The first stop after Göteborg was the small village of Uddebo (http://uddebo.se/), home to around 300 people. A few years ago this small village was given new life when people from the city seeking alternative ways of living moved there, buying previously empty houses, fixing them up, and giving them new life.
Since then, the village has grouped together more to start work on restoring a village building called the yellow house. Currently used as a freeshop and cafe, once restored the building will have many more potential uses.
The community has also built a sauna next to the river which is free for anyone in the village to use. Of course, the bike tour participants were here every night. We also helped build a wooden walk- way from the sauna down to the river for the important post-sauna cold water dip.
They also had a large community garden – they seemed to have enough potato plants to feed the whole village. We spent a sunny afternoon weeding rows of onion and potatoes in the community garden
On our last afternoon we helped hold an open bike fixing event in the garden of the yellow house. Many people brought there bikes along – everyone seemed to be helping each other, tools shared, children running around, a violin appeared, and then we ate a big meal on the grass.
Uddebo really challenged my perceptions of rural villages as quiet and uninteresting– Uddebo was vibrant, full of community spirit, and interesting projects. Our hosts were interesting and friendly and even joined us cycling to our next destination!