Mrs Hickory came across this area by chance when she was looking for somewhere we could go walking well away from Stockholm. There is a large and beautiful system of lakes nearby, a lot of people have wooden cabins there for holidays, and so we went for a couple of days to walk around. Cue photographs of water and birds.
The river runs through the centre of what is only a small town, really, and it divided and rejoins itself again to form a small island called Large Island. It’s a matter of perspective, I suppose. The island and the neighbouring banks are a park, a very green and pleasant one full of unnecessary bridges and playgrounds and peculiar objects that were part of an art exhibition. There is a castle on another little island next to it and this was the view we had from our hotel room, which was across the river. It’s a conference centre now and inside it looks like one, but it has an impressive presence from without. A marauding band of brigands or disgruntled thane of lands to the North would think twice about trying to take Orëbro.
And bicycles. There are a bicycles everywhere. Huge numbers of bicycles. Just as in the other cities we saw, but in such a small place the quantities are exaggeratedly large. Everywhere there are people riding bikes, but also there are banks and hoards and rows and columns of bikes parked by the dozen or the hundred on almost every corner and every widening of every street, in racks intended for the purpose. The bikes are old-fashioned and in most cases just old, with high wide handlebars, the people are not dressed for cycling, they often look as though they are doing it for transport, not pleasure, and despite the numbers on the streets, many of the parked bikes have clearly not been moved for months or years.