“I don’t think I can do that.”
It took me whole 60 seconds to find that out and say it. In my head, exclusively, I do have some pride. Now what? Wisely, I excluded the confession act as a possibility and gave it another try instead. And another one. I still couldn’t do it, but I walked on. Nothing else to do: I had claimed a few weeks ago, loudly and comprehensively, that I should be able to do it, so now it was too late to find out I couldn’t. So I walked on. Just like I’d do in real life, nothing new there for me.
Just before we started packing our rucksacks for a 3-day hiking tour, the rain had decided now was the time to act out the attention whore part and stick to it for some time. Of course it would, this is Sweden, for ticks’ sake! I could only hope my brand new Dalsland tan wouldn’t get rinsed off or mouldy till we get home. Home. Where the bed is. And the shower. Walk on.
Gradually, my body stopped hating me for carrying such a huge load for so long in such a rain and we made 8 kilometers that day. At the end of which, we discovered our first palace: they hadn’t bothered with the red carpet but painted the whole house red instead and inside, there were beds. And an oven. That day, I may or may not have believed in heaven on Earth …
Oh, the rain? It was our devoted companion all along. Jep. One of the most beautiful hiking areas there ever was, admired as water color. With the exception of a few moments, that is. Beautiful moments.
We spent the next night in another red house saying “Germans go home” on one of its walls. Sorry to say we didn’t. We couldn’t. Not after 15 kilometers in the rain and half a ton on our backs. But thank you for the oven and all the wood.
- – -
“Where did you spend your holiday, if I may ask?” The repairman was nice and talkative, so I told him the truth: “In Sweden.” The tremor rattling his body could be seen: “Sweden? Isn’t it … cold and rainy up there?” He checked my chocolate tan again – it must have provoked his question in the first place – and decided to stick to his opinion: “And grey?”
“Yes, it is,” I lied (not wanting all the world and her wife to travel there next summer), “but then, at least there are no mosquitos when the weather’s bad. And it is still very beautiful, Sweden is.”
That’s true. While I was afraid I’d be missing Finland way too much, I found Glaskogen area to be quite similar to our beloved Finnish hiking grounds and that was enough. Oh, and: we had enough sun in Dalsland to enjoy a 5-day paddling tour in the first place.
Strange, though … this year no one exclaimed Spain’s gonna win as soon as they heard us talking German. At least I thought that was strange until I finally had a look at a comprehensible Swedish newspaper: it contained the words Spain, Chile and fiasco. I couldn’t believe it.