Thursday, 7 June 2018
A hitchhiker's guide from Huseby bruk
Since I read the based-on-many-true-stories book about Florence Stephens and her mansion, I wanted to visit this place and now finally booked a train ticket and got from Alvesta to Växjö to Huseby bruk. Hitchiking in hindsight: the car you think will stop will not stop, and if it stops, most likely it is not a woman. My guess is that your looks matter; sunhat was none's favourite, and from my little experience, it's better to stand with your bag close - not walk and have it on your shoulders while you make the hitchhiking sign.
On the bus there, I spoke with the driver about my dilemma: there were no trains back until 8 p.m. Nor were there any cars to rent - the only place open wanted me to return the car to the same city, and that was not the point - and the only bus to Stockholm parted mid-day. Nor is Sweden really a base for carpooling, so the site Blablacar didn't work, and Hertz freerider also didn't really fit. Busdriver: "I do have a girlfriend in Stockholm, and I do not work until Tuesday, but I get off at 9 p.m."
So now my wild idea about hiking took form. First I counted the cars for fun. I stopped after 20 and evaluated my looks (see selfie) when car 22 stopped and offered me a ride for about one kilometer. Second was was more fruitful: D. had just picked strawberries - the bog boxes of red decorated the car's black leather beautifully - and wondered if I had considered taking a flight back; he was a pilot. I had - but there were no airplane tickets either, unless I wanted to make a 23 h transfer... in Poland.
Pilot D. dropped me off strategically at the entrance to a highway (he also said there are highways in the sky) and I calculated the danger - curve, accident, enough space to see me and brake - and in three minutes, Å. offered me a ride to a small village with 3,500 people and shootings. "So are you the leader?" I asked. "No, just a bystander. I read the headlines. Don't you think it's dangerous to hitchhike like this?" I explained how my friend S. thinks it's an excellent way to meet people - and that I read about a girl who's mother - this was in 1952 - used to put a sign our her neck when she was five with her address and name - so that an adult could help her home did she get lost. "We have trust people", I stated.
(I had booked tickets for Huseby bruk about three weeks in advance - a wise move. And the place is so peaceful! I liked it very much.)
At the same village, a man who had lived in Stockholm for many years and a woman picked me up and took me to Värnamo train station. The ticket master said that now everything was fully booked, so I walked back to the highway. ..
...and saw these peculiar houses before three young men - politicians from Centerpartiet who had done some politics work - took me to Jönköping and even found a bus for me to take. "Sit on the left side", one said. "It's the most beautiful part of E4", another said.
And oh my they were right. It was super beautiful - I wanted to fall asleep but resisted with pain; I didn't want to miss anything. The lake, the meadows, the sunset - or the hawks, at symmetrical distances in the air.