Mont St.-Michel, France (Thursday Doors)

June 19, 2019

Ever since I first saw a photo of Mont St.-Michel, on the Normandy coast of France, it’s been on my bucket list. I first looked it up when my dad referred to it in one of his letters to my mother when he was a U.S. Navy officer stationed off the coast of France during WWII. The fact that he was on a mine sweeper in the English Channel during D-Day was the main reason my family rented a farmhouse for two weeks in June for the 75th anniversary of that crucial day in 1944.

Mont St.-Michel is the setting of the novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which takes place during World War II, and is one of my favorite novels. That only reinforced my desire to go there!

It is only a few hours drive from our lodgings near Caen to Mont St.-Michel, so after visiting Bayeux, we continued on to that long anticipated place.
Mont-St.-Michel was founded in 708 by the Bishop of Avranches, who was visited by the archangel Saint Michel in his dreams three times. The abbey was built as a small structure at the uppermost part of the island, which is about a mile off the coast of northern France. In 966, the Benedictine monks occupied the abbey and over the years, as it was expanded, it also built up its fortifications, for its position made it a target during the One Hundred Years War, and in 1204 it was attacked by Breton knights under the command of Guy de Thoars.

A series of dioramas shows the expansion of the abbey from the 10th century to the present.

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Climbing up toward the abbey at the top of the hill

During the reign of King Louis XI, the island became the Alcatraz of France. As a prison, it took in prisoners until 1860. At the end of the 19th century, the 650 remaining prisoners were transferred to the mainland and the detention center closed by imperial decree. The author of Les Miserables, Victor Hugo, was a great advocate of the abbey and was one of many people who called for the prison to be closed.*

There is a shuttle which deposits visitors near the entrance to the town on the island. However, the walk on the causeway is easily doable as well as beautiful. At low tide, the island is surrounded by muddy sand, but at high tide, under certain conditions the water level is high enough to flood the causeway and close the island to visitors. When we were there, it was low tide but high tourist season – the site is a very popular sightseeing destination, with 3,500,000 visitors per year.

The main route up to the abbey begins at the entrance gate to the fortified town.

One way to explore the island and go up to the abbey is on the ramparts of the old wall, which is what my son did, via a stairway just inside the main gate.


My son, Jayme, waves from the top of the stairs leading to the ramparts.

The view up there is very different and there are no crowds. Here are some of the photos Jayme took from up there.

The rest of us (me, my husband, my brother and sister-in-law) took the winding route through town, which is essentially a shopping area, where shops, restaurants, and small museums occupy the historic buildings, competing for tourist business.20190619_101939
It is touristy but picturesque, preserving its medieval appearance (after all, that’s what attracts the tourists!).
The shops sell everything from swords to ice cream.


The hotels on the island are very expensive.

The shops and restaurants have artistic signs.

I had heard there were more than 300 steps up to the abbey, so I considered not going up there at all, imagining a single, continuous stairway going upward. However, it isn’t like that at all; the narrow street ascends gradually, affording beautiful vistas at every turn, and the stairs are grouped – 27 here, 36 there – so it isn’t necessary to climb 300 stairs all at once!
About halfway up, the restaurants and shops end; there are small, specialized museums, each with their own entrance fee, but you can buy a ticket for all four. Having limited time, we did not go into any of the museums, saving the time we had to tour the abbey.
We did, however, go into a small chapel. Entrance was via a pink door!


Exiting the chapel was through an open red door.
Our audio tour of the abbey took us through various rooms, each with a history and a place on the timeline. There were a number of interesting doors and entryways at the abbey.
The abbey church is characterized by high ceilings and simplicity of design and ornamentation.
A multi-paneled carving tells the story of the passion of Christ.

More doors!

The 260m² cloister had a garden for a long time which was replaced in the 19th century by a rainwater collector to supply the kitchens. The current restoration project aims to reconstruct the original garden.

Doors (continued):

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This funny little lopsided door was my favorite – it appears to have been a storage shack or a place to keep animals.

This hall was for receptions.
Each of the tall narrow windows had a different pattern.

Floor patterns


Views on the way up and at the top of the abbey:

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More views of the town on the way down
We had crepes at a creperie on the way back, but first we watched crepes being made.

