Hej Hej! After weeks of what felt like unrelenting rain, we entered Sweden on a sunny note. As we entered the country, we chanced upon some rock carvings in a place called Tanumshede, believed to be from the Bronze Age.
These rock carvings, only recently having become a UNESCO site, were incredible to observe, not only because of the rock carvings themselves, but also to try and imagine people roaming the same area as where we were walking, three thousand years ago, was surreal! The rock carvings told very interesting stories of their time, including lots of boats and mostly naked men, hunting and fighting with each other. A layman’s take on the carvings, I know, but fascinating nevertheless.
From there we moved on to a lovely little beachside town called, Hunnebostrand.
I especially enjoyed my morning jog here, clambering around rocks and watching the Swedes enjoying their daily routine – some of them were even swimming (brrr!), whilst others were only too happy to be walking their dogs in their dressing gowns! The smell of the sea and the salt was reminiscent of Newport Beach, always a homely smell.
After a very pleasant morning spent here, we then went to a wonderful place called Norden’s Ark – a not-for-profit zoo developed purely for endangered animals throughout the world, including snow leopards, wolverines, woodpeckers, falcons, amphibians, red pandas and many more.
Very sad in many ways to note just how endangered these animals were for various reasons, but also amazing to be able to get so close to these beautiful creatures. Great to be there without the crowds of Taronga zoo too!
Next stop, Göteborg (Gothenburg). We decided that we would come here to check out the city delights, rather than Stockholm, which is still another 500kms away. Despite a difficult start – firstly because it is always hard to find somewhere to “free camp” in a city and secondly, once settled in a great carpark in amongst everything, we came to the realisation when getting our fresh fish from Hunnebostrand ready for dinner, that we had run out of gas! Disaster! This means that not only could we not cook, but our fridge would shortly stop being cold and we would have no heating for these chilly nights of late. (Oh, and Dave wouldn’t be able to make his cups of tea in the morning!) So we very quickly had to hot foot it to a service station, in the hope that we could fill up or exchange one of our 6 massive gas bottles. Alas, no luck and so we had to find a campsite quick smart with cooking facilities and electricity. Fortunately this ended up being very easy to find, just 13 kms out of Göteborg and we were therefore able to still enjoy our fresh fish for dinner. I have to say that I have never enjoyed salmon so much!
We booked in for 2 nights here, so that we could explore Göteborg. An easy bus ride or two (if you take the wrong one as we did) into the centre of the city, with the local tourist office recommending that we have lunch at the Feskkoerke (the Fish church). We enjoyed a delightful fish lunch here in the sun, including salmon (twice in a row for me), herrings for Dave, shrimp pasta for Abbie and fish-potato gratin for James. Everything was delicious and we were all robbing each other’s plates! Not too pricey either and a definite must do for the hungry traveller!
After which time we walked a little way towards the old part of town, which was brimming with character. Shops selling tea, English books, hats, beads etc added to the quaint atmosphere of this part of town. This then led us to a huge stair case ( more stairs, more walking …) which took us up to the top with a great view of the city and a pleasant chat with a lady from Kazakhstan, who lived in Iceland for a time and now lives in Sweden .. all very normal, really. So a lovely day spent here, ending with cheese on toast for dinner and an early night after all of that walking.
Last day in Sweden included a slight detour to check out the local Menhirs, near Ystadt,in the formation of a boat. We also purchased some smoked mackerel and fresh prawns with aioli for lunch tomorrow. Delicious! The weather was grey and sombre, but perfect for such a scene along the Swedish coastline.
Then to a campsite a little further along, fortunately with cooking facilities. The next morning we all got up and at ‘em and headed down the beach , where I went for a very long jog and came back to the sight of James and Dave frolicking about in the surf … naked! Skinny –dipping in Sweden – why not? And hilarious to watch, especially when I proceeded to walk off with their clothes. Unfortunately, I was too kind and came back; after all, it was a rather chilly morning. A great way to start the day, I must say and a nice end to our time in Sweden. Next stop…. “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen”