Week Twelve: A Wedding Break

19/06/18-25/06/18

Countries: Sweden & UK

Distance: 151km / 94mi
Elevation: 884m / 2,900ft

Bus: 121km / 75mi

There was a little pause in The Slow Race this week, as we popped back to the UK for Dan's cousin's wedding. If you read last week's blog post, you'll know we were racing to the airport, with the enticement of a night's stay in an airport hotel. Not only did we smash the 140km we had left at the end of last week, we arrived bang-on 3pm, when check-in opened. Marvellous.

As our flight wasn't until 9.30pm the next day – yes we were super early, but we really wanted that hotel break – we enjoyed a full 24-hours in Connect Skavsta Hotel. Breakfast was included, and there was a lounge area and free WiFi. It was exactly the rest we needed before a boozy weekend. This is also where we left all the bags and both bikes, for a very reasonable £18.

 There's been worse places we've hung out for 24-hours.

There's been worse places we've hung out for 24-hours.

I do think living in a bush for the last few months has made us forget how to hotel... While we were there, Dan was using the women's toilets, thinking they were unisex, until I told him otherwise. And I managed to flood the bathroom and hallway after a shower. The carpet was sopping wet. At least we refrained from starting a camp fire.

 This was our camp spot the night before the hotel. You can see why we acted like cavemen.

This was our camp spot the night before the hotel. You can see why we acted like cavemen.

Tom and Jodie's wedding in the Derbyshire countryside was beautiful. There was tequila, lots of live music, even more dancing, and a post-wedding World Cup BBQ to cure sore heads. We were even given a fancy bedroom in the venue apartments. It was great to be home with friends and family, but it was a very quick three days. We did mutter the words, 'should we have stayed for longer?"

 The only picture we have of the bride and groom (and it was stolen off his mate, Tom’s, Instagram).

The only picture we have of the bride and groom (and it was stolen off his mate, Tom’s, Instagram).

 We got a picture! The beautiful bride and not-so-bad groom. (Stolen again...from the groom this time).

We got a picture! The beautiful bride and not-so-bad groom. (Stolen again...from the groom this time).

 A family photo at its finest.

A family photo at its finest.

 Dan: "I need the loo."  Jen: "Remember, you have to use an actual toilet now." Dan: "A what?" 

Dan: "I need the loo." 
Jen: "Remember, you have to use an actual toilet now."
Dan: "A what?" 

The trip home was also a great opportunity to take back any kit we haven't really used for three months and buy kit we were missing. Not much went home really, some kitchen bits, all padded shorts (Brooks saddles really are comfy), and base layers. Seems we brought more back. We picked up sandals for Dan, baggy cycle shorts for me, vest tops (optimistic, as we're still in Europe), water filter, new diary, camera gadgets, a NBT2 (amazingly small cassette remover), and a few other random bits. 

 It felt like Christmas opening all the packages we'd ordered. We were worried about taking it all back. Thankfully, it was your classic Amazon parcel: huge box, tiny item. 

It felt like Christmas opening all the packages we'd ordered. We were worried about taking it all back. Thankfully, it was your classic Amazon parcel: huge box, tiny item. 

And just like that, we were back in Sweden. We (Dan) got it into our heads that Stockholm Skavsta Airport was only 50km from the centre of Stockholm, turns out it's 121km. *Face palm*. As we landed on June 25th all hazy from the wedding, and had a ferry to Latvia booked for June 26th, we decided to catch an airport bus into the city. Is that cheating? If you think it is, don't read on...

The plan for Stockholm had always been to stay on a campsite about 18km outside the centre. But by the time the ninety-minute bus journey was over, we’d gone from campsite to a fourteen-bed dorm in a city hostel, to a four-bed dorm, to a hotel (we're blaming that luxury room we were given at the wedding). So we enjoyed our last night in Sweden watching S1 Ep1 of Game of Thrones (I've never seen it) in another Connect Hotel, this time, actually in Stockholm. We can't wait to see what's in store for us in Latvia.

 

A quick tent update: we’ve had some surprise good news from MSR this week. They’ve now said they’ll replace the faulty flysheet for us. How brilliant! We’re now just working out how to get it posted to us with no postal address and set dates. It’s tricky.