In the summer of 2010 the distant winds had been blowing cold from up north...

Read about our trip through Denmark, Sweden and Norway, where Mini-Me was looking for moose and the boys found hell at the 300k Vatternrundan cycle race.


Denmark: Skelby, Helsingborg; Sweden: Mölle, Gothenborg, Stromstad; Norway: Telemarkkanal, Mjonoy, Kinsarvik, Bergen, Ovre Eidfjord, Al, Fla, Oslo, Tangen; Sweden: in the middle of nowhere, Ljune, Stockholm, Gripsholm, Hammar, Malmö, etc. 


May 15th, 2010 - Every great Adventure starts with a first step...

...which we took at 5:50 a.m. this morning - and for some it was fairly easy. After a relaxed 8h drive we were welcome at our Berlin Base Camp by Omi and some king-size steaks. Tomorrow we have another early 2h drive to catch the ferry from Rostock to Gedser, Denmark and for Mini-Me to finally set foot on scandinavian grounds!


Mini-Me cruisin'

first class traveler


May 17th, 2010 - One night to remember…

A stormy, rainy and cold welcome to Denmark! After a short trip to Marilyst and Nykobing our night in Skelby was a hart test. The little one would not stop screaming and both the parents had their doubts about this journey in general. The next morning things looked better with an awesome breakfast together with bright sunshine. The Cappuccino in Copenhagen finally made all worries forgotten. Now we are sitting in the Helsingor youth hostel, anxiously awaiting the next night to come.



welcome to denmark


breakfast in skelby


coffee in copenhagen


May 18th, 2010 – to be or not to be

After a short visit to Hamlet at the palace of Kronborg the ferry to sweden it was. Crossing the border the imigration officers short comment concerning vatternrunda was only "hope your ass is good" before waiving us through. The night we made camp at Kullaberg national park. Conditions were sunny and dry but gutsy winds. Never theless Mini-Me loved her first night out in the wild, sleeping calmest in a long time.



to be or not to be


hej sverige


happy camper


May 19th, 2010 – the great outdoors

24°C, sunshine, blue sky and a day of sweet laziness! We've enjoyed a wunderfull summer day and had mini-me crawl through the grass, eat sticks and dig in the dirt. After that she had her first butter sandwich, which was most delicious. Once the sandman had done his job, we've ended the day with a nice sun-downer ourselves.



my camp is my castle


king size + baby




May 20th & 21st, 2010 – Luxury in Gothenborg 

Starting the day with oatmeal and raspberry, we packed up and finished - after a short stop in Halmstad - directly in the luxurious hotel Vanilj in Gothenborg. Here Mini-Me can cruise barrier free through living and bath room, animating her to sit up straight all by herself for the first time. I can sit at a desk all night typing and using free wirelss. And the boss herself was first swinging by the attached cafe-shop downstairs, before checking out the shopping streets just around the corner, scandinavia's Champs Elysees.



mini-me cruising


sun and the city


the weather-gods are with us


Quick window-shopping the next morning, a visit to the market and arts-craft-men-corner in bright sunshine made me once more realize, that I never learn from my own mistakes: Just like on iceland this time again I am not prepared for high summer temperatures! FlipFlops would have been awesome - as my wife was able to tell me... The drive up to Strömstad we did in pooring rain, but reaching the campground by the ferry-terminal, the sun was out again.

May 22nd - Welcome to Norway

For the passage to Norway my bike had to be removed from the car, or we wouldn't have fit. Therefore it got at least moved once so far. First thing we did in Norway was shopping for bbq-supplies and seafood. At the Telemark-canal we built camp and since waiting for mini-me to fall asleep in bright sunlight even at night time, our bbq-dinner bacon rolled catwish, apricot topped salmon and marinaded steaks and corn in the cob turned out to be a mignight snack.



welcome to norway



 baby on bord


May 23rd - Sommer Sunshine

Mini-Me prepared a tasty supar-sand topped mud-pie breakfast at the beach bar. Afterwards we moved forward passed Dalen and spend the night at an old mill. A romantic wild spot, where only the icy wind was demanding much stamina.



