Sweden is a destination with many micro-destinations that have something to offer each one. There is a lot for nature lovers in Swedish Lapland with its immaculate landscapes and the northern lights. There is Viking history on Lake Malaren. The culture and museums fans in Stockholm look for solitude in one of the numerous routes. If we leave aside its capital Stockholm, the rest of Sweden remains one of the great hidden treasures of Europe.
It is a country with an overflowing nature and with some villages of really fantastic colors where the quality of life is a non-negotiable factor. Welcome to the frozen wilderness, cozy cabins, virgin forest, rocky islands, reindeer herders and Viking tradition. Sweden has all that and also a crazy style.
Day 1 - Malmo
Only at 8:15 am we leave the boat and drive for the first time on Swedish soil. By 10 am we will go out to explore Malmo. We are here in the district called Westerhaven. In the past, there were all factories here, but now it is full of modern apartment buildings. We follow a path along the water, beautiful, and head towards the Turning Torso. That is a real landmark of the city. It is a 190m high apartment building, with 9 layers of 5 floors each with the highest block rotated 90 degrees to the bottom block.
After the necessary photos, we continue towards the station and the city center. It amazes us how quiet it is here on the street. Few cars but also few people, although this is a mix of houses and companies.
We easily find the way to the old center where we see a mix of old and new buildings. Around two o'clock we go to Tilla Torg, which is the tourist center of the city. We order sushi in advance, noodles with sirloin steak and a beer. The weather has now turned from occasional drizzle to a heavy downpour but we are nice and dry under the umbrellas on the terrace of the restaurant.
But we notice that the clouds are getting lighter and that is right with the prospects for tomorrow. Let's hope that they do not suddenly turn around. At the Turning Torso, we had also noticed a supermarket this morning and when we return we go inside to take the necessary provisions.
By 17h we are back at the camper. The provisions are stored away and we walk to a lookout point because the view of the bridge is better than this morning. Right in front of the camper is a swimming area with pontoons, walkways from where we can enter the water and so on.
Back in the camper, we plan the trip for tomorrow. It will only be a ride of about 50 kilometers to Borstahusen, just above Landskrona. That should be a cozy fishing village according to the guide with a good restaurant with refined cuisine. I'm curious.
Day 2 - Borstahusen
It was a good and quiet night. We are here with seven Campers in the parking lot. A disadvantage of being near the sea, of course, is the seagulls. Until late in the evening they keep screaming and those animals are back in the morning before five o'clock. By eight o'clock we have breakfast with the delicious bread that we bought yesterday in the organic supermarket.
At 8:45 am we start for our short drive, mostly along the highway, to Borstahusen. We check in at the campsite and find our spot. We leave for the village around 10:30. We go via a path along the sea, about 1.7km away and find 'our' restaurant very easily. It is the only modern building at the marina. We enter and reserve a table for 12:30. Then we walk in the village that includes very beautiful old houses, most of them with a beautiful rose bush before.
We head towards the meal because well the breakfast was early morning. And again it does not disappoint us, as the restaurant is super. We start with a nice bowl of fresh shrimps. They serve a block of hard cheese here which at first glance seems very strange to us, but of which, once we have tasted the combination, we have to say that those flavors match very well.
Then comes a short fried tuna that is simply super. We conclude with tongue fillets. And the whole is topped with a bottle of bio-cava. Dessert really does not work anymore afterward. A little later I see someone with an ice cream. At the sea, we find the stall and we order an ice cream with two balls. The rest of the day is relaxing. We walk to the pier for some photos, and walk around the campsite, doing nothing. We look into the guides for some time of what we can do in Goteborg tomorrow.
In the evening we watch an old film and then crawl into our bed.
Day 3 - Goteborg
We slept well despite the strong sea wind tonight. At eight o'clock we get out of bed and immediately prepare coffee. After breakfast we rummage the camper. The water is refueled on the spot and after discharge of gray and black water, we drive around 10:15 from the campsite. Soon we are on the highway that we have to follow up to a few kilometers before our destination of Gothenburg.
The highway follows the coast and we notice that. After 1 we reach the campsite. There are still about 15 Campers there and we find a perfect spot right next to a picnic table. Around half past three, we leave on foot from the motorhome towards the tram. We stop at the reception of the campsite to buy a day pass for the tram.
Little later we are on the tram towards our first goal this afternoon, namely the Goteborg opera. By leaving the backpack in the camper, I also left the guide there. We do have a city map. After the opera, we wander through the city. And the tourist part of the city is quite compact, knowing that this is the second largest city in Sweden after Stockholm.
We decided to take the Hop on Hop off bus to tour the city. Being Sunday we thought it was the best option because the stores were going to be closed and that we were going to go around a boring city. But it was not like that. It is almost all open and there is enough activity in the streets. It has taken us through the most touristic areas of Gothenburg.
Occasionally we would get off the bus to walk around. We visited the fish market. It is an indoor market where one can buy all kinds of fresh seafood. We then head to the Kungstorget Market. There are stores and restaurants representated from all over the world. Outside is Kungstorget with an open-air market selling fruits, vegetables and flowers.
