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An inspirational cycling journey to Sweden
Photo: Luc
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Luc’s cycling journey to Sweden

When Luc was admitted for master studies in Sweden he wanted to travel here as environmentally friendly as possible. The result? A bike journey from the Netherlands to Sweden and a memory for life. In this interview he tells us more about this inspirational way of travelling.

Tell us about the decision to take a bike here, how did you come to think about it? 

To confirm the prejudices about Dutch people, I grew up cycling a lot and when started studying, I used to go for little day trips with my racing bike. I found out there are quite a lot of people hooked on cycling and even travel around the world by bike. Fascinated by this idea, I had in mind to do a bike trip through Europe after finishing my bachelor. When I got accepted for my master program in Gothenburg, I was looking for a way to get there without using the plane. Looking at the environmental impact of aeroplanes, I prefer choosing alternative travelling options, at least in Europe. The idea of moving by bike to my new destination was really appealing to me, so I decided to go for it.

Was it easy to plan and find information on how to bike? 

At first, I planned my route online. There are a lot of cycling routes in Europe, which you can find on online, EuroVelo and Europafietsers for example. I decided to tweak the route a bit and visit some nice places: Bremen, Hamburg, Lüneberg, Lübeck, Møns Klint, Roskilde and Copenhagen. Once I would enter Sweden I would go for the whole west coast from Malmö to Gothenburg. It was quite easy to plan and I installed the app 'Komoot' which helped me a lot to find the right route during the trip. In many places, the signs next to the route were very clear, especially in Sweden where I took the Kattegatleden. I also shared my route on Facebook and asked if there were people out there I could visit or willing to join cycling, so I had some people to meet on the road.

Tell us about the trip – how did it go? 

I was really excited to start and I wanted to see another country as soon as possible, so I cycled a lot during the first few days. The scenery in the Netherlands was not that interesting, but in Germany, I visited nice cities, with Hamburg as a highlight, alternated with amazing forests. In Lübeck, a friend joined me to cycle together and looking on the internet, it was unsure if we could enter Denmark due to the Covid-19 restrictions. We decided to take the ferry and fortunately, it was not a problem at all. After one night in Denmark, I continued alone to visit the Møns Klint and I made two French friends over there which I joined cycling to Roskilde. They went to Copenhagen immediately, but I made a stop at the biggest organic farm in Denmark, where the brother of a friend of mine was living and working. I met my two French friends in Copenhagen again and we took the time to explore the city. I took the train from Copenhagen to Malmö and there started the most beautiful part of my bike trip: Kattegatleden! The weather was amazing and the nature, beaches and cities absolutely made my trip. You Swedes can consider yourself very lucky with that. 

Would you recommend other students to bike here? What are the pros and cons?

The feeling you get after arriving is so great and the whole journey is such a great adventure. I can absolutely recommend it to everyone. It might feel like too many kilometres, but you seriously get used to it. This way of travelling makes you more aware of the astonishing landscapes we have in Europe and how it feels to travel a great distance, which you don't have when you 'simply' take the aeroplane. A disadvantage could be that it takes a lot of time, but I can't imagine how you could spend time better than in this way. 

Article created by Sara Grevsjö, Welcome Services
 

Photos from Luc's journey

Photo: Luc Roefs
Photo: Luc Roefs