Day 2 of the Öland trip offered a great number of sights to see, and roads to ride. Although Öland is flat as a pancake, it is in its own way breathtaking. This day would take us to from the very north to the very south and back again, seeing only a fraction of what Öland has to offer.
The sun was shining from a crystal clear, blue sky. There’s nothing better than to wake up to a sunny morning with a full day of riding in front of you. The plan was to head north towards the “Långe Erik”, or “Tall Erik”. It is a light tower on the northern most part of the island, that is – during the summer – open to the public.
The town of Borgholm is relatively quiet. At least off season. We arrived to the town Saturday night; not much was going on. It could have been because it was off season, and maybe there is more beat during the summer, but I believe the town is for people who are looking for a relaxed and quiet stay.
During the check out, I asked the receptionist if there is any place she would recommend us going. She gave us a brochure – that I seem to have lost now, to my regret – that had tonnes of good information on the island. Among it all, it had a description of a “Stone Coast Road”, that I hadn’t heard of before and that my researched did not come across.
It is supposedly the most scenic route on the entire island, a good 30 kilometers long road along the west coast. Obviously we had to go there. So the lesson that I learned years ago, was yet again confirmed to pay off: always ask the locals. Sometimes they do have good information, and sometimes the don’t – but always ask. Also, showing interest is always a nice and welcomed gesture.
So we got out on the motorcycles, and tried to find the road on the GPS. The brochure itself only had text that described the location of the road, not a map. And the names in the brochures couldn’t be found on the GPS. After some searching and fiddling with the GPS, I found something that looked like it could be the road. Off we went. The sun was shining, it was truly a great day.
The geology of Öland, and the Store Alvar in particular, is extremely interesting. Lot’s of information can be found online, but I need to highlight a few: the limestone formation that makes up most of the island in 500 million years old with a rich record of fossils. Each 1 millimeter of limestone represents 1,000 years. It was only 11 thousand years ago, after the last ice age, that it emerged from the Baltic Sea. There’s much more to read on wikipedia.
On the route north, we passed small, but distinct, patches of limestone, where the layers was very visible.