We then head to Lilla Bommen. It is a part of the Gothenburg port, used for ships that visit the port. The building of the same name, the Opera, and the Viking ship are located there. Nordstan Shopping Center is the largest shopping center in Scandinavia.
We finished our tour at the gates of the Tradgardsforeningen (Horticultural Society). It is an oasis of tranquility in the middle of the city. A beautiful place that you can not miss, with a rose garden with more than 4,000 roses, with its greenhouses where you can see cactus, palm trees, and other tropical species. There are several cafes in the park where it is very nice to spend some time.
As the park was near the hotel, we took the car and went for a walk through the Slottsskogen gardens in the southwest of the city which is mostly covered in forest. It is a nice place to take a walk.
We visit Botaniska tradgarden, the Botanical Gardens of Gothenburg. Then we move to Lacko Slott on Lake Vanern, at a short distance from Gothenburg. It seems straight out of a fairy tale and well worth a visit. We find a very nice place to have a beer and a cider.
We took a tram and went to Liseberg, the Gothenburg amusement park. There was the option of the Universeum, which they recommended us but we went to the park instead. The trams are easy to catch and they take us all over the city. We pay inside with coins or credit card. The ticket lasts 90 min.
Each attraction cost between 1 and 4 tickets. It is not worth taking the ticket to ride in everything. There are lines to eat. There are also performances. We left there around 7 and took another tram back.
The weather stays dry all the time but as soon as the sun dips behind clouds, you immediately notice a significant drop in temperature. By 7pm we are back at the camper after another stop at the supermarket nearby. It's time for an aperitif.
The city map and the guides are taken out and I already plan a route for tomorrow. I check the weather and that's good. It is sunny from 8 o'clock in the morning.
Day 4 - Haga
I slept well tonight despite the rain showers. Outside there is only blue sky and the sun is already strong. The weather report was indeed correct. After breakfast we leave the camper at 9:30 am, ready for our discovery tour of the city. Just as we get to the bottom of the mountain, the tram is already there, nice on time. We drive to the center and get off there.
We decide to go first to an old neighborhood, Haga. So we walk on to the Feskekorka, a fish market hall that looks a lot like a church on the outside. We do not buy anyway because we are still out all day. From there we go to Da Matteo, a famous coffee house where the best barista of Sweden is at work. We enjoy a coffee and take a cinnamon ball and chocolate ball. Especially the latter is delicious, comparable to chocolate fondant.
Since the inner man is now equally satisfied, we decide to do the boat trip over the canals. And again we are lucky because we leave after ten minutes. The teacher gives good explanations in Swedish and English, a piece about the history of the city, and the buildings we pass. We even go into the harbor.
After 50 minutes the cruise is on. Near the quay are a number of food trucks and there we take falafel roll as lunch. It was delicious and more than adequate. During the cruise, we were given an explanation about a church on a hill, the inside of which must be worthwhile, so we go there. We come back through the old city district Haga but now take one street further. And what a difference that is to that morning! Everywhere there are shops and cafes. And quite a few people too. So we stop for a coffee.
I love the Swedes. For them, coffee is a basic right and enjoying that coffee is ingrained in their culture. So asking a coffee means that you can come back for a refill. Well, after that coffee break we continue. We first come to a church but we see immediately that it is not the right one. We go up the hill and there she is. The inside does not disappoint because the ceiling is completely covered with round wooden beams. We indeed feel that a boat is on the roof. The wooden pillars are also nicely worked out. Since we are on a hill, we also get a nice view of the river.
Back down the hill, we get back to Haga. And there again we dive to a coffeehouse for a coconut top and chocolate ball. Completely satisfied we can go back again. Instead, we find a shopping center where it is very crowded. As we take the tram afterward, we immediately buy some food for tonight. We keep it healthy with smoked marinated salmon (gravadlax). In addition, a mousse of lobster, a salad of tomato and cucumber and potato salad (potatissallad).
A tram just stops in front. We go to the motorhome. Our glass of wine tastes so good now. Today we also stepped into a state-alcohol (Systembolaget) shop to look at the prices and actually they are not too bad. For wine and beer, we pay a bit more but not too much and certainly not like in Norway where we easily paid the triple of the prices.
Day 5 - Skarhamn
Before we leave, we first refuel our fresh water. By 9:45 am we are ready and our first destination today is the Volvo museum. Yes, that of the cars. It is only 18 km away and we go smoothly. We will lose the camper in the parking lot, near the sea where a Volvo boat is already on the quay. We pay our access and walk through the collection of old cars, concept cars, trucks, and military vehicles. The camera clicks them lustily. Back outside we head for the island of Tjorn which can be reached via a bridge.
On the island, we also stop at a supermarket so that we can supplement some provisions. Then we search and also find Pilane Gravfalt, an area with burial mounds, and stone circles from the Iron Age (according to the guide). On the spot, we read that they could date the bones from somewhere between 500 BC to the year 1000.
