So we start by the lake in Tranemo on a fairly breezy, but mild day. It is approaching the middle of the day and sun is high in the sky, shining down over the town. Time to head over to the cycle route and start the 6 kilometre trek to Uddebo.
The first thing we reach on the way round past the quiet yellow and red houses is an event venue. It is a yellow house standing just at the edge of the lake, which you can see from pretty much any side, along with a stage, an open-sided shelter with tables under it and a few other little huts for serving drinks and such-like. I have noticed some activity there lately; it is nearly the season when this venue will begin to be used again.
Further around the lake, the cycle route stops following the line and continues off in another direction. Just as this happens you come across is this massive barn. It is quite a nice design and while it seems to be unused at the moment, it is still in good condition. I was wondering what it was for and was told that it may have been where the town stored its weapons in the past. Apparently, the Swedes had some sort of civil army arrangement, whereby every town would have a stock of weapons in case they needed to suddenly defend themselves. Now it has been deemed unneccesary.
This is where the route really heads out into the countryside and away from the town. Through the trees and fields you have the cycle route and over to the right hand side there is a road for cars, which remains parallel to the cycle path for some of the route. But as you will see below, this particular route has actually been around for a very long time:
‘This is an old bridle path, a so-called ravine. In the form of a ditch, this way has taken the tramping of horses’ hooves for a long time. Until about 1820, this route went to Tostarps Gästgiveri (an inn), which at the time lay about 500m eastwards, by the river.’
The path stretches out ahead of you once you emerge from the trees. Now there is nothing but a small ditch to the right between you and the road, and nothing but a fence to the left between you and the fields. The path is deceivingly long; it looks like you could walk the length of it in a few minutes, but this isn’t the case!
When you do finally reach the end, you find a kind of funny looking bridge. It has a turquoise coloured metal frame around a wooden frame and it is designed specifically for bikes. Further along, and it took me a while to notice this, are the remains of an old bridge, which was much wider and made of stone, wood and rope. I can see why they needed to replace it.
Ok, so now the path turns round gradually to the right, whilst a group of houses pass by on the left hand side. A little further along, as we see a one track road come along from the houses, there is a sculpture. I think of him as ‘The Warden of the Route’.
He is in fact facing the opposite direction on the path, so you face him coming from Uddebo to Tranemo. I do not think he is as old as I would wish, but I like to imagine that he has been around for hundreds of years and was put there to watch over travellers as they went on their way.
In reality, I think he hasn’t been there very long. He has been carved out of wood, his cape is made from a sheet of metal and it all has been painted. No matter his age or intentions, I still like to greet him as I go by.
What is this I see in the distance? Why, I think it is the little village of Uddebo, which is spread out on either side of the valley and surrounded by woods. Here is my new home.
And when you finally reach the end of the path this is what you find: a post with far too many arrows on it. There are some words on the arrows, fading away and unclear, but at least a few of them were places, including ‘London’. I am sure it can help me find my way home! Behind it you can see the old factory, which is currently not in use, and has recently been bought by a new owner.
Potentially this will become another location for community projects or art, as this community has a lot going on and an amazing amount of initiative for a settlement of only 300 people. I will do further posts about some of what is going on here, such as: building project at the Gula Huset; Djembe playing, yoga and art at the Konst och Trummelurhuset; art and rowing as part of Konst Paddling; Uddebo Festival 2014.
Lots to look forward to!