My conviction of not wanting to own a car has gotten stronger, and well cemented after I’ve come to this side of the world. The impeccable bicycle lanes, the perennially running population and the vistas that can be truly savoured when not stuffed inside annoying metal boxes have reinforced this idea.
Okay, before you brand me a frugal non-consumerist, allow me to substantiate these claims from few other perspectives.
Fat for fuel: It has taken me 10 months to untie my body weight drift northwards, and easily gain 6 kg. This simply because I over-drafted my excuse of moving to a new place, for not working out regularly. Fortunately, being in Sweden puts you under some healthy (literally healthy) pressure, if you are not engaging in some form of physical exercise. Irrespective of the time of the day or year, if it is scorching hot, chattering cold or soaking wet, Swedes RUN.
Now, I am simply trying to follow the cue of the city, and running! I have signed up for a fun event which is the Swedish way of celebrating Holi, by running 5 km while you are drenched in water and soaked in colours. More of that when it happens later this month.
So, if you are moving into Sweden, get a good pair of running shoes and RUN. And also that I’m a big fan of Göteborg, you can’t quite excuse yourself for not running in Slottskogen!
Walking tours: Not just running, even to explore the cities in Europe the most effective way is to walk it out! Me and my mates have walked all of Oslo, Frederikshavn, Nuremberg, Stockholm, Umeå, Hamburg, and most of Munich! There is simply no better way than to stroll along the streets, following, or not following the map.
Also, the culture of guided Walking Tours are brilliant. If you are visiting any European city, check out if any team is offering Walking Tours. Usually the basic tour is free (tip-based), and you can also sign up for other paid walking tours to assimilate all those myths, legends and facts about the place.
Biking camaraderie: I am a biking rookie here, but will still not miss out on bragging about the experience of biking in Sweden. When you want to slip out of the city into some rural landscape, some lakes or hiking trails, hop on to your bike and get going. There is abundant support to encourage you to bike, like bike maps, pit-stops, free air and parking all along!
If you are in Göteborg,you can most likely get hold of a free bike for yourself by just registering as a member with Cykelköket. This is an awesome volunteer workshop, where you can ‘learn’ and get assistance to dismantle your bike, and get it fixed.
Truly eco-friendly: Bottomline of course, is you can’t get eco-friendlier than this. It beats even when you commute with public transport.
Hoping that my enthusiasm will sustain as the winter sets in 😉