The nice thing is that they also hold a sculpture exhibition here in the summer. There is a gigantic woman's head on top of a hill. The weather is wonderful today. I take a look in the GPS and see that there is a campsite not far from here, in Skarhamn, so we just go there. A little later we are at our place, with table and chairs outside and enjoy a fresh, glass of white wine.
Now that we've got something, it's time for some action. So we walk to the village, about two kilometers further. There is a sturdy marina and on the quay there it is time for a terrace and a refreshing Ol (beer). Then we take the walk back to the campsite and reward ourselves again with a white wine. We can eat outside although it cools down quickly.
The map, atlas, and guides are taken up and the destination for tomorrow is already prepared, namely Fjallbacka, just over 100km to the north. The weather looks good for the next few days.
Day 6 - Fjallbacka
At 8.30 am we are already outside to have breakfast. We will start the camper around ten o'clock. We have just decided not to take the shortest route to Fjallbacka which would lead us a large part of the highway. No, we take the scenic route. On slightly winding roads, we go from 'our' island of Tjorn to the island of Orust. Then we go to the mainland to cross the ferry to the only real Swedish fjord.
While waiting for the Ferry the route is adjusted once again and we decide to explore the town of Lysekil. Once there we find a place for the camper. The first one we find is a paying place and it is not our intention to spend the night here. So we drive a bit further, a lot further until we reach a fishing harbor where we put the camper in such a way that we have a beautiful view of the sea and pink-red granite rocks.
Afterward, we return to the city and park in a normal parking lot. It fits right inside the place. There are beautiful houses, marina, and promenade. After an hour and a half of photos and video, and after buying strawberries and cherries, we leave. It is just over 50km to Fjallbacka and we drive it smoothly.
And the sun, in the meantime is at its best again. In Fjallbacka it is not easy to find a place for the camper. After we have translated a sign, it appears that we are allowed to park at one of the car parks. We walk into this small town and it is pretty busy here. Well, it was the favorite site of Ingrid Bergman at the time and we notice that. She has a statue and a square with her name. It is not great, but we see again of those beautiful wooden houses in all kinds of colors.
The city and the region are also known for the exciting stories of Camilla Lackberg. But we are also fast around here and it is less than four hours now. So we decide to go a little further to the destination that was meant for tomorrow, namely Tanumshede. The area is known for rock engravings from the Bronze Age. We stop at a museum and see, that museum is also free. Next to it is a counterfeit farm from the Bronze Age including sheep.
On the parking lot of the museum, it is clear that we cannot camp. I had already found that there is a free motorhome at about three kilometers from here, at a shopping center, so we drive there. We are here only but it is still early so that can change of course. Just before us, there are 16 Tesla charging stations (superchargers), two of which are currently in use.
And yes, of course, we enter the shopping center. In the shopping mall, we also see a shop with boats. It is strange to see. The route for tomorrow will also be set out and it will be a completely different Sweden, because we are now moving away from the coast, inland towards the largest lake in Sweden, namely Lake Vanern.
Day 7 - Lake Vanern
Today we are on the road for a week and, as always, we feel that it is already longer because we get to process so many impressions daily and by moving. Yesterday evening there were a few more Campers, a Swede, a French camper and a German caravan. At eight o'clock I get fresh rolls at the supermarket in the mall.
After breakfast, at 9:15 am, we leave. The GPS is set to Bengtsfors. The road to it is picturesque. At 80km/h the trees slide past us. We are not there for fifteen minutes and suddenly two deer cross the road, mother and daughter or son it seems like.
On the way, we see a moose farm, but we pass it by. A little further there is one and now we stop. We cannot resist the opportunity to see such a moose. We pay our entrance fee and go looking for the elk. And yes, those animals apparently do not like the sun and so hide in a stable. No matter how the teacher calls and swings with tasty branches, those two beasts do not come off. We do get a whole explanation about the moose, that are in Sweden, and their natural enemies, but outside of two heads, we do not see a moose.
From the farm (with two animals), we go on to the Dalsland Canal. Somewhere there must be an aqueduct. Fortunately, there are not too many oncoming traffic because the road is quite narrow. We reach the locks and have lunch first in the camper in the parking lot. Then we look at that aqueduct. And we are lucky because a little later a boat leaves the canal, so first through the various locks, then over the aqueduct. It reminds me a bit of something we saw a few years ago on the Canal du Midi.
Here's a stuffed moose so we take advantage of taking a selfie of course. From there we drive to Fengersfors. From Fengersfors, we go to Amal on Lake Vanern where there is a motorhome. Fortunately, we are well on time because there is a blues festival this weekend. We occupy one of the last spots. Then we walk into the town. There is not much to see outside a sturdy marina. Here and there in bars, live music is already being played and there are posters showing which performances are going to follow.
It is weekend and the sleds come out. I have never seen so many American bins together and see driving like here in the town. After a quick bite at the harbor with a view of the lake, we return to the camper. We hope it will be a cool night because at different Campers there are already a lot of people together and we can enjoy blues and rock music from different sides.