Mont St. Michel is a place to take one’s time: visit the abbey and the museums, window shop (or just shop!), admire the unique views, don’t let the crowds deter you, but most of all, appreciate this historic national monument (since 1862) and UNESCO World Heritage Site (designated in 1979).

For more photos of unique and interesting doors from all over the world, visit Norm’s Thursday Doors 8/22/19 and check out other participants’ postings!

*Historical information obtained from A History of Mont Saint Michel on the Paris City Vision website.


Question Fun: On Adventures, Travel & Explorations

I know I’m late for this one, but I just didn’t have time to do it before now, and then I saw “Bipolar Barb”‘s answers and got inspired. This is one of my favorite topics, so please forgive me!!!

Welcome to Question Fun The Twice Weekly Game!
An easy game, and more so if you love questions! Each game has a topic, and then there are 23 questions relating to the topic – they can be visual, musical, personal, professional, topical, serious, thought provoking, fun, weird and even wacky – the questions will cover all fields and there is no structure to follow, so it could orderly one day and completely random the next time you play!
Today’s topic is ………….. Adventuring, Exploration and Travel/ling

What are five [in your eyes only] top quality Adventure films?
Instellar – In a future where humans are struggling to survive, astronauts venture into space through a wormhole to search for a new home for humankind.
Contact – a young woman takes a spaceship to a planet in another galaxy, not knowing what she will find or if she will even get there.
The Martian – The ultimate adventure that could plausibly take place in the next 100 years! An astronaut is left for dead on Mars by his crew members, who return to Earth. He must learn to survive Mars’ hazards until he can communicate with Earth and be rescued. This was a good movie, but the book was better!
Armegeddon – NASA discovers that an asteroid is going to hit Earth and sends a crew to land on the asteroid and divert it. OK, this film is not “top quality” but it  is actually a real possibility – it is against all odds that Earth has not been impacted by a devastating asteroid since the time of the dinosaurs.
The Lost City of Z – the only one of my five that takes place on Earth and is really true! It’s the story of a writer who traces the route of past explorers into the Amazon jungle to find a “lost city” known as “Z”, a possibly mythical place but whose legend has endured to this day. To get there, he faces many hazards and possibly death, since none of the explorers of the past returned from their expeditions.
In all of these films, characters face the unknown and the probability of not returning home alive. [Please provide links and say why you think they are]
What would be your ideal Adventure [not holiday – Adventure]? 
to be an archaeologist or help a team of archaeologists excavating ancient Egyptian ruins (I mean for real, not like Raiders of the Lost Ark!)
If you were planning your Adventure of a Lifetime which is the best season for you to go? Winter, early spring or late fall in a warm climate or southern hemisphere because I hate the cold.
What kind of activities do you enjoy doing and what would you never do?
I like to explore new places, then write about it, reading, photography and being in nature. I would never go hang gliding, mountain or rock climbing, skydiving or ziplining. (I did go ziplining once, in Costa Rica – never again!)
If you could live anywhere in the world for a year out of the answers below, where would you choose? The forest.
What are three great adventure quotes?
These are the answers “Bipolar Barb” gave, but they are great and I couldn’t come up with anything better. 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” — Eleanor Roosevelt;
“Keep reading. It’s one of the most marvelous adventures that anyone can have.” — Lloyd Alexander
“Until you step into the unknown, you don’t know what you’re made of.”
― Roy T. Bennett
America is named after?
Amerigo Vespucci
Who reached North America first out of the following peoples? Spanish, British, Vikings, Portuguese
Vikings – archaeologists have found evidence of Viking habitation in Canada from back in the 12th century or earlier. They were master sailors and conquerors.
What was Christopher Columbus’s aim of his second voyage to the New world? Probably to rape & pillage and steal all the gold. Really, I don’t know, but that is what he and his men did. They wanted to find “El Dorado” – a city made of gold.
What happened to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan? It is buried under Mexico City.
What was the most exciting Adventure you have ever been on? Four days hiking/backpacking in the Grand Canyon
Where in the world have you had the most fun exploring as an adult?  I guess I have to say Scotland, because it is one place that we set our own agenda – we weren’t on a tour. It was in 1999, and my mother was with us. She had ancestors in Scotland and we explored some of the places that were part of their history.


