Week 8: Sweden

Nortia meets the a Dala Horse at Nusnås, Sweden

After the trouble trying to get LPG, we succeeded on Monday – the LPG station was open and had the adaptor we needed, so happy days all sorted. We actually only needed to fill one cylinder and it cost the vast sum of £8.00! We know we’ll need to make sure we’re topped up before Finland as there are no filling stations there!

This week has been a week of rain and mishaps. Perhaps the two are linked or perhaps its just not as bad as it has seemed! On Monday we moved to a campsite, partially because we were craving a roast dinner – its easier on electric and with washing up facilities – our preference! When we arrived the sun was shining and the weather was perfect, then the heavens opened! Thankfully again the awning saved us and the day – it was too hot to have cooked roast potatoes and stuffing in the oven with the door closed, but the awning protected the interior of the MoHo from the rain. Also it meant we could still cook our chicken on the BBQ.

The campsite was also home to a lot of free range chickens who loved to torment Albi, walking just out of reach of him! We did feel a little guilty having a roast chicken dinner but….

In the morning when I walked the dog, I saw a notice which informed us that there had been a large forest fire last year just to the boundary of the campsite – when we left we saw the fire had been almost all around the campsite.

We then went to Nusnås, the home of the Dala Horse. These are the Swedish painted horses, which are traditionally hand carved and painted wooden statues of horses. Traditionally they we made as toys. They are beautiful and come in all sizes, as well as roosters! It had been on my list to go to, so I managed to navigate us there!

We then moved to another beautiful wild camping spot on the edge of a lake. The water felt warm enough to swim in and the people next door did have a bath there before leaving but we still couldn’t be convinced.

The next day we went to Karlstad – there was a big reason for taking this route – KFC. We had been asked what was so special about having a KFC that we needed to make this trip? In truth nothing except when you haven’t been able to have something that you enjoy for a length of time, it becomes an obsession and you have to give in to it! It was magnificent and well worth the two month wait!

From Karlstad we drove to another campsite on the edge of Lake Vånern – the third largest lake in Europe and the largest in Sweden. The campsite at Åmål, was right on the waters edge and although a lake – you can fish it – Ric tried but there was too much weed to get a proper cast, so still no breakfast!

From Åmål, we decided to drive to the Islands of Orust and Tjörn – mainly to the Sculpture Park. As we drove towards the islands the weather changed and it started raining. We headed onto the Island of Orust and had a feeling of déjà vu. It looked very familiar. As we drove to the village of Henån, it looked like somewhere we knew – it was! We had stayed here on our way up to Norway! I had managed to navigate us back to one of our original night stops – that said by this time the weather was terrible – the rain didn’t stop and the puddles were so deep my shoes were drenched! It is nice though sometimes to feel the familiarity of a place when the weather is bad – you don’t feel the need to explore and can stay dry!

We drove to the Sculpture Park, the weather when we set off wasn’t great but it was ok. The Sculpture Park is an open air walk and as we arrived the rain got worse so we stopped in the car park, took a couple of photos and moved on. It was disappointing but two wet humans and a wet dog in a Motorhome driving was not our idea of happy. We’ve added it to our list for things to do when back in Sweden!

Driving back towards Gothenburg we turned left and headed east. We found a lovely overnight spot – a Rastplats by the side of another lake, outside the village of Holsljunga. We’d arrived fairly early (for us) so took the time to settle in and cook a nice English classic – Cottage Pie. The sun did shine for a while in the evening which made everything just a little more lovely! When we’d arrived we had parked behind an older Swedish coupe who had been out foraging – a very Swedish custom and they returned with two small trugs of mushrooms!

When we awoke on Saturday, there were now eight motorhomes parked up for the night, It’s lovely to see these areas being used. We packed up and headed off again – this time towards Karlshamn. We’d found a campsite up in the hills and on paper it looked lovely. As the roads looked managable, after lunch in another (not so pleasant) Rastplats – the space was nice but the toilets….! I decided to have a little drive, all fine until we approached the campsite and had to pass over a narrow bridge, where of course I met two cars – not a car all day until here! We got safely though – thank heavens for decent wing mirrors and an excellent co-pilot. On arrival at the campsite – it was too busy and way too hot – the pitches left were just not us! We left and headed to the sea. There we found a lovely campsite, right by the edge of the Baltic sea. The sun was shining and it gave us the opportunity to dry out the awning after all that rain!

While here, we decided that if the moose won’t come to us – we would go to them and after a short back drive, we arrived at Smålandet Markaryds Älgsafari. Here we were able to see moose up close and they are magnificent looking beasts – we also saw Bison – not native to Sweden and looking a little hot! After two drives around the enclosure, we set off to our next overnight stop.

Again, we were a bit like Goldilocks looking for somewhere to stop – the first was too car park like, the second just too busy and the third just right – Tosteberga Hamn – a small harbour on the Baltic Sea between Karlshamn and Karlskrona. It was fairly busy with a few spaces remaining and we picked one right behind a wooden beach building (a bit bigger than a beach hut in England). We had no power, but Nortia is fully fitted for such a stay and she copes wonderfully. Luckily for us, you can pay in Euros as we didn’t have enough Swedish Krona and they don’t take a card! I had tried to convince them to take Norwegian Krone but that was a complete NO! In Sweden they use an app to pay for things called SWISH, but having downloaded it you then need to download a banking app – which needs to have all your banking details added and it doesn’t include English banks!

It was a perfect stop – the sun was still shining when we got up in the morning and what we get up to this week we’ll let you know soon! Thank you again for reading or as they say here, Tack! Sx

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