Day 8 - Sveg
It is not such a good night thanks to the neighbor who wanted to play loud music in his motorhome. Fortunately, it started pouring around half past two in the morning, making it finally quiet. Around a quarter to ten, we leave the motorhome, not without first greeting the noisy neighbor. Soon we are on the highway and look, occasionally it even has two lanes and we are allowed to drive at 110 km/h.
The weather varies throughout the day from dry to drizzle to downpours in variable sequences. In Malung, however, things go wrong. Without being aware of it, the GPS takes us along smaller roads. Oh, it's beautiful, though. We land on a plateau. We are on beautiful roads where we see a beautiful piece of nature. From a red track, we go to an orange, a yellow and even a white one.
And once we arrive at our destination, we are really in the middle of nowhere where it is beautiful of course. Yet the map is taken out and the GPS is set again. To our final goal, it now shows us another 86 km. We first search for a supermarket in the GPS so that we can get some more supplies.
We have already encountered very nice places to stand in the wild. Only next to the funny signs that warn for crossing cows, snowmobiles and elk, we now see signs warning for bears. Eventually, we bite a bit and fly from 850m altitude back down to 400m, to the village of Sveg where we stand on the local campsite. At 7:15 pm we are at our place, later than initially planned but with richer memories.
The next few days we will still have plenty of opportunities to be free when we drive down the Wilderness Route. I program the route already in the GPS for tomorrow. On the way today we pass a campsite in Sarna where we stop for a while. We order coffee.
Day 9 - Gaddede
We got up at 8:45 am. Therefore we leave the campsite at 10h45. We drive down the campsite, cross the junction and we are immediately on the E45 to the north. I set the GPS to Gadedde but that is 406 km away. We'll see where we get today. First, we pass Ostersund. On the way to the next stop, Stromsund, we refuel for a while, because since the refueling yesterday morning we have already covered 564 km.
The weather is like yesterday so sometimes dry, sometimes drizzle, ordinary rain or serious rain. After one and a half hours of driving, we suddenly see a moose along the road. Around half past two, we stop at a parking lot next to the road for lunch.
Then we go quietly until Stromsund where we stop at a Dollarstore. We have already driven past a few on the way. It is a cheap supermarket with a mixed bag in terms of supply but we still find our new cutting board in the camper and a few other things.
Actually, we are already tired of the trees. You have to think that since yesterday morning we were almost constantly surrounded by forests so that eventually becomes somewhat monotonous. But in Stromsund we drive up the Vildmarksvagen, the Wilderness Route. And we get to see a beautiful spectacle until Gadedde. Left and right the road is interrupted by views of different lakes. And besides, the road is zoomed with beautiful flowers. It is a pleasure to see and the ride is pure enjoyment.
We reach the final destination Gaddede and stop in the center. We look at the available information at the tourist office and also go to the supermarket for a few items. There is a small campsite but we would rather stay somewhere free along the lake. So, we start and drive. Every time we think we have found a nice place, it turns out that this is private land. We go over a narrow peninsula.
And so we go on further. We are a beautiful place where we can stand freely with a view of the lake in front of us and the mountains behind where snow is still here and there. It is just beautiful, and even though we are close to the road, there is not much traffic here so it will be fine.
During dinner, we are even treated to a double rainbow.
Day 10 - Trappstegforsen
We had a very good night's sleep. There were no hungry wolves, bears, gluttons or elks near the camper. The night here in the north is a different concept than at home. At 11.30 pm the lights start to dim but the solar panel still has enough light to charge the battery. And at 3:45 am it is already back.
After breakfast we leave around 10:30 and we are not there for fifteen minutes there is already a deer on the road. Not much later we stop at Brakkafallet, a waterfall on the way. After a small climb, we are already at the bottom of the waterfall. We climb a little further and we now see them from the top.
Then we drive to Ankarede, with a church, a few wooden houses and then a whole bunch of teepee-shaped wooden huts. And the weather is wonderful today. At the very beginning of the ride we got a few drops but the rest of the day it stays dry and the sun is often there.
From Ankarede we continue to the highest point of the Wilderness Route to the plateau of Stekenjokk. That is also the farthest point of our journey. This is nature at its best. We see at hills around us. Here and there is a lot of snow, and no or little traffic. It is breathtakingly beautiful. It is there that we have lunch with a beautiful view.
We spin a little further and it is getting more and more beautiful. At another waterfall, we do a stop and walk. From the plateau, we go down again and the next stop is the church village Fatmomakke. On the last seven kilometers, there is a gravel road, but our mountain goat cannot be fooled by that.
There are still those church villages here in the area but also further north and to Norway. And Finland, the region where the Sami live. Tomorrow we should be able to find one more in Vilhelmina. Before we leave that church village, we step into the local cafe for coffee and vafflor (waffles). We have already seen that a number of times and we have to taste it again. It turns out to be heart-shaped waffles with home-made jams on it and, for me alone, freshly whipped cream. It was blissfully delicious.
From Fatmomakke we drive to our final destination for today, namely the Trappsteg Forsen, the stairway waterfall. We are now here with the nose of the camper pointed towards it. There is nothing between the waterfall and the camper that can disturb our view. An excellent place to spend the night. There are four other Campers here in the first row. Now let's hope that the waterfall does not make too much noise tonight because outside for the camper I measure 85db.
