Terii’s Cycling Babble

End Of Year Upon Me
October 17, 2009, 9:18 pm
Filed under: Misc
Autumn Near a Lake

Autumn Near a Lake

Autumn is in full swing and the days have gotten short and are getting shorter fast.  In this part of Sweden we’re losing around half an hour of day light a week right now and it will probably jump to about 40 or 45 minutes a week.  The days during the summer were close to 18 hours long, but now are 9.5 hours.  We have had several frosts and even two morning I awoke to snow.  The first snow was gone even as it hit the ground.  The second snow stuck around as a fine dust on the pavement and grass for a couple hours.  On the upside, the colours of autumn in the countryside have deepened.  But it does mean more long countryside trips like the ones I’ve blogged here are probably done for the year.

To get us out of the house today though, my husband and I went for a bit of drive for me to get photos of a few of the things I missed along my routes.

10-17a Ramsta Kyrka

Ramsta Kyrka

The first thing I did was stop to get a picture of this church.  It’s fairly close along the route to Wik’s, but it’s about a 5 mile total there and back extention I never bothered to take since well… there’s just better secenery to be had along the route.  It was whim more than anything that had me stop and get the photo.  Or maybe it’s my drive to collect as many churches as I can.  Granted, I find I definitely prefer to get them with my cycling than stopping as we whiz by in the car.   Still, this church had a bit of a recent history though this particular structure is recent as Swedish country churches go dating from the early 1900’s.  In the churchyard wall is also a large, flat, thin stone that for all the world looks as if it should be a runestone.  About 4 feet tall, set into the face of the wall, about 8 inches thick and 3 feet wide.  If it is a rune stone, however, it’s carvings have been lost to time and the elements.  I suppose it could be a stone that was being prepped to be a runestone and then was shoved in the wall instead.

Tegel Kyrka (Brick Church) - Balingsta

Tegel Kyrka (Brick Church) - Balingsta

Car Track To Brick Church

Car Track To Brick Church

Photos of Ramsta Kyrka taken, Jens, Loke and I continued our way out toward Wik’s.  Our next stop was to go down the treelined car-track to take a look at the old foundation stones of the brick church at Balingsta.

Unknown No Longer!

Unknown No Longer!

Immediately after Balingsta and the brick church foundation was that runestone which sits behind a low hedge in someone’s yard.  As I promised myself, I had my good camera with telephoto lens.  We stopped and I ran across to the hedge and snapped a quick shot of the sign.  This stone is unknown no more- Upplands Runestone #860.  Translation and brief history if you click the photo, though the information mentions another stone.  I have no idea where that one might be.

We followed followed along the Sverigeleden as I did so many weeks ago.  It was then we spotted something I thought was very interesting.  We suddenly were passing pairs of cyclists going in the opposite direction.  They weren’t on your traditional road racing bikes, but something that was more off-road bike like though not hardcore mountain bike.  Probably what most would call a hybrid.  There were little signs with numbers under their handlebars and generally the lead of the pair had a laminated map clipped to their handlebars so they could look at it and pedal.  It looked rather like bicycle orienteering.  I was quite curious about the race.

Von Essen Family Plot

Von Essen Family Plot

We continued on our merry little way until we got to Västeråker Kyrka.  Jens walked around outside the church yard with Loke while I went to get a quick shot of Hans Henrik von Essen’s family plot.  Hans Henrik’s marker is the tall black iron one to the left side of the plot.  A fairly comprehensive history for Hans Henrik von Essen if you click the family plot photo.  He was a busy man.

Uppsala Näs Kyrka

Uppsala Näs Kyrka

Uppsala Näs Walled Runestone

Uppsala Näs Walled Runestone

One of the places that I’ve passed quite a few times and had actually planned to get to a couple times this summer since it’s along the route I’d planned for that particular section of the Sverigeleden is Uppsala-Näs Kyrka.  Not really able to find much info about either the church or the runestone set into the wall.  I do like this church though.  I still have to say that I think that Jumkil kyrka is still my favorite country church though.

There was absolutely no information on the this chunk of runestone.  Just some lost piece of history preserved in the plastered facade of this old church.

As we headed toward Alsike to get a photo of that church which I made a conscious decision to skip on my last trip since I didn’t want to spend more time on a busy road, we continued to pass more of those mystery cyclists.  It didn’t remain a mystery for long though.  We passed by a park area that was completely packed with cars with racks for bikes and surprisingly canoes.  It seemed we were on the bike route of the cycle part of a mult-sport race.  Apparently had to do rock climbing, running (don’t know if it was cross country or not), cycling (both road and off-road since we passed by one of our favourite hiking trails and bikes were coming out of the trail head covered in mud), and kayaking/canoeing.  A rather neat concept.  Sadly, with my knees, nothing I can ever participate in.  Even when I was 20, 125 pounds of well toned muscle from cycling, hiking and swimming, my knees never would have held up to the punishing race tempo on the bike, jogging, and especially the rock climbing.  Pity, I love all those sports, especially if the running had been trail running.  I’d occasionally go for runs on forest trails.

Mystery solved, we went on to Alsike Kyrka.

Alsike Kyrka

Alsike Kyrka

This was a rather unassuming little church.  From the church yard it would have had a gorgeous view over the lake, but sadly, it was locked shut.  Which was another shame since my research revealed there was a runestone up near the church door.  There’s also a cloister on the grounds of the church as well.
Venngarn Slott

Venngarn Slott

The last stop on this little road trip was the Venngarn Slott.  It turned out that I started my last long ride right at the castle.  It was this bright pink (and slightly in need of upkeep) manor house.  I think it was the sight of one of the larger buildings in the distance of the grounds that made me believe it wasn’t the castle.  What history I found on the castle if you click the picture.

So, those are the things that I came close to, but didn’t quite get around to, or have passed along the routes but skipped for one reason or another.  Fingers crossed that I can get at least one more trip before snow and ice restrict me to my trainer until we get a good melt!!
Oh!  Stats for the Year!
Runestones-         21
Churches –            28
Castles/Manors – 6
My Miles Total – 669.8
Loke’s Miles –       544.5
Around half of the miles I covered last year, though Loke did better by about 100 miles.  Maybe I can work in another 50 or so if weather permits.  I’ll hopefully be able to do better in 2010!!

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