We had a comparatively easy day ahead of us after the whole Trelleborg – Ystad – Malmoe leg of the day before (I think when we told Maja what we did, her comment was “I didn’t think that was possible”). I had done this leg in its entirety before, but a lot of the roads my phone tooks us on were different from last time. One thing I find so striking is how many golf courses there are in southern Sweden. I haven’t kept count, but we must have seen around ten. At one point, we were even riding through one and I had to pass the lawnmower on the path. But there’s one particular course before coming into Landskrona that’s especially beautiful. It’s on a cliff overlooking the Baltic and you can see Denmark across the sound. It’s just gorgeous, but it’s also on a section of road that’s just a looong uphill. On the plus side: you have time to take it in. On the downside: you’re getting majorly dropped by two dudes in their sixties. I think it was at this point that I felt my worst I have on the trip so far – my legs were just aching and the guys ultimately had to wait for me at the top of the hill. We made our way past Landskrona and decided we needed to stock up. So we found a grocery store called Stora Coop and – due to the name – I proceeded to worry that it was like a Costco membership store until we checked out. We bought a bunch of cereal bars and some bananas (I was hoping for a sandwich, but alas they didn’t have any prepared food). I kind of had to use my Swedish with the cashier – he needed to check dad’s ID and couldn’t make heads or tails out of his PA driver’s license. I think he just gave up. We ate outside the store and soldiered on. The weather was absolutely gorgeous and it finally felt like summer for the first time since I’ve landed in Europe. There were some good downhill stretches heading into Helsingborg that were fun – I could just get in my drops and ride them down without pedaling. (Some respite for a change!)
I had wanted to show my dad and Tim the Keep in Helsingborg – I was able to walk them there, but they had no desire to go up it. I mean, yeah – my legs were tired and the amount of steps there was definitely daunting, but it’s so worth it. Oh well. Now there’s a reason in addition to the Wallender tour in Ystad that I’ll have to drag him back for. We found an Italian restaurant where I started to pick out what giant meal I would order (there was a pasta and sausage plate for a minimum of two people I could have easily handled on my own) but my dad and Tim only wanted a beer. I couldn’t believe it – I was starving and they didn’t seem to be hungry at all. I settled for a large plate of french fries and Tim ultimately decided to order one as well with the intention of splitting it with my dad. I scarfed down mine and looked longingly at the fries they hadn’t had a chance to eat yet, but I kept my cool and just enjoyed my Mariestads beer. I tried to charge my phone inside the restaurant (we were sitting outside), but ever since that rain on the first day, my phone has had a loose connection for charging and only works some of the time (even last night, I was only able to get it up to 81% before the connection was lost). We bought our tickets for the ferry terminal – there were signs saying we would have to show our IDs, but again, our passports weren’t checked (tip for potential refugees trying to make their way to Scandinavia: just bring a bike).
On the ferry, dad and Tim just got coffee, but I grabbed a hot dog. It still didn’t feel like enough food. I wanted a big cheeseburger or something. The ferry ride itself is a half hour tops, so neither Tim nor my dad were able to finish their coffee. We were able to see the Kronborg castle as we approached the harbor into Helsingoer – it looked beautiful on such a sunny day. When we rode off the ferry, I turned my navigation back on and it just said “You have arrived”. Tim checked the address and indeed, we were about 10 feet away from our hotel. After checking in and taking showers, we decided to see if the castle was open. It wasn’t, but the grounds were gorgeous. Helsingoer, also known as Elsinore, is where Hamlet takes place. They apparently perform Hamlet in (or on the grounds of) the castle on a daily basis. After we walked around the castle grounds, we headed into the city to find a place to eat. We again settled on an Italian place – this one was called Pakhuset and the food was really good. My dad got the fish and chips, Tim got tortellini that looked delicious and I got the wienerschnitzel. Both my dad and I got ¾ liter glasses of Carlsberg. I could have had another. As we were about to leave, I considered using the bathroom, but decided against it since we were so close to our hotel. It was at this point that the guys decided to explore the town a bit, so my extremely full bladder would have to wait.
I somehow managed to make it back to the hotel without peeing my pants. I started blogging while Dad took another shower. He has this weird habit of showering after we arrive, before getting into bed and before we leave for the day. I asked him why and he said “because I already paid for it and showers are enjoyable”. It’s true – showers are enjoyable, but his statement still kind of reminded me of the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer installs a garbage disposal in his shower as a way of spending more time in the shower.
We went to bed and my dad proceeded to snore in ways I didn’t think people could snore. If I were to do it for you, you would probably think I was way overexaggerating. In addition to the general loud inhalation aspect of snoring, his exhalation involved making extended cartoon-y propeller sounds with his lips. Thinking back to it, I find it funny, but at the time I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I was too tired to wake him up – I just hoped he would stop. I’m not sure how long it took, but I was ultimately able to get some sleep, but when I woke up this morning, I definitely didn’t feel as rested as the day before. The first words out of Tim’s mouth this morning were “Nancy’s a saint”. I’m beginning to understand why my mom spends summers down in Ocean City. Our hotel tonight has a bed in a separate alcove. Tim and I will be sharing a bed and dad’s been relegated to behind a closed door. Here’s hoping Tim sleeps on his side tonight.