Oh yes, after that deer from this morning we did not see any more animals. However, a herd of 10,000 reindeer should have walked around on that plateau. But yes, we do not see any of what once again proves how extensive it really is here.
We received the entire explanation of these church villages from a very helpful Swede who we meet again later in the day, at our final stop. He gives us the necessary tips for the further course of the journey (places worth seeing, and boring roads that can be avoided).
Day 11 - Namforsen
Had a very quiet night. Only Veerle could hardly get asleep from the noise of the waterfall that still produces 65 to 70 DB even inside the camper. Earplugs bring happy salvation. It also cools down considerably during the night, presumably due to the height in combination with the water. So the heating goes on again in the morning.
We have now also officially seen the midnight sun. Moreover, there was no cloud in the air, so that we kept seeing the sun's light behind the waterfall. It was very strange because the body says that it is bedtime but the brains indicate that it is still day.
We are on our way at half past nine. It remained dry until eight o'clock, but then it started to rain and the rain continues to keep the entire route to Vilhelmina. There we stop for some purchases and bread and we decide to suddenly continue to drive to Dorotea, about 55 km further. We stop for lunch at a parking lot near the town. Then we walk to the local market and go to the church where in an adjoining chapel. Here the last supper is depicted in real size by wooden statues.
In the village, there are also wood sculptures by a local artist who makes them with a chainsaw. We also find where that person lives so we go looking. First, we think that we will not find the way but after a few kilometers, we suddenly see a sign along the road to the village where that person lives. From the main road we immediately arrive on a sandy road and yes, with a bit of luck we find his house.
We think for a moment to step out and view the statues in the garden, but that was of course counted outside the estate. The man himself comes outside and takes us on a walk through his beautifully landscaped garden. In the end we even have to set up our hood to protect ourselves a bit, but it is already too late. By the time we are back in the camper, we are both badly battered by mosquito bites.
We follow the Wilderness Route a little further to Hoting and then descend to the south towards the Namforsen, another waterfall. There are two roads and we take one with a small detour because it is greener colored on the map (nice to drive). At some point, the asphalt has apparently been gone because we end up on a sandy road for a long time.
And hop, suddenly we are standing in front of the power plant that was built just before the waterfall. Moreover, this region is the area where most of Sweden's rock engravings from the Bronze Age can be found (more than 2,500). They are now colored in red to see the subject better. From boats, animals of all kinds, people, everything can be found there.
Here, on top of the rocks, there is a campsite and we drive there. Even later we stand on a spot between the trees and far enough from the waterfall so we still have a bit more guarantee of a good night's sleep. We are a bit ahead of schedule so that's good because that gives us a bit more time in Stockholm and South Sweden.
The camp itself is pretty basic. On the outside are the necessary Stugor (cabins) that are rented. There is even a fully-fledged old train wagon on the campsite that is obviously also rented as a place to sleep. We are the only foreigners here at the campsite, for the rest only Swedish.
Day 12 - Hudiksvall
There is no noise from the waterfall. The result, of course, is that we sleep longer than usual. After breakfast and discharge/filling of the water we leave around 10:30 am. The destination is Sundvall on the Gulf of Bothnia. And, although it was still dry when we left, the weather turns quickly and it starts to rain. But we are inside the camper.
We stop on the way at a Thai pavilion. It is strange to see that building here in Swedish nature. And we are lucky. When we arrive, it stops raining and it stays that way during our visit. From there we go further to Sundvall. When we drive into the city we refuel for a while because we have again driven 850 kilometers in the meantime.
In Sundsvall when we succeeded at a parking, it turned out that we as a foreigner actually could not pay. So we started back and found another parking space, near the station and first had a late lunch before we walked into the city. There is not much to see here. We are just in time because suddenly it starts pouring solidly again. We decide not to stay here but to drive a bit more to the south. So we turn the E4 towards Stockholm.
The next big place is Hudiksvall. The GPS tells us that there is a motorhome and we follow the guidelines that it gives us and come out on a perfect site. So we fit ourselves between two big Campers while we take out the map and guides back. We decided to bridge the 300 km to Stockholm in one go.
Tonight we are going to eat in one of the local restaurants. A railway line runs right next to our site. The weather is getting better, in the meantime! And the weather forecast for the following days also looks good. It is sunny with + 20 degrees. I already take out the bermuda.
Day 13 - Stockholm
It was another wonderfully peaceful night. There are strange birds flying around here at the harbor. They are smaller than a seagull but with the same colors, slightly more pointed wings and a tail that sometimes tapers, sometimes opens in a V like a swallow. They do not scream like a seagull either.
Around a quarter to nine, we leave after we have discharged some water. The GPS gives 300 km to Stockholm. After ten minutes we drive on the highway and this time it really pulls on a motorway. Yes, things are going well, of course. The weather has evolved from a fresh 12 degrees to a pleasant 20 degrees here in Stockholm.