I downloaded this image from Bing, but this was a place in Scotland that we just happened to see when we were driving, so we stopped and explored! Well worth the visit!

When in Rome, one does as the Romans do; however, when on a sandy beach, one does ……….. ? Build a sand castle.
Whilst out and about exploring on an adventure, what is the scariest thing that has happened to you? I was almost kidnapped at O’Hare airport when I was 16, and also, in Mexico City, I got into an unmarked car whose driver claimed it was a taxi. If it hadn’t been for the alertness of the friend I was with, God knows what would have happened.
Of the following choices which would you prefer to explore?
Well, a forgotten city is sort of like a ghost town, which can be fun to explore. Ghost towns usually have great photo opps!
A sunken city – I would love it if it is no longer “sunken.” (Tenochtitlan is buried under Mexico City; many Egyptian ruins were buried under sand, but no longer. Do these count?)
A lost city – if it’s lost, how can I explore it?
An uninhabited island – that would be fun to explore also, as long as “uninhabited” includes dangerous animals!
uninhabited island.jpg
Why did you pick your option above, what appealed?
Sunken cities are archaeological goldmines, and I love learning and speculating about life in the distant past.
Would you rather swim with sharks or dolphins? Are you really expecting anyone to answer “sharks”? Dolphins, of course.
What’s the worst piece of travel advice you have ever received? It never really gets cold in Israel. WRONG!!
What is on the top of your bucket list? Going on another safari, perhaps in South Africa; visiting China; a cruise of the Greek Islands. In 2 1/2 weeks we are going to Europe, and while I am in France, I will visit Mont St. Michel, which I can then cross off my bucket list!
Best musical track you can think of for each of the following: exploration, adventuring or travelling? [Please provide links]
City of New Orleans by Arlo Guthrie (traveling)
Africa by Toto (adventuring – safari!!)
This Land Is Your Land performed by Pete Seeger (exploring – there is so much variety in this country!)
How many countries [or States/Counties] have you visited – please list. I’ve been to 42 U.S. states, I think: New York, New Jersey, California, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho (very limited), Utah, Washington, Oregon (very limited), Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, South Dakota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Alaska, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina (limited), South Carolina, Florida, Massachusetts, Vermont, Minnesota, Maine (only Acadia NP), District of Columbia, Maryland, Michigan, West Virginia. (I need to take two trips: Northeast and deep South!) I only counted states that I actually visited, and not states that I’ve driven through while on a road trip. My rule is I at least have to get out of the car and see something.  Oh, I have also been to Puerto Rico which is part of the United States, but it isn’t a state (yet).
Countries: Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia (only Cartagena), Brazil, Peru, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Russia (St. Petersburg), Finland, Sweden, France, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Italy, Netherlands, Egypt, Tanzania, Israel. In other words, NOT NEARLY ENOUGH! There’s a lot of world left to see!!!
Three items you simply could not travel without? Phone, notebook & pen, water bottle
water bottles.jpg


Journey to Egypt, Part 18: The Crate Maker of Fares Island

December 31, 2018

Our dahabeya Aida docked this morning at the island of Fares. We were going to see a local craftsman, the last crate maker in Upper (southern) Egypt. Transportation to the crate maker’s home was via “tuk-tuk,” two passengers per vehicle!
We bumped and jostled along the dusty roads of Fares village, observing our surroundings through fringed open sides.
We could peek at our driver through a heart-shaped cut in the material in front of us.

Our little caravan of tuk-tuks finally arrived at the crate maker’s home and were taken around to the back of the house.DSC_0416
We saw piles of date palm reeds, the raw material of the hand-made crates, which were stacked up behind the craftsman’s work space.


The crate maker’s work space

Mohammed (the crate maker – not to be confused with our guide of the same name!) has his reeds shipped to him from elsewhere, from mature date palms (at least a year old). The reeds have to be dried but no longer than 20 days. The dried reeds are strong, yet pliable for splitting and cutting holes in them.


One of the crate maker’s assistants

Mohammed could not stop his work as he talked to us – he was working on an order for 20,000 crates to hold mangoes, which are grown in this area. These will be shipped to Cairo, and some of them exported. The crates can be different sizes and last 7-10 years.

