Already before the tour I noticed a town called “Trollhättan” on the map. When I looked it up on Wikipedia to find out about what its name meant (it means Troll’s hat), I read the absurd story of the Trollhättan Falls.
The city’s most iconic landmark and probably biggest tourist attraction are the Trollhättan Falls, a huge waterfall in the middle of the city where the river Göta, which goes from Sweden’s biggest and Europe’s third-biggest lake Vänern to Göteborg, falls 32 metres. Unfortunately, a big hydro-electric power station was built next to the waterfall in the 19th century, with all the water diverted through it, leaving the riverbed of the famous waterfall completely dry and empty. Once a year though, on Waterfall Day, the waterfall is turned on for a couple of hours, and people from all over the place come to see the spectacle.
Trollhättan was originally not on our route, but after one project cancelled on us, we decided to cycle a shortcut to the next project, passing right through Trollhättan. I got lost on my way into the city, but in the centre I bumped into three other people from our group who were looking at a public map to figure out the way. It turned out that we were only a hundred metres from the waterfall, so we decided to do this short detour to have a look. From the direction of the waterfall we heard some megaphone voices, and there were a lot of people hanging out, so we asked some locals what was going on. “It is Waterfall Day today! They are turning on the waterfall in 2 minutes!” – We raced to the weir with a group of people running with us who also didn’t want to miss the spectacle.
It was not the only coincidence in that city – we also met someone on the street who we had met more than two weeks before in Göteborg in the bike kitchen. He was touring north, and it turned out that he was planning to sleep in the same town as us, so he joined us until the next morning.
In the end it turned out to be the longest cycling day of the tour – 105 km, and everyone arrived in the light! The distance was expected, as we decided the day before to leave one day later to avoid some rain and to do the distance of 3 days in 2.