The place is full. They give us an alternative but that is 6 km away from the center. That is why we drive to the smaller motorhome. In addition, there is a parking and with some maneuvering, we get the camper parked in a place.
We have lunch first and then head for Gamla Stan, the old town, two kilometers on foot. The first impression is already good. We buy a 72-hour pass for public transport and walk around on the island. We also go to a part of the royal palace where armor and carriages can be seen. We walk along the quay. It's cool to see how close the cruise ships are to the center. We also see a narrow ship sailing the Gotha Canal, a canal that goes from Stockholm to Gothenburg, through Sweden.
Later we take the Stockholm metro back to the camper. Afterward, we dress and then go in 'our' neighborhood looking for a restaurant, rather than going to the touristy part of the city. Eventually, we end up in a business where we have very nice food where we pour the whole thing over with a bottle of Chardonnay. Afterward, we walk back to the camper at ease.
Day 14 - Gamla Stan
We again slept wonderfully and did not suffer from the road here just before. We stand up with a lovely sun and at 7am it is already very nice outside, that promises for the rest of the day. The city map and guides are being pulled out and a route for today has been mapped out so that there is a bit of structure in our wanderings today. After breakfast, we take the metro towards Gamla Stan and from there the boat to the island of Djurgarden where the first destination is located.
At 10h15 we are at the entrance of the ABBA-museum and we stay more than one and a half hours in the museum. It tells the history of the four band members before they became ABBA, the road to their victory at the Eurosongfestival and their entire career afterward. Of course, we can hear their music everywhere. We get CDs. Unfortunately, the Christmas balls with the logo are sold out.
It is time for coffee! We take it on a terrace in the sun and of course, the obligatory cinnamon ball cannot be missed. From there we go to the Vasa museum. This museum is actually a large hall that was built around a ship that sunk on its maiden voyage in the harbor of Stockholm in 1628 and was brought back above water in 1961. After a few years of restoration work, the result can now be seen and it is absolutely impressive how big this ship is.
It is perfectly exhibited because we can admire the ship on all levels from all sides. Here too we spend a lot of time and the camera have a lot of work today. When we leave the museum, there is a queue outside. We have clearly just arrived here because, although there were quite a few people walking around in the museum, it was certainly still feasible.
The plan is to take a boat to the island of Skeppsholmen from here to have lunch, but it will only open at 3 pm. We walk over the bridge to the mainland and end up in the Kungstradgarden, the royal kitchen garden, to eat there. It feels good after so much time, we eat Kottbullar, the Swedish dish that has conquered the whole world thanks to Ikea. These are meatballs with puree, cranberries, and cucumber. We feast on half a liter of wine.
From there we pass the Kulturhuset and then go to the opera. It is high time for coffee. On deck, we take coffee with a view of Gamla Stan, the old city. This old ship is a youth hostel with rooms. And between a few coffees, we plan the day of tomorrow already.
After the coffee, we cross the island for a while because on the other side I want to look at an old wooden loading crane from 1751 on the quay there. There are also beautiful ships and we have a clear view of Strandvagen on the other side of the water, a boulevard on the water with beautiful buildings. We definitely need to get there.
It's been good for today. We take one last walk along the water to the boat bus, from there to the metro and back to the camper.
Day 15 - Skansen
This morning after breakfast we take the metro towards the Central Station. The sky is sky blue, with no cloud to find. Our first goal of the day is Stockholm City Hall. We get a very good explanation from our guide about the construction of the building. It is used as a town hall and also as a banquet place for the presentation of the Nobel Prizes. Even the New Year's concert is broadcast from the blue room which is not blue at all.
From there we go to the first floor where the tour continues to the council chamber. When we come out, the sky is suddenly involved. We feel a little drizzle and we even hear it thunder. We rush to the Riddarholmskyrkan because it has a very specific cast iron tower. Then it's time for coffee again (and a little candy because we want to follow a good example of the Swedes of course).
From there we go to our boat stop for the trip to the island of Djurgarden because there is our next destination, namely Skansen. Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world and includes 150 old farms, houses, and a school. But what is even better is they also have a whole section with the animals of Sweden. And finally, we see them. There are five brown bears, two gray wolves, three elks and a whole pack of reindeer. And the air has now completely cleared up again!
Now it's time for lunch and on the island, we eat once again Kottbullar. After the inner man is strengthened again, we go back to step. From Djurgarden we cross a bridge back to the mainland and arrive at Strandvagen. A very nice boulevard near the water where there are a lot of things to eat and drink (a bit more pricey than we have seen) but it really lives there. The sun naturally plays along with that.
Our list of items to be visited has been handled. So we still have enough time to walk through the city and to shop. Until we want to get an ice cream. And so we come back to the old city where we see a shop that is also mentioned in one of the guides.
I go for the blueberry dream and a chocolate de luxe. Once we have done our job and have eaten the ice cream, we go back to the camper.
