Stockholm is by far the biggest city I’ve been to since leaving Saint Petersburg and there’s a lot to see and do. But the most pleasant and interesting day is one I spend just outside the city. One of the people I asked for a place to stay declined my request, but invited me to celebrate midsummer with him and some friends. So one day I find myself collecting flowers in the Swedish countryside to decorate a traditional midsummer pole together with an odd mix of hippies and various other assorted folks.
Leaving town the next day isn’t easy. I get to a gas station fairly late and I’ve read that there is no good place to travel onward from until past Uppsala and the very few rides that offer to take me don’t seem to be going past there. So I spend half a night in a McDonald’s and half a night sleeping in the bushes waiting for day to break so I can have another go. This time I’m ready to take up just about any offer. A Turkish family drives me to the airport from where a a food safety inspector takes me to a petrol station on the north side of Uppsala. Then I’m driven to my destination of Hudiksval by an anarcho-capitalist musician and programmer.
After a few kilometers I arrive in the village where I’ve found a couchsurfing host. Other than the prospect of a bed and a shower I have no reason to visit this place. A man from Syria who works as a translator has offered to put me up, and I get the impression that he doesn’t have any reason to live in this town either. But we spend some time watching Russian sitcoms and drive around the area for a bit and it seems like an alright place to live. The area seems very beautiful but also very quiet and I’m glad I don’t spend more than two nights in the place.