chef du cuisine


breakfast at telemark canal


romatic camping


May 24th - Route to Hardangerfjord

Our route lead us over Haukelifjell, a snow covered mountain pass. After all the sunshine temperature here dropped to freezing. We passed the stave church of Rondal, with our parsimony keeping us from spending 50 NKr to visit it. And went further to the twin falls of Lätefoss. Our tent we built in Kinsarvik overlooking the Hardangerfjord.



stave church of rondal


lätefoss twin falls


room with a view


May 25th - On the way to Bergen

Taking a ferry again over Hardangerfjord to Kinsarvik and then all along the fjord, passing numerous salmon farms, to Bergen. Our hotel was down-town and right above a bar with live music we could enjoy all night long for free in our bed. Dinner we had at the "penguin", a local place with excellent food and beer, which mini-me enjoyed the most.







happy baby


May 26th - Hi Brygge! Goodby Brygge!

Bergen was full of tourist from several cruise-ships, not really meeting our understanding of an authentic surrounding. We therefore made a quick tour through Brygge (UNESCO world heritage), the fish-market and left the city together with the first drops of rain comming in.



brygge's skyline


business in bergen


cruise ships' cargo all over


Going east now, we crossed the Hardangerfjord once more to camp out in Eidfjord. An awesome campground right by a lake and surrounded by snow covered mountains, but no other tents then our's! Why? Most likely because of the freezing cold nights, they have... We spent our night with a lot of rain and some hail in the tent, keeping spirits positive with king-crab, shrimps and pasta bo.



chief-fishing babe




alien for dinner


May 27th - At the bottom of Hardanger Vidda

After a cold night and rainy breakfast the sun came out again and we got ready to explore the Hardanger Vidda Nature Reserve. After a exhausting hike through the wild we let the day end with some ice cream cones and a little sun-bathing. Night came quickly for us, since the cold forced us in our sleeping bags early.



base camp hardanger vidda


chicks on the rocks


adventure trail


May 28th - Four seasons in one day!

Sunshine in the morning, clouds over Voringfossen (highest and therefore supposedly most famous waterfalls in Norway) and snow and ice on the way to Geilo ski resort. From there rain until Al, where we chose a hotel over our tent...



good morning sunshine


family vacation at voringfossen


travelling after my fancy


May 29th – Stave churches and norweigan nazis

The advanteges of a hotel being breakfast buffet and running hot water well used we left al to visit some more stave churches. The first one beeing locked and only to be viewed through the key hole. The second one beeing part of some rebuilt viking village and museum, which was run by a bunch of obviously very patriotic men with short hair and no shirts... 

From there we passed through the ski village Geilo and made our way to the warmth of the lower altitude of Fla.





more stave church


10m to the left is the highway


May 30th – Lunch with bears and moose

The next morning mini-me got to check out all the wild animals of scandinavia caged up in the bjornepark. In the evening I finally fixed up my bike and took  it for a quick spin in tribute to my buddies participating at the velothon in Berlin the same day.



baby bears


baby louse


baby moose


May 31st – After-Show Party 

Before hitting the road to Oslo, the girls enjoyed the sun by the water. Which would actually fallow us all the way to the capital, where we had made reservations at this awesome hotel right downtown. Before bed time we wore mini-me out in a pillow fight, until she would fall right asleep.



beach party


oslo, here we are...


pillow fight


June 01st...03rd – Royal visit to Oslo

The next morning we were to find out that queen Beatrix of the Neatherlands was visiting Oslo as well. Enjoying the spectacle, we made our way to the opera house, where we got to check out some free open air performence on the roof top. This night we had mini-me play with the mini-bar to get tired quickly...





opera house


mini bar


June 03rd – Garlic against blood-suckers

Picking up our breakfast at the harbour, we left the City to make our way further east. At Mjösa lake we made camp and for the first time on this trip had to deal with mosquitos. Getting some bug-off earlier, we were told that the stuff was way to poisonous for baby, but that garlic and lemon would work just as good. Doing so and adding some double layers of mosquito-screen to the baby bed, we all made the night without getting bit.



breakfast from bubba gump


good-bye oslo


at mjosa lake


June 04th – Borderline 

Taking the wrong turn at some point, we ended up crossing the norwiegan/swedish border at a very cool spot called Finnskog. From there we made our way over dirt-roads into the wild until we found the perfect spot for the night by a shelter of some long distance hikinig trail and with lake view. Throughing some surf and turf on the bbq we enjoyed our freedom and peace in the middel of nowhere.



in the middle of nowhere


surf and turf


8 p.m.