Day 16 - Vattern
At 9.10 am we start the camper. There is blue sky, sun, and 22 degrees. We quickly get on the Stockholm ring and then to the E4, the highway that we will follow for a long time. Today we plan on to Vattern, 245 km away. We go via the motorway so we run well and at 12 o'clock we are in the motorhome. In the meantime, it has become cloudy and the temperature has dropped to 16 degrees, much less than before.
We need bread for lunch, so we just go to the town. All the stores are closed. Even in the far corners we did during this trip they were open on Sunday but not here, however, we search. So we have lunch at a subway, as there is nothing else. Meanwhile, it has started to rain so we are still dry here.
Our sandwich has been on for a long time, but the rain keeps on. A little wetness cannot hurt. So we return to the camper on foot in the rain. We benefit from the bad weather to plan for the rest of the week. We have to be back in Malmo because the boat leaves next morning.
Later in the afternoon, we take a walk. We are at the place where the Gotha Canal flows into Lake Vattern. We follow the lake over a walking path and see beautiful summer houses including private boat dock. We return to the camper.
Day 17 - Kosta
Around 9h20 we start the camper. We are quickly on the right track and we go smoothly this morning. Yesterday evening the sky cleared at 8 pm and this morning there is still no cloud to be seen! First, we drive through a sloping landscape where agriculture is clearly done but soon we are back in the woods.
The first destination is Eksjo. The city is not disappointing. According to the guide, it is the most authentic wooden city in Sweden. All colors are represented here. The camera has their work again, especially if there is also a brook in the city.
We tiptoe in the tourist office to find the exact location of the gap because the GPS does not know them. The young lady there gives us a very good explanation, two maps, and a brochure. We walk back to the camper, enter the right address and, after two attempts, we are on the right track, 13km from the city. We keep going higher and higher. The road winds and meanders that it is a pleasure and we get the railway feeling that we had already once had.
On the last two kilometers to the parking, the road becomes narrower. Fortunately, we have no oncoming traffic and we get into the parking lot quickly. Just find a place where we are almost right and then have lunch because on an empty stomach we do not want to start that walk.
On a board, I read that there are different types of mosses to be found in the gap. First, we have to walk a stretch of 600m. There are other visitors but it is certainly not a traffic jam here. At the end of the gorge, we go up steeply and then higher and higher because there is also one of the highest points in the region. Once we are up, we are not disappointed. The view reaches very far and the clouds in the sky, interspersed with the blue, give a beautiful picture.
We go back to the camper and on to the next destination. Should it have been later in the day, then this was the perfect place to spend the night. Our next goal is Maleras. Even now the road does not disappoint again. While driving, I read something in the guide about the Glasriket. And the destination is changed to Kosta. On the spot, we follow the necessary signs and end up in an Outlet center!
After we leave the camper in the parking lot we go up a couple of floors through the shopping center, built on a hill. We walk outside for a while, then we certainly reach the glassworks. The studio is already closed at 4 pm apparently so we are late for that. Then we go back to the mall where we are going to eat in one of the cafes.
We will stay overnight in the parking lot and then go to the glassworks in the morning. On the ground floor of the shopping center, there is apparently another glass store that sells work from different workshops here in the region.
The GPS gives us a route and after checking it turns out to be about red roads on the map. After the first exit we are still on asphalt but then it is about 6 km on gravel through the forest. It is a pretty narrow road where we really do not want to see oncoming traffic. But luckily we do not encounter them and we get back on the bigger track without problems.
Maleras can best be described as a village of about fifty houses, built very far apart in the woods and one larger building, namely the glass factory. It, of course, is already closed but the parking looks good. On an information board, however, we see that there is a motorhome here at a few hundred meters. So we bulge there and take the last place.
We ask our Swedish neighbors for a moment and apparently, we have to find the goods in the youth hostel next door. But it is not there.
Day 18 - Karlskrona
At 9:44 am we leave at the motorhome to the glassworks and we arrive at 09h45, even without GPS. We wait a bit because they are only open at 10 am. There is an old steam locomotive with a wagon behind it that we just pop in. Inside there is an exhibition about the past of the village.
At ten o'clock we enter the glassworks. Well, it is only the store and an exhibition space where a number of beautiful artworks are exhibited and sold. In order to see a glassblower at work, however, we have to wait until 11am. Then I quickly went to a local leather factory, because we were planning to do that anyway.
Then back to the glassworks and we can easily find a place on the seating stage so that we can hear a young lady in broken English about the history of the company. Meanwhile, there is a glassblower at work who creates something very beautiful in colored glass and crystal.
We keep it for now and start the camper with Kalmar as the goal. But on the way we see a sign for a moose farm. We hit and drive to it. We park the camper in a large parking lot with some vehicles and walk to the checkout.
A few dozen meters further we are close to three elks, all three males with full antlers, eating in a barn. And those animals are not called the king of the forest for nothing. With a shoulder height of 2 meters, there is still a massive head above. We walk a bit further into the domain and find a female a bit further.
And to celebrate this meeting, we have lunch on the spot with a hot moose, a hot dog made from moose meat. We assume that it was not meat from those critters we have seen but from one of the million specimens that are fired every year when the elk hunt is opened in the autumn.
