After 3 wonderful weeks @ home we said good-bye again to family and friends. After spending our last days in our second house on the property of Lillian’s sister, we drove to Travemunde to take the boat towards Malmo. Just before we left the Netherlands we were lucky to get our vaccination. Due to the fact we had corona we just needed one shot. At first we didn’t want to get vaccinated but due to all the travel restrictions and our urge to go to Norway we decided to take the shot. For example we also had to take a vaccination before entering India, the yellow fever. Without this vaccine you are not allowed to enter. Period. The big difference between the two is that the Yellow Fever is tested for more than a decade where the corona vaccine is not.
We had a smooth ride on the boat with almost no wind and a lot of sun. We arrived in the evening in Malmo. The weather was great and there was no darkness. Such a weird thing to experience. We were never early sleepers but now we are completely lost in time. We keep on forgetting that the sun doesn’t go down. We can imagine why everybody is living outside right now. In wintertime the sun is almost never out and the darkness will have a lot of influence on peoples state of mind. Our first impression of Sweden was “ picture perfect”. For us a little bit too perfect in a way. People are friendly but with distance, gardens are beautiful but very tidy, houses are massive and colourful and travelling is super easy. It feels like everybody does some kind of sport and is very active till late. We are sleeping in beautiful free spots. Toilets and water are always available and almost every day we can take a “bath” in one of the clean drinkable lakes of Sweden. It sounds incredible and it really is but after Portugal and even the Netherlands it felt as a little bit too perfect sometimes. Don’t worry we are not complaining at all, but it’s just a weird experience after all the countries we have seen so far on our trip.
The Swedish people are very proud of their national products. Wood is the main export product but there are more than enough trees to cut. The Swedish government takes good care of the population of the forest. Only 1% of the forest will be cut and the total amount of the forest is more than 24 million hectares. Half of the country really drives a Volvo, of course IKEA is everywhere and you can find huge outdoor shopping malls around the country.
The first 1,5 weeks we spent along the coast of Goteborg and upwards. We went to Smogen and stood in great little villages along the coast. After the coast we drove to the other side of Sweden towards Stockholm. We visited some villages around Stockholm and went to Sigtuna, a beautiful tiny village with great running tracks. Daily we are doing some kind of sport. There are not a lot of hills, marked tracks and everywhere bootcamp attributes. We shower in the lake. Again perfectly arranged 🙂 One of our friends had to work in Stockholm and so we were very lucky she could rent a house with enough space for us and our camper. What an amazing gift. We almost did not want to go into the city because the house was unbelievable. It was situated 6 km from the centre at a lake, with a slide to enter! We all had our own bedroom and Morgan couldn’t be more happier. After 2,5 years finally having an own bedroom was something huge for her. She didn’t want to get out of the room. The bedroom was decorated for a child so, picture perfect, hahaha. For a couple of days we had a large kitchen, bedroom, fitness room and washing machine! How happy you can be with the “ normal “ things. We biked through the centre of Stockholm and all the islands.
We spend midsummer night, the most important festival of the year for Sweden in Leksand. Normally there are 20.000 people watching the event. Unfortunately due to Covid the government cancelled all big events so we sat down at the pool and had a nice campfire night with some other travellers at our camp spot. A big part of the Swedish people are in love with old American cars. At first we did not realise it but especially around Siljan lake they make a “ thing” out of it. You will find old American cars driving around the city square on Friday and Saturday with a lot of people in the car. Loud music is mandatory and it’s a funny parade.
After midsummer we drove to National Park Höga Kusten. We wanted to do a hike in Skuleskogen National Park which is part of Höga Kusten. After getting some insider tips (thank you once again Lena) we decided to walk from the North to the South entrance of the park. We slept for two days in the park in our tent. The third day we took a boat from Docksta (just below the South Entrance) to Ullvon and then up to Trysunda. An Island which only is reachable by boat and no cars are allowed. What a magical place! We spent 1 night and day on the island and in the evening we took the boat back to our beloved Ella.
We met friends from the Netherlands, Jan Dick and Nicolette at the beginning of the wilderness road. One of the most beautiful roads in Sweden. It’s a 500 km road which takes a loop along the Norwegian border. We drove along forests and lakes and slept on a plateau 900 meters without any trees. The next morning Stephen & Jan Dick decided they wanted to see Norway and so they did a run till and over the border. We visited Fatmomakke, one of the oldest Sami villages of Sweden. The Sami’s are the oldest inhabitants of Sweden and are also covering the Northern part of Norway and Finland. After saying goodbye to Jan Dick and Nicolette we drove back to the coast of Sweden. We wanted to go to a Free festival in Skelleftea, drive further up North along the coast and go back inland to the National parks in the North. But………yesterday we decided differently. We met some other travellers in Umea and they told us it’s much easier going to Norway from this region than from the North. The region we are in right now is still green on the Covid map and so we just have to show our QR code and we can enter. Where, if we would enter from the North part (orange) we have to go in Quarantine for at least 3 days. Tomorrow we will do massive shopping (food is very expensive in Norway) and we will drive to the border. The same 450 km we already did but hey, the drive is beautiful. 😉
After a month of traveling in Sweden we are seeing and feeling more the differences between the different parts of the country. The more you drive towards the North the more the houses are getting smaller, roads are getting emptier and forests are getting thicker. The “ picture perfect” is dissolving and nature is insane. There is one “little” minus point: the bloody mosquitos. We bought a fantastic device which creates a bubble of 20m2 without mosquitos. Fantastic and a real Swedish invention. We used it a lot during our hike. Unfortunately we learned the hard way it doesn’t work on the little midges, the other kind they have in Sweden. After a night around the campfire we got covered by bites and these ones are itching even more.
If everything goes well our next blog will be from Norway. We hope so. We like Sweden a lot but are also very curious towards Norway. It would be great if we could have a little bit of both!!
Big kiss from us