I started the morning in a very relaxed manner and waited until after 9:00 when peak hours are over and it is allowed to bring the bike on the trains.
First was the Pendeltåget to Uppsala and a quick and easy change to Upptåget for the last leg of the journey to Gävle. I decided to go directly to Gävle instead of getting off in Örbyhus where I jumped on the train yesterday. So technically I have cheated and gone by train between Örbyhus and Gävle. I hope they will forgive me in Trondheim and still give me the diploma.
The journey to Gävle was very uneventful, once in Gävle it was an easy elevator ride down from the platform. I already had a GPS track for the church HQ in Gävle. So it was easy to find.
I wanted to go there to see if they had any information about Helgonleden and also to see if they could stamp my pilgrim passport. It seemed like I was the first ever person that came in and asked for a stamp, they didn’t have a dedicated pilgrim stamp.
But I got a stamp from their normal official business stamp and also there was a priest there that gave some information about my next stop and which bike routes to take there.
On my way to the next stop I found the excellent restaurang Testebo, they serve classic "Dagens lunch". The typical Swedish lunch. My choice was pannbiff med gräddsås och stekt potatis, with drinks and sallad it was 80 SEK.
After lunch I biked along the excellent bike lanes to the church or rather the administrative office next to the church in Hille. There was no pilgrim stamp but I could get their official business stamp in my passport, no information on the route except that the church in Hamrånge/Bergby was the place to go for expert advice.
I biked north to the next church. There were some really heavy down pours and the after a while the bike lane ended and I had to ride the road. After a while I caught up with another bike tourer, he was from München and he was very impressed when I knew both Grüss gott and Servus. He had started in mid May and was heading for the North cape. He had only seen one other cyclist so far, another German. He had just gotten well after being really sick for a long time, he had sold his company and was in the process of figuring out what to do with the rest of his life.
We parted in Bergby when I detoured off to the church to collect a stamp and possibly some information.
I found the church, it’s huge and on a small hill, so that was not so hard. There was a caretaker outside and I asked him if it would be possible to get a stamp and some more info. The office was closed but he offered to get the stamp and stamp my passport himself.
We went over to the office and I got the stamp. There wasn’t any great written information available, possibly the expert would be in the office tomorrow morning. I started to think about where to spend the night in my water proof tent.
I asked him if there are any camping or cheap accommodations around, and there was a hostel (vandrarhem) just across the street and he even walked me there and showed me where it was. As it started to rain very hard when we walked across the street I asked for a room with sea view. There were none. The price was normal hostel standard, 375 SEK for a single room with shared shower and WC and kitchen.
As the rain hammered the windows this felt like a reasonable price. There is also a B&B in "town" but that has more hotel standard and hotel prices.
So interestingly enough I will spend the night indoors with my allegedly waterproof big nice Hilleberg tent. But that is life.
The organisation that runs the hostel is called Knutpunkten Landsbygdscentrum, sort of a cooperative/shared office/tourist info/little of everything. I start to harass the staff with lots of questions about the pilgrim route and soon enough the expert gets called on a phone and I get to talk to the expert.
So tomorrow I know where to find an info board (which I missed) and the route along gravel roads is supposed to be easy to find and signposted. This sounds very great.
In the meantime I visit the bakery for some fresh homemade kanelbulle and then I visit the ICA supermarket. They have a salad/deli counter where you can compose your own meal for 7.50 SEK/100 gram. So lots of cheese, egg, chicken and ham, and some veggies.
So all in all, Bergby is a great stop for the night or just a visit to the bakery. To bad they don’t market this nice place to cyclists.
The rain hammers down, the streets are flooded, so after a few hours I have a room with a lake view.