Mohammed himself is 58 and has been doing this work for over 40 years.  We asked if his children are learning this craft. He told us his children are in school – he doesn’t want them to learn the craft, which taxes the body and presumably doesn’t pay very well.


First, he cuts the reeds into the lengths needed.


Mohammed uses pieces that have already been cut at the correct length to measure other pieces.


He then cuts the section of reed lengthwise with a scythe, which requires great precision.

Mohammed uses both his hands and his feet to make the crates. Machines cannot do this job with the same precision. People who practice this craft don’t stay in it long, due to the position of their body, sitting on the ground for long periods, which is why it is a dying craft.


Mohammed steadies the section of reed while he uses a large nail and makeshift hammer to cut holes along its length.


As  he works, he answers our questions which are translated by our guide Mohamed.

However, he does have assistants, so between them they can produce 5 million crates a year. He himself makes 150 crates a week.


An assistant awaits instructions against a backdrop of date palms.

Mohammed could not stop his work as he talked to us – he was working on an order for 20,000 crates to hold mangoes, which are grown in this area. These will be shipped to Cairo, and some of them exported. The crates can be different sizes and last 7-10 years.


Sample of one of Mohammed’s more elaborate creations, which was passed around among us.

Mohammed uses both his hands and his feet to make the crates. Machines cannot do this job with the same precision. People who practice this craft don’t stay in it long, due to the position of their body, sitting on the ground for long periods, which is why it is a dying craft.


As  he works, he answers our questions which are translated by our guide Mohamed.

Mohammed himself is 58 and has been doing this work for over 40 years. We asked if his children are learning this craft. He told us his children are in school – he doesn’t want them to learn the craft, which taxes the body and presumably doesn’t pay very well.


These piles of reed sections are ready for assembling the crate – the pieces with holes drilled in them will anchor the side pieces (the narrower pieces in the other pile) that fit through the holes.


An assistant awaits instructions against a backdrop of date palms.

SONY DSCHowever, he does have assistants, so between them they can produce 5 million crates a year. He himself makes 150 crates a week. Because he was kind enough to invite us to see him at work, three women from our group became his temporary assistants!


Mohammed hands Lizz some materials…


…and shows her what to do.

Through demonstration and imitation,…


Assembling the base of the crate

…Lizz, Kathy and Michelle were able to be efficient crate producers, and with their help, Mohammed was able to finish twice as many crates in the time we were there!


The vertical pieces are fit through the holes on the horizontal pieces.

12 horizontal pieces and 4 vertical pieces form the frame.
They’re almost finished as Mohammed fits in the bottom cross pieces.
Michelle takes over to help make the next crate.


Michelle slides a horizontal piece through two verticals to construct the frame.


Photo op! Mohammed will not actually have Michelle make the lengthwise cut!


Michelle helps finish a frame.

A small crate with a handle was given to Lizz as a gift for being a great assistant! Everyone was given an ankh made of date palm reeds.
Kathy was the last volunteer.


Kathy hammers a length of vertical piece into a hole.

Two of the finished crates!

We thanked the craftsman and his assistants and family and said good-bye, then we headed back to our tuk-tuks for the ride back to where Aida was moored.  As we approached the pier on the river, I saw a snake handler with several cobras! (Fortunately, we were some distance away; I took this photo with my telephoto lens!)

Journey to Egypt, Part 13: Cruising the Nile & Visit to el Hegz Island

December 28, 2018

I was looking forward to the next portion of our trip – a 5-day cruise on the Nile, aboard  a 16-passenger dahabeya – in other words, a private ship for our OAT group of 14 people including our guide plus 14 crew members! This dahabeya, called Aida, is one of only two such boats owned and operated by Overseas Adventure TravelAida is the newer of the two and has only been in operation for a few months.20181228_121014d
You know how a new car has a “new” smell? Well, the Aida had a “new ship” smell – primarily of the wood used to build it. It was wonderful! Even more wonderful was that shortly after we boarded, we were served lunch in our private dining area!

Before lunch, we had time to freshen up in our staterooms – there are only 8 or 10 of these and each is named for an Egyptian goddess. Our stateroom was #4, named Hathor.
I had not slept well in either hotel we’d stayed in up until then (this often happens to me in hotels) so I was very tired. First thing I did when we got into our stateroom was curl up on my bed and take a nap!
Within a half hour, it was time for lunch. Aida has a small dining area with a panoramic view of the Nile and surrounding countryside.


