Gö, the shortest name for a place I had ever heard. To the right (north) was Gökalv. Gö has about 25 houses, most of which could be seen from the T-junction. On the other hand, Gökalv could not be seen from the junction. It only contains about 6 houses and having "calf" in the village name seemed pretty cool. So, I headed for Gökalv. In the end, I never made it all the the way to the village on the coast. My attention was diverted by a small parking lot just short of the village. There was a sign, saying there was a gravefield 1km away. In my usual tradition of finding the "dead centre" of places, I decided to check it out. Below is a view of the bay near the parking lot. I actually slipped over on the wet rocks near here whilst I was exploring. That's one good thing about places with very small populations - there's hardly any chance someone will see you and laugh at you if you fall over!
Being just a week and a half away from the winter soltice, I needed to move quickly if I was going to find this gravefield and still have time to cycle the 25km or so home before it got dark. I worked out that the "signs" for the path to the gravefield were orange spots of paint on sticks in the ground. This confused me at first, and I ended up going the wrong way because I followed them to another start-point rather than the finish-point of the gravefield.

After negotiating my way around several trees that had fallen over blocking the path, I eventually made it to this gate.

The signs say "animals grazing" and "welcome to Nötanabben". You can see one of the guiding orange markers behind the slanting gate. Here is another of the information signs which I had become familiar with. I give a copy of the English text:

"The grave-field at Nötanabben contains some 90 visible prehistoric remains: stone ships, four-sided and round stone-settings as well as barrows and upright stones. There are also a cairn and a triangular grave. This type of grave-field is characteristic of parts of southern Sweden during the Late Iron Age (700-1050 AD).

During this period the dead were usually cremated along with some personal belongings, such as a knife, a distaff whorl, a brooch, some beads and the like. Five of the graves have been excavated. The finds are kept at Blekinge Museum, Karlskrona".

And now some photos taken at Nötanabben. Firstly, the sun disappearing behind the trees.
This would be the cairn mentioned in the information sign.
This is another spooky image for me. The stone at right looks very mummy-like in my opinion.
Here is another view of Ronneby Hamn. It's similar to the ones from Aspan and Sandvik, since Gökalv is located a few kilometres southwest of those towns.
It being 2:45pm at that stage, I was starting to panic as sunset would follow in under 45 minutes and I was a long way from home. I cycled back the same way I had come, to avoid getting lost. On the way back I did have time to grab a photo of the sign for Millegarne which I had forgotten to do on the way westward.

Here is another view of the coast at Millegarne as sunset approaches.

I was yet again fairly well situated in terms of getting sunset photos. These two were taken near the turnoff to Aspan.

Finally, this purple sky view was taken looking east on Fornanäsvägen, in the Ronneby suburb of Påtorp. I made it home just as it got dark. In the end, it was not of great consequence, since I knew the area (southern part of Ronneby) well as I had been cycling home from work in the dark for several months.

This however brought my Sunday cycling trips to a close, which was sad.