We decide on the spot to adjust the planning and leave Kalmar and go straight to Karlskrona. A little after three we are at the motorhome on the harbor and park the motorhome just before a giant ship of the Swedish Coast Guard. We notice that the motorhome is actually just a little further but it is full and there are already a lot of Campers.
We walk further and arrive via a bridge on an island that used to be a military domain but now houses a number of museums. We do not enter but enjoy the view of the island outside. There are two torpedo hunters outside the navy museum. Then we go into the city to the big market. It is indeed very large and, moreover, there is one ice cream shop where a long queue is at the door and on the footpath.
The big wide horns are full of ice cream. Five minutes later we are a meter further, another five minutes later a meter again. If that goes on like this, we are standing here between an hour and an hour and a half.
So we walk on to the Fisketorget, to the fish market. There is nothing to see, no fishmongers, but just a Scandic hotel. We continue walking until we have rounded the city and are back at the camper. Nearby there is a restaurant that attracts us. It has a modern interior and a nice view of the marina. In the camper, we solve that on the internet of course and our choice is made quickly.
And we certainly will not be disappointed. We have a plate with some fish, then the catch of the day and that is turbot. It is delicious, especially with a red wine. We leave dessert for what it is. It has been more than good. We do a little walk and then return to the camper.
Day 19 - Ahus
At 9 am we start towards Ahus. But in the end, we get to our destination to determine that the motorhome is closed this week because there is a beach handball tournament. The motorhome has become an ordinary parking lot. After some searching, we find a parking that is even free, in the center of the old part of town.
It is time for a walk. Well, yes, it is a bit more than expected because only after 2.5 km we see the beach and the sea. There is the Baltic Sea. But we have to keep an eye on our time for the tour so we return to the camper for lunch with a stopover at the local supermarket.
At about twenty meters from the camper is an ice cream stall and we see again of those mega-sized horns. After lunch, we walk the full two minutes to the Absolut experience center. What's in a name. Because of refurbishments, there is no tour of the distillery and there is no testing!
We get to see two films and a powerpoint about the company history. After our visit, we return to the camper and have ice cream. There is a traffic jam but we persist and after twenty minutes it is our turn. In the meantime, we walk to the canal that flows into the sea. On our side, there are some older houses, and on the other side more modern quarters with jetty and boat in front. The old part of the city is beautiful again. There is a mix of stone houses, wooden houses, and half-timbered facades.
And the weather is excellent today. Since we do not stay here tonight, we pick up the map and we choose Simrishamn, just over 50 km to the south.
Day 20 - Simrishamn
We take breakfast outside in the sun. Then it is reading time until lunch, in the sun. We are almost alone here in our section, as a lot of people have left this morning. After lunch, we walk one and a half kilometer to the center. We do a little window-shopping, check menus at restaurants and so on. Eventually, our choice falls on one and we already reserved a table for tonight.
We walk further along the harbor, look at the sailing boats, including a very nice Dutch flat-bottomed boat. I browse the internet for restaurants in Malmo and fall on a Lebanese restaurant near the motorhome. The reviews look good. We know that it has a beautiful view, so I call immediately to reserve a table for tomorrow.
We are in our restaurant on time. It was lovely again. I start with local starters of toast with shrimp salad and then go for one of my favorites with the Steak Tartare. There was smoked shrimp with risotto with mushroom and truffle. It is quite firm but super tasty. I do take a Swedish whiskey which is very nice.
Day 21 - Malmo
It's all the easy this morning. We do not have to go far today so it can all be more relaxed. By half-past ten we leave. The first destination today is Ale's Stones in Kaseberga. It is a stone formation from the Bronze Age, near the sea. Last night it rained a little and, as predicted, it is still rainy on the way. We park the camper on a very spacious motorhome.
From there we go up on foot, through the village of Kaseberga to the stones. We are not alone, despite the rain. The stones are in a boat form, 69 meters in diameter. We take a steep path down where we end up at a tiny fishing harbor. There are a few restaurants and a fish shop that also smokes fish. There is a bar full of goodies but we limit ourselves to a seafood mousse that we have already tasted here in Sweden.
From there we go back to the camper where we first have lunch. Afterward, we start towards our second goal of the day namely Trelleborg, 75 km further. There we visit the reconstruction of a Viking castle. Inside a building is a small exhibition of where those castles were all around the year 1000 and how that of Trelleborg fit into the village.
The castle itself is disappointing. And so we leave for our last destination of the day, the motorhome of Malmo. And so the circle is completely round and we are again at the point where our journey in Sweden started three weeks ago. We walk towards the Turning Torso and the supermarket close by to buy a few chocolate balls, my favorite.
We are in the restaurant on time. Fortunately, we had reservations because, apart from us, there is still one couple with two children! And Tripadvisor can, therefore, best be wrong or at least the reviews that appear on it. In summary, it was a disappointment. In an hour we ordered, waited, ate and settled.
We take a walk on the dike here, take a few goodbye pictures of The Bridge and then go back to the camper for tea, chocolate and the rest.
Tomorrow we have to get up early so we will not be late today.