Day 5: July 5th Linkoping, 🇸🇪We have another very long drive the three of us. 253 miles today at fairly slow speeds. Scandinavian roads are generally good for Rosie because there is an acceptance of slower speeds. Ok the trip takes longer but we can take it easy and Rosie is doing so well.
The day begins with ‘The Bridge’. The Øresund Bridge was made famous by the Swedish drama ‘The Bridge’ which Dubber and I have really enjoyed. We watched the last ever episode a couple of days before we left. The programme’s titles show this bridge which links the cities of Copenhagen and Malmo. The theme music played is called ‘Hollow Talk‘ and I tried to attach it to the video but neither will load so a picture will have to suffice.
Once on the Swedish side we bypass Malmo and start the long journey up to Linköping. We are taking it steady and to be honest there isn’t much traffic. Ooh there’s a Swedish Ikea!
We soon are amongst very few cars. Green flat farmland soon becomes rolling hills. The style of farmhouses and barns is very reminiscent of those we’ve seen in the countryside of New York State and apart from the Swedish road signs you wouldn’t know otherwise.
Rosie is doing so well. I’m amazed at our little van. Even more amazed at Dubber for driving, but we are due a break so we stop at a service station, this time with a Swedish shop and an Elk Park. Obviously a tourist destination as a bus load arrived when we got there.
We had a wander round the store, bought some postcards, filled up with fuel and continued steadily north. We found the campsite, Nordic Camping & Resort near Linköping, really easily. The site was sparsely filled although there were quite a few motor homes and quite a green site. Facilities were basic so to eat out we either had to drive into Linköping, 6kms away or walk into the locality.
We did the latter using Google maps and found ourselves in an estate which had two fairly dodgy restaurants. We chose the pizza with a Swedish beer but to be honest the Thai might have been a better option. After a quick wander to the supermarket we returned to Rosie for some games of Skipbo and I won!! As a postscript here we had several emails from Nordic Camping that we hadn’t pre-paid but we had so there were several emails back and forward with evidence we had. Probably the worst part of the trip to date but we did see some lovely Swedish houses.
Day 6: July 6th Stockholm
On the way to the next campsite we take a minor detour to Stockholm. I had had recommendations from an acquaintance who had worked there often, how best to spend a couple of hours and we headed for a museum.
We had researched a park and ride on the north of the city so that we were on the right side for going further north still. At first we couldn’t see how it worked and then saw a public transport bus stop. When the bus arrived the driver informed us we needed to have bought a ticket before boarding and most shops sold them. Now this was quite strange because there wasn’t a shop, this was a park and ride and it didn’t explain how it worked on the website. However we had the loveliest of drivers who said in perfect English not to worry. He would take us for free and we could buy a single ticket back from the Visitor Information near the museum. As we arrived he told us exactly where to go and wished us a good trip.
We loved what little we saw of Stockholm. We went to the Visitor Information first bought our ticket back to park and ride and a couple of postcards. We decided to have lunch and sat by the river with a sandwich and a cooling drink before going to the Vasa Museum.
This 17th Century ship was requested by the then monarch Gustav Adolf to build the biggest and best. It was lavishly carved and in August 1628 it had its maiden voyage. Sadly a thousand metres into the voyage the ship capsized and sank. 333 years later in 1956 the ship was found and salvaged and luckily mostly intact. It is breathtaking when you walk in and there’s plenty of side exhibitions to see. Well worth the visit.
We left for an ice cream and the bus and headed for Kapellskar, an hour away. Kapellskar Camping. This was a lovely site and only a few minutes away from the next ferry. However there was poor WiFi reception so we missed out on football and Dubber won at Skipbo.
We are so far north now it really is light so much later.
Day 7: July 7th ‘We’re nearly there!’
We are up and off early because we have a ferry to catch. First some pictures of wildflowers including these wild orchids.
We make good time and after a little bit of confused queuing we were pretty much boarded on time.
As we went through ticketing it just happened to be mentioned brunch and dinner were included. Wow! We hadn’t realised that so we found ourselves a table and had a lovely brunch. You could tell who the Russian truck drivers were. I’ve never seen such big plates of food. We headed off to find our cabin. Time for ‘rucksack’ to make an appearance.
We showered and wandered around the ship until we could sit and watch F1 qualifying…. however the important football match was due whilst on board the ship.
Yes England were playing Sweden in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Yes we were on a Swedish ship with some Swedish passengers but in actual fact most were Russian truck drivers or Finns returning home. There were a few Romanies too, the women dressed in interesting lampshade skirts.
Suddenly all the TVs went off and we thought we weren’t going to be able to watch it and then it came on. We sat with a Swede for the match and almost gave a little hip hip hooray at the end. It didn’t seem appropriate to chant ‘It’s coming home’.
Eight hours beyond Kapellskar we arrived in Naantali Finland ……..