June 05th – Hobbits and Off-Road-Safari

With a beaver joining us for breakfast we set out for a short hike through the swams of Finnskogleden. While mini-me was enjoying her piggy back ride, her highness was not very amused about the slushy ground and water finding it's way into the top of the boots every once in a while. But the enchanted fairytail-trail compensated for all the exertion. Behind every other tree we felt being watched by gobblins, hobbits and elfs.

Driving several hours on dirt roads of varying quality took us finally back into civilization. Our car and the baby took the beating with a laughter, but I felt with my bicycle beeing shaken on top and therefore missed out on the scenic view...



swedish beaver


the hobbit riding piggy back




June 06th – A dice is our compass

Spending the night in Malung we actually wanted to head towards Gävle the next morning. But a wrong turn and our unlimited spontaneity had us end up further north in a place called Ljusne, famous for best salmon fishing. Due to the cold weather the fish had not arrived yet and even for us, we preferred a cabin over our tent!



good morning malung


clouds of hale


too cold for our tent!!!


June 07th – Luxury in Stockholm

Driving through Uppsala and stopping at the royal bakery we made our way to Stockholm. True to our slogan: "everything or nothing" we swapped the trunk for a suite in the Collumbus Hotel. Including an in-room sauna and seperate living- and sleeping-rooms it was too nice to ever get out...



the kings cake






June 08th – Love Stockholm 

Soon we realized that the entire city was under exceptional circumstances due to the wedding of princess Victoria. Photos, Poster, public stages, temporary bars and restaurants had been built up, to celebrate this event together with everybody.

The common attractions of the city we did not miss out though and spend our day sight-seeing, shopping and coffee-sipping where ever it was nice.



crown princess victoria with daniel


another princess


also some couple


June 09th - Schloss Gripsholm

Kurt Tucholsky's propably most known setting was our next stop. Camping right across Gripsholm palace, mini-me was feeding our entire breakfast to a constantly growing crowd of ducks. Enjoying this funny poultry show, visiting the palace with it's countless paintings of swedish royalty of all centuries was rather somniferous. 



the guys lining up


my home... my tent!


June 10th...11th - swedish installings

A fine drizzle created just the right mystic atmosphere when we arrived at the stone ship of Anundshog. Wandering through the wet grass we had our shoes soppy in no time. With cold feet and dripping clothes we strolled lonely around the rocks and felt like vikings from the old days ourselves, simply obidient to mother natures conditions.

On our further trip towards lake Vattern we passed 'konst pa hog', a little bunny-hill siting several contemporary installings. At least to us it was somewhat of a link between present and past at that day.



rune stone


viking art


contemporary art


June 12th...24th - house at the lake 

With a generous freehand sketch, some imagination and a lot of patience we finally found our house at lake Vattern. As promised the key was hanging at the old oak, behind the big rock... Only the junk yard next door was causing some confusion in the beginning, but our new home offered everything a camping family could imagine. Including an open fireplace and sundeck. Only mini-me had to take her foam baths in our coleman cooler, which did not bother her at all.



our hut


our coleman cooler


our sundeck


Troll-Kirka up and down

Taking a day trip to tiveden national park, we chose hiking a 9k round course through woods and swamp, over rocks and hills. At about half way point lay the troll kirka, an enormous monolith and ritual place in old days. The weather was perfect and our moods accordingly. Only mini-me's time schedule was to be kept and we had exactly 2 hours until her next meal. Knowing so we set our pace accrodingly, cruised over sticks and stones, up and down troll kirka, even made little troll kirka and finished in exactly 01:54:26 and before the little one made one noise of discomfort.







...national park


June 17th - excitement increasing

One day before the race the dream team was complete. Our hamburger buddy already made it two days before, stacking his bicycle, a case of beer and several bottles red wine in his convertable. Mike followed today with the speed of light from Berlin to Hammar collecting every speeding ticket possible. Also our special guest and Pro-Rider Polli came in, but due to his extra ordinary condition we regarded him non-competitive...