I took this photo from the ship’s lounge looking toward the bar. Behind the bar was our semicircular dining area. All meals were buffet style.


In the lounge were comfortable sofas and chairs and each end table had an outlet with two USB ports! Needless to say, WiFi was available on board, though the reception wasn’t always great.


Display case at the back end of the lounge

We cruised for a few hours to el Hegz Island on the Nile’s east bank, where we docked and went ashore. Here are some views from Aida‘s deck while we were cruising.


Another dahabeya with its sail aloft.


El Hegz is an island with mostly farms, but there is also a small village. We were given a tour by one of the farmers.

Transportation on the island is by bike or donkey, although there are a few motorized vehicles.
The residents are very proud of their water sanitation and storage system which provides them with always fresh water. The water is piped onto the island and then goes through a sanitation process before it is stored in large tanks.

The vegetation is lush and there is a canal and irrigation for crops.

They grow bananas, sugarcane and other crops. The bananas and sugarcane are cash crops. Others, such as vegetables, are for consumption by the local population.

Scenes of village life
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We made our way back to Aida as the sun was about to set.
Although we got back on board, the ship moored for the night off the island.
Another dahabeya came along. This type of boat does have sails, but usually the crew of Aida did not use them, because that would require a lot of tacking – zig-zagging across the river, which would have delayed us. For this reason, usually we were towed by a tugboat, because dahabeyas do not have motors.
The sunset over the west bank of the Nile was gorgeous!

Thursday Doors: Besaw Island

While on our 5-day Nile River cruise in Egypt, we stopped at an island where we visited a farmer and his family, and we were shown around the area where he lives. For Norm’s Thursday Doors feature this week, here are some doors and other sights on Besaw Island.


Farmland on Besaw Island



The farmer showed us a banana plantation (he doesn’t own it) and told us about the process of growing bananas.

On our way to our host’s house, I took most of these photos.


Note the objects hanging from the top of this man’s door – pairs of cow hooves!

This door is at our host’s house.
Although the family’s house is small and they don’t have much, their house is neat and the food they served us was delicious!


Someone painted this door after the farmer (Sayeed) and his wife (Zena) got married, with beautiful flowers, hearts and Arabic writing.


Dale watches as group member Cary plays with one of the family’s children. 



Stockholm by Bicycle

Stockholm, Day 2 – August 15, 2015

Every day someone on the ship's crew changed the carpet for each day of the week on the elevator.

Every day someone on the ship’s crew changed the carpet for each day of the week on the elevator.

Although I had been the one to suggest it originally, it was with considerable trepidation that I went out on the dock with Dale and Elmer to find our tour. I hadn’t biked at all this summer, so I was really out of shape for bike riding. Our tour guide, Joachim, was waiting for us with a dozen or so bicycles, each equipped with a helmet, which we were required to wear, and a water bottle.
Joachim worked for Stockholm Adventures, a tour company that provides biking, skating kayaking, sailing, motor boating and snow shoeing experiences for the adventurous traveler. He showed us how to adjust our helmets. Most bikers here do wear helmets although it is not mandatory, except for children. I recalled our guide on the canal tour last night saying that Swedes like to be safe.
Joachim showed us how the bikes work. The main brake is the coaster brake – stopping by pushing the pedals in reverse. There’s a hand brake also, but only on the left side. On the right handlebar was the gear adjustment – there were seven gears.
The first thing we faced on our route after leaving the pier area was a long and fairly steep incline as we rode over a bridge, one of many connecting Stockholm’s 14 islands. Needless to say, halfway up I had to get off the bike and walk. I was grateful for having a crew member, a young Dutch woman, stationed at the rear of our group, yet found myself compelled to apologize to her every time I couldn’t keep up with the others. Dale later told me that he hadn’t gotten up the hill without getting off his bike either, and the same was true of several others.

View from lookout shortly after crossing the bridge.

View from lookout shortly after crossing the bridge.

