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J253 - Saturday, June 26: 7km before Gnesta - 6km after Jönaker

74.02km  – 10H29’
Altitude : 23 m
Erratum: Stockholm has 900,000 inhabitants, not 1.8 million as stated in yesterday’s log.
This morning the sky is gray over our heads and the road, which is deserted after the midsummer night.  With the exception of a few banners and barbecues in some gardens, we saw no evidence of traditional celebrations.  Luckily, BĂ©rengère kept one of the traditions connected to midsummer: she slept with a small bouquet of 7 different wild flowers.  Legend has it that young girls who keep this ritual the night of June 25 will see the face of their future husband in their dreams.  This morning we all ask BĂ©rengère if she saw a face in her sleep.  The answer is no, she did not dream and no face appeared.
The wind comes up, a storm cloud pours rain on us, then the sun comes out and the rest of the afternoon is beautiful.  Serge has no pain to complain about, which is lucky.  We choose to take alternate routes on which we don’t see any cars.  The countryside is green and peaceful, there are cows, sheep, huge barns which are always painted Falu red and most of the houses are the same color.  From time to time there is a white or yellow house for a change.  The wheat is already high, hay and silage are ready. Nature has changed in the space of one week.
To have gone through Stockholm gives us the impression of being in the south.  Don’t say that to someone from Marseille, for whom Lyon is already in the North!!! We head south-west toward Malmö, opposite Copenhagen.  Our guide book tells us that there is a possibility The Little Mermaid of Copenhagen is to be in China between April and October 2010 for the World’s Fair in Shanghai.  Is there a Sherlock Holmes who can find out for us?  Copenhagen without The Little Mermaid would be like Paris without the Eiffel tower or London without Big Ben.
Serge didn’t realize how strong the sun is because of the wind.  He is weak and nauseated at the end of the stage.  When he gets back he lies down for a few minutes before taking his shower, which gives him the shivers.
Serge is all red and says « I will go home tanned from my vacation » and adds « I can’t wait to get to Denmark because it is supposed to be flat. »  Next to me as I write these lines, Serge is talkative, whereas he is quiet on the road, but he is letting off steam and likes to joke.  He tells me “If I could run lying down I would spend more hours on the road.”
He tells me that at night when he gets up to go to the bathroom, he looks at his watch to see the number of kilometers, thinking that he has moved forward, that he is still in the race; but he doesn’t wear his watch when he sleeps and he is disappointed next morning because he still has his 74 km to run.  Moral of the story, Serge is in his race day and night!!!

Town : 6km après Jönaker

GPS : N 58.44’84.3° E 016.36’75 .4°