Week 7: Finland to Sweden

We did choose to leave Finland, but we will be back. The plan is to tour the southern part of Sweden and then get a Ferry to Finland and explore the Lakes. However, as you know, our plans do change!

We left Finland in search of a spot to spend a couple of days, we needed a rest and chores need to be caught up with. We drove a little further than we would have liked but the weather was appalling and the views were none existent, back over the border to Sweden and over the Arctic Circle (again) to Gällivare.

Gällivare is just below a ski resort used by lots of national teams due to its season length. We caught up with the laundry – the campsite gives you free access with a pre-booked time slot. Not quite enough to get it all dry but we hung it out in the shower and under the awning! We took a little walk into the town and discovered a Chinese restaurant- dinner sorted!

After a two day stop we headed south (crossing the Arctic Circle for a final time) and had a stopover at a Rastplats (an official overnight stop supplied by the Swedish Transport Administration). It was right next to the river, on the main highway- but so peaceful.

From here we continued south and stopped at a Stellplatz in Taftea. It was right outside a fish restaurant on the Bay of Bothnia – this is the area of sea between Sweden and Finland. It was so nice, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see if we could have a lovely meal.

The Kvarkenfisk Restaurant was having its inaugural Surstromming event and we were told we were welcome to join them for the buffet experience! So later, we returned and were shown how to eat the delicacy, by the chef and by one of the local ladies.

Surstromming is fermented herring. It has an odour that is unmistakable and a taste which is actually alright, at the time! If you ever have a tin, do not open it indoors and if you have thought about taking some home from Sweden – we were warned the tin could explode. Trust us, when we say having the smell of off milk in the Motorhome would be preferable! It also has a lingering odour the following day, which combined with a late night of hospitality with our new Swedish friends Anna and Tommy was not a good mix!

On Friday, we headed south, but not to the Motor Museum as planned, but to a campsite for a bit of rest. On the way, we went through the town of Örnsköldsvik, where the ski jump is in the middle of the town. Although it looks like you jump straight into the petrol station it is behind and over the top of it! The fish had taken its toll on us! After a good meal and rest we were ready to continue.

Saturday we got to the Motor Museum at Harnosands and it was a lovely surprise. There were cars of all ages and from Europe, England the US and Russia, including Mr Bean’s and Harry Potter’s.

We also went in search of LPG (CNG in Sweden) after finding an unexpected filling station but no adaptor. After a hunt around the town we knew we’d have to return on Monday to a manned station with the adaptor available.

We took a little trip down to the beach and found another free camping spot. This one was just so good, we stayed two nights – chatted to some English people we met, we’ve not met many on this trip so far!

We need to head on on Monday though in search of the elusive LPG – there are more stations in the southern part of Sweden so finding it from now on should be easier. We already know you can’t get it in Finland!

As always, thank you for reading – internet and WiFi have been a bit hit and miss this week – hence the late posting. We’ll try to do better next week…

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