This was a day that had a little of everything: an early morning fender bender, crossing the Arctic Circle, our first moose and reindeer, Lapland, snow-covered mountains in the distance, and Narvik (Norway) just around the corner. Continue reading
What a great day in Akersberga, Sweden. We met up with the Marklunds and had one of those great summer days: Picnic at the beach, great cycle around the lakes, a fantastic dinner, a belly-load of laughs, and all of that after a very easy day’s drive up. Even the Navi (almost) behaved. Thanks to Jan, Suzi and Frida – sorry we missed you, Oscar.
Following a terrace breakfast we headed up north…again. Great roads, very easy driving, and apart from one directional error (which allowed us to see Härnösand in detail) we arrived at our campsite for the evening, right at the Marina. Actually, we’re not quite sure as we are the only campers parked in an area parked ‘specialpedagogiska skolmyndigheten’ and another sign saying ‘Förhyda platser’. I’m assuming this to mean that all friends of Sweden are welcomed to this parking area. There’s even a pole in front of the van with electric sockets, which we’ll try out in a little while. Great place to park and, as we are right at the water’s edge, there’s a bit of a breeze and the temperature will be down around 24C rather than the 33C we had on the drive up. So much for the ‘head north for cooler weather’ theory. Looking forward to a glass of wine on duckwalk in an hour or two, and then dinner. This might be the first day we have had the time to settle in early and watch an episode of recorded TV series – haven’t missed it at all.
Our overnight stop today is at the delightful bay at Jävre, camped on our own on one side of the road under lovely trees, but a little close to traffic noise. The other side, no less noisy, is packed with campervans, and we’re looking for a more camper-free evening. Had a swim in suspiciously warm water and am now drying off while the last of our first 500g coffee stash comes to the boil.
Trying to keep track of exchange rates has, as always, been interesting. We’ve decided to go big and we’ve bought a whole smoked trout from a rökeri across the road. With leftover potato salad, fresh bread and a salad, plus the first of our cartons of wine, we should be in good shape for tomorrow’s drive. Assuming the fish is truly smoked … Anyway, what we thought was a €7 fish turned out to be €12, but still looking good!
We’ve missed every opportunity that presented for one warning sign on the road – will try to catch this at some stage, BUT – clearly you are heading north when yield to snowmobile signs become common. Probably a good idea that we plan to be out in autumn.
Enjoy the photos.
First off: Yeehay!! Connected! Not quite sure what to, for how long, the costs, and the consequences, but our MiFi is up and running. So, a bit more time to write, opportunity to research more about our environs, and, best of all, opportunity to use Google Maps to correct our SatNav – hopefully not on a regular basis 🙂
Thanks to Brian and Alex for hosting us for the last three days, breakfast, lunch & dinner. I knew that Denmark had a close relationship with beer, but I had no understanding of the depth and breadth of that relationship, and my thanks to Brian for, in a limited period of time, trying to get us through a different beer every hour. The only reason we were able to hold the course is because Alex fed us regularly.
So, Data. Hmmm. It seems that the UK is not alone in limiting the purchase of data cards. Brian was kind enough to take a whole Saturday afternoon to cart us off to the 3 Dealer in Helsingor, site of Hamlet’s Elsinore. To cut a long story short: No, we can’t buy a card for more than 2 months, no we can’t even buy that card as we don’t have Danish ID, no Brian can’t get the card on our behalf because permanent residence is required, no, there are no other options. So, I’m adding Data to my list of ‘no world peace until we can sort out those simple things that allow us to live together in the first place: 1 world electric socket, 1 world power supply, 1 world gas tank adapter, and 1 bloody data card that transcends borders! Ended up getting a Libara card with 4 Gb for around €5, and a 60Gb data top up for around €12. BUT – only 4 GB can be used in the EU – seriously, why have an EU if data cards stump you? I’m momentarily on the Brexit side, although I understand that sanity will return tomorrow – and I don’t have to engage in a vote on this issue – Ah, true independence!
We are currently camped in a lovely marina that offers free dumping facilities, free water, and free electricity – or it would if a swarm of other campers had not descended before us. Clearly, we need to be more observant of arrival times. We did feel a little smug when campers even later than us have had to circle the block, eventually taking up car park spaces. Anyone observing vultures circling over the savannah will have a good visual of what this looks like.
The trip over was a very simple ferry trip from Helsingor (Denmark) to Helsinborg (Sweden). It was great to see Scandinavia agree to limiting passengers to a single vice at a time. Leaving Denmark you are able to buy alcohol for 10 minutes, the outlets close, and then on the Swedish side you can buy cigarettes. You can’t buy the two together. There were fidgety passagers chewing fingernails, and it was then easy to guess their particular addiction. Having loaded the van to the gills with alcohol, and having given up smoking, we were feeling pretty smug.
On a more serious note: Today feels like the start of our trip. No more hand holding from friends, and family, more uncertainty regarding the local laws and camping regulations etc etc. This has generated a little angst for both of us, but we are also looking forward to more fully letting go. It’s a bit odd, after more than 3 weeks and 3000km that we feel this way, but, on the other hand, we are not going back to work next week, and so we’ll have some time to adjust. Like, 11 months 🙂