comment Expresses the opinion of the writer.
(Verda)I came by car through Langland on Tuesday at eleven o’clock, in terrible snow. The ice and snow were probably ten to fifteen centimeters thick on the road, and the traffic was moving at a speed of 30 kilometers per hour. Eventually I got to a cyclist on holiday again, bagged just about everywhere you could strap something to the bike.
I drove to the first bus stop, parked and pulled out the camera, ready to take a picture of this guy. The pheasant turned in and turned out to be a French girl who froze with shivering. She was also a little afraid.
Is this your idea of a dream day? I asked.
– Well, she intended to cycle to the waiting room at Rysjedalsvika and seek refuge there, she said. We’re talking at least a four-hour bike ride, in the worst snow we’ve had this year, and girl, it’s really freezing hard.
– You said it doesn’t work.
I put our address into her GPS, explained that the road was a twelve kilometer turn, showed her a picture of our house and explained where the key was.
– Go into the smallest front door, go up the stairs and to the left, put the plants away from the bathtub, take a warm bath and sit at home, then we’ll be home at four, as you said.
– Oh, thank you very much, she said.
I was going to Askvoll for a report, and the car thought, “She should think about it.” Perhaps she thinks it’s not a good idea for a man to pick her up at a bus stop, want her to live in his house, and tell her to take a shower before he comes home.”
But when my wife came home, she was lying on the sofa with a blanket over her and fell asleep.
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We sat all evening and talked, even took her to the sauna (no pictures of that, no), baked rolls and cooked a lovely evening meal, treated her to some home brewed beer, and she was probably more or less asleep before she left and went to bed in one of our daughters rooms .
She came from France, walked her bike from home in September, traveled on her bike through Austria, Germany, Denmark, rode on a sailboat to Sweden, cycled to the North Cape and was there in November. I broke a bike wheel, had to go to Trondheim to get spare parts, took a Hurtigruta there, got a job there for a while until I got paid to fix the bike, then rode, and now it’s here.
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The plan was to cycle to Bergen, further south and along the coast around southern Norway, to Oslo, to Stockholm, around the Baltic Sea, and she had to be in Belgium before June, because then she would take part in a bicycle race from there to Greece, 4000 km in 15 days. She thought she would have to count on cycling 300 km a day there. I did it for a day or two in Finnmark this winter, and that with 25 kilos of luggage. She thought that in the race, she’d be able to carry much lighter weight, so she’d work it out.
I think she can do that. Badstova uncovered La Marit Bjørgen’s body.
She got up when we went to work the next day, went back to the room and went to bed for a few more hours, and by the time we got home from work, she was gone.
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Yes. Anyway, she left here fresh, dry, with clean clothes, and five home-baked rolls in her bag. She was seen well drifting at Akse in Hyllestad the same evening, and may have had a dry, warm night in Rysjedalsvika’s antechamber.
And what did we get? An evening with an interesting person with many good stories to tell. This is not every day. I must admit I’ve had this idea ever since I met her in Langland.
When she asked me why we did this, I told her about an old Norse proverb:
“The greatest pleasure you can have is to make others happy.”
And that’s exactly what it was.
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