In three hours from Stockholm on a couple of different trains, I arrived in Tällberg, a small town in Dalarna province. In my previous trips to Sweden I did not step outside Stockholm, so I wanted to explore a little. I picked Dalarna, because guide books said it was a quintessential Swedish place and because my friend was from there. I found a hotel that sits on top of the hill in Tällberg with magnificent views. As I arrived at Hotel Långbers and checked into my small room, an unobstructed view of Lake Siljan welcomed me. Wow!
Next morning, I wanted to go for a run and know the lay of the land. Since the 10 miler in Stockholm five days ago, I had done nothing but eating and drinking, so this would be good time to get out and get a run in before the marathon. I studied the town map and brought it with me, just in case I get lost again. It was a cool morning with cloud coverage, much similar to San Francisco summer morning. Since the hotel sits on top of the hill, I headed down toward the Lake Siljan. Those red-painted houses are so cute and very symbolic of Swedish towns, especially in Dalarna province. The reason that many Swedish houses are painted red is this particular red paint protects the wood and the color stays fresh for a long time. The red paint is actually a byproduct of copper mining and there used to be a huge copper mine in Falun, a city south of Tällberg. I visited the copper mine that is no longer in operation but a tourist attraction now.
The roads in Tällberg are pretty small and are little traveled, especially early in the morning. I ran down the hill toward the town center but did not see or hear any signs of life… The town center had a few more hotels and shops, but there was not much to see, so I kept on running toward the lake. On the way to the lake, I saw one building being worked on and that was the only time I saw town folks during the run. From what I understand, July is usually a month that people go on a holiday and I assumed this place was not a very popular holiday destination. Well, it does not matter to me.
In about 20 minutes, I came to the lake shore. There were camping sites, but again, there were no people around. The lake was calm and beautiful at the shore level. Wished the weather had been nicer, though. I walked around at the shore for a few minutes and resumed my way back. I ran along the lake for the next five minutes or so and turned away from the lake. What I had in front of me was a decent uphill. I had not been doing much hill workout, so it was a little bit of a challenge. Huffing and puffing for 30 minutes or so, I arrived back at the hotel. It did not feel like I was in a great shape to run a marathon in a few days, but I should be able to finish and that’s all I wanted. I was going to do another run once I got back into Stockholm, but my friend wanted to meet up for drinks, so the plan changed quickly =). So, this was it before the marathon, ready or otherwise!