Picking up our numbers in Motala, we did some final shopping and had the euphoria of 32 000 athletes take over.



team arrival






June 18th...19th - race day

Finally! Our excitement was almost unbearable and no clear thought possible anymore. We dropped our bikes off at the start in the morning and tried to relax the rest of the day until our race began at 22:36.

During the day it was warm and sunny, but at night it got freezing cold. our block started off and after two corners we were out of the town and on some country road. In front was an endless snkake off red tail-lights and behind us we could already hear the leading riders of the following block catching up. Among all these different level riders we've had a hard time finding our own rhythm and speed.

After 40k the first depot. Around midnight it started raining and the temperature kept dropping. We gobbled warm honey water and dry pastries as much as needed to keep the system running. Feeling fit, we joked and laughed on our way to the next depot after 80k and a good hill climb. It was about 3 a.m. and the rain had stopped. But fatigue and cold were present, so we only took a short break.

Two more long hill climbs and hard rain was to be over come until the next depot at 105k and 4 a.m. Exhausted, tired and frozen Mike's face was grey and fallen in by now. Instead of eyes he had two black shadows underneath his forehead. His strength was by far pushed over the limit and fearing for his health, we did not argue against his giving up.

The two of us climbed three more hills, somehow enjoyed the dawn at the other side of the lake and ignored weariness and monotony. Around 5 a.m. at 140k the track was flat again. Our feet numb from the cold and the pain in shoulders and neck even worse than the butt on the tiny saddle.

At 200k the sun came out and it got hot. The track was now one little hill after the other, wearing us out on the ascent, but on the descent not long enought to recover. A brief family support stop at 260k was necessary for motivation to fight the last 40k in silent cursing.

After 300km and 15.5 hours we crossed the finishing line at 14:06 hours, saturday, june 19th.









The days after...

Collecting the wounded and after a hot shower, we passed out at home and did not awake before noon the next day. The bodies exertion was present for days and our bottom line downright: never again!

The time left we spend calm and relaxed, with a touch of IKEA and Astrid Lindgren.



the day after




fishermen's friends


Fishing some old sock, hanging out at the beach, taking walks in our surrounding and spending the night at bbq and fire place. We discussed the secrets of good wine and if it was unappropriate to buy nutella in Sweden...



long john silver


task force sverige


vattern beach babes


June 24th - Malmo 

After two weeks we were to leave our home, sweet home. While Mike shot straight home, the rest of us headed to Malmo. Only mid-summer holiday ruined our shopping-tour, leaving even more time for all the other sites beeing discovered.

From there we continued going south, until reaching viking-disney-land not worth visiting again. Going east we made our final stop tight by the swedish stonehenge Ales Stenar. 









Mid-summer is also the beginning of the swedish school holidays, leaving all campgrounds over crowded. For our last night we chose a remote parking lot right at the bottom of Ales Stenar.



sweden farewell dinner


mystique moon over ales stenar


heading home


June 27th - Oresund bridge and Denmark

With a heavy heart we packed up and left sweden. After Oresund bridge our ways split in Denmark. The convertable turned south while we crossed the country to it's western coast and the island of Romo. All the weekend campers and vehicles on the beach were hard for us to accept.



bridge to denmark


last night in our castle


ferry to sylt


June 28th - Sylt

Taking the ferry to Sylt we met grandma and grandpa in Westerland. What followed were five days of sweet lazyness, oyster sipping and seeing the pediatrician...



grandpa playing


grandma playing


mommy relaxing


July 3rd - the other half 

At some point even the nicest beach day is over, so we hopped on the car to listen to the soccer world championship semi finals on the radio while driving to Berlin. There the rest of the gang including the oversea's half was already awaiting us. 



playground hang-out


mimi and all


ready to go again!


July 11th - home, sweet home

Our final leg was without incidents and would have been rather borring, if we hadn't had aunty with us, keeping especially the almost 3-footer entertained. 









After 62 days, 7892 km, 4 nations and countless impressions our conclusion is certain: We would do it again - right now, if we could!