There aren’t a lot of hills in Stockholm and those we encountered weren’t usually very long, but I did struggle to get up many of them. We stopped often to take pictures at lookout points and other places of interest which Joachim told us about.

Large square in commercial area

Large square in commercial area

20150815_022513The nice thing about being on a bike tour is being able to go places that buses can’t, and being in the open air. Stockholm is very bike-friendly and encourages the sport as an ecologically friendly way to get around. There are bikes everywhere, something I’ve noticed in most of the places we’ve been. Stockholm has an extensive network of bike paths throughout the city, allowing bikers to feel safe riding on busy city streets. There are connecting bike and walking trails through parks and other areas.

20150815_02420620150815_02423320150815_024341It was Saturday, so the traffic wasn’t heavy anyway, and if it weren’t for festivals and other special events going on in the city, there would likely be fewer people out and about – it’s the last weekend of summer before school starts, and many families and friends like to spend sunny, warm weekends at summer homes outside the city on the archipelago. (In fact, we’d seen many such houses between Helsinki and Stockholm, and the scenery reminded me of northern Wisconsin – which I suppose is why the upper Midwest has the largest number of Scandinavian immigrant descendants in the USA!)

Kayakers on Lake Malaren

Kayaker on Lake Malaren

The boats in this marina are all made of wood.

The boats in this marina are all made of wood.

Swedes are sun worshippers, understandable for a people who live in a northern climate where winters are extremely cold and dark – although they don’t get as much snow here as we do, because of ocean currents. Their lakes and rivers do freeze over, though, so it’s no wonder that skating and ice fishing are popular winter sports. And kids here are required to learn to swim.

While it seems that in the U.S. we continue to build more prisons, Sweden has been closing some of theirs.

Sweden has closed some prisons, including this one; it is now a school.

Sweden has closed some prisons, including this one; it is now a school.

This building housed wardens of the prison; now it is a hotel.

This building housed wardens of the prison; now it is a hotel.

Below, a path through a park. I was worried we would be taking the path to the left – fortunately, we didn’t!

20150815_031456Below, view from a bridge:
20150815_032107 20150815_032128This crowd of people are gathered in the park for a swim meet.

20150815_033458We made a rather lengthy stop in front of city hall.

In front of city wall, with statues and fountains

In front of city wall, with statues and fountains

Courtyard within the grounds of city hall

Courtyard within the grounds of city hall

Looking toward the lake through the arches

Looking toward the lake through the arches

20150815_035807On the left bank of this river is the royal palace.20150815_040917Nearby was a statue of a folk musician.20150815_043042There was a festival in town that weekend. We rode among some of the props.20150815_041320Fellow bikers

20150815_041826“I don’t see a hill, I see a possibility.”
I pondered, and rejected, the notion that Joachim would take us into the old part of town – with its narrow, cobblestone streets full of tourists. However, I was wrong – Gamla Stan was the last area we rode in before returning to the dock! The tourists there seemed rather perplexed by not one, not two, but more than a dozen bike riders invading these narrow streets, forcing them to get out of the way.

20150815_043750 20150815_043814 20150815_043818 20150815_044247 The cobblestone streets made the ride bumpier and in places, more challenging. One of the last streets Joachim took us down was a turn to the left where there was an archway and then downhill. I kind of squealed when I took the plunge, but made it safely. At the bottom, we got off our bikes to wait for the others (only one person could realistically ride down that street at a time). I wanted to take a picture and when I lifted my cell phone and snapped the picture, I realized I got a great picture of my husband Dale coming down that narrow passageway!

20150815_045009On this 3 ½ hour bike tour, I admittedly was the slowest and weakest rider, although no one seemed to care. One of the older men in the group said he was impressed that I was able to keep up at all, considering I hadn’t biked for awhile. To keep me going, he kept reminding me of something Joachim had said early on, when we confronted our first hill: “I don’t see a hill, I see a possibility.”

The rest of the day
It would have been nice to end the tour in Gamla Stan, where we could all relax and have lunch at an open air café, but we had to ride back to the dock so we could return to the ship. If I weren’t so tired and sore after the bike trip, I might have been up for returning into the city; instead, we went to Lido for lunch and mostly relaxed the rest of the day. The ship left port in late afternoon, and we took some lovely pictures of the archipelago with those summer houses we’d been told about.