A Relaxing Last Few Days in Sweden

We’ve had a pretty chilled-out last few days in Sweden, trundling south between the route we took north this trip (to our west) and our route south in 2017 (to our east).

We’ve stayed overnight in some lovely places. Tuesday’s stop was just outside Kristinehamn, with a lovely view of the boats on a small inlet to Lake Vänern.

We were parked just down the road from Kristinehamn’s Picasso sculpture:

It turns out that Picasso never went anywhere near Kristinehamn! The fifteen metre concrete sculpture was produced by Norwegian artist Carl Nesjar, with permission from Picasso.

We found another great free parking spot on Wednesday night, right next to the Göta Kanal at Töreboda:

As we hadn’t been near a museum for a few days, we decided to pop into the Falbygdens Museum in the small town of Falköping on Thursday. It’s a small local museum, but it has a bog body on display that I’d recently read about, it was on our route, and it’s even free to visit…..

To be honest, the Raspberry Girl was a disappointment She’s so called as the pile of raspberry seeds found where her stomach would have been lead researchers to conclude that her last meal was a mountain of raspberries). There’s really not a lot left of her:

Other stuff in the museum was quite interesting, though, and there was a passage grave in the park outside:

The Falbygden area, between lakes Vänern and Vättern, marks the northern border of the megalithic culture in Europe and three quarters of Sweden’s passage graves are to be found here…..

After spending Thursday night on the southern shore of Lake Vättern, we continued our journey south on Friday. Another beautiful free overnight spot at Norje, to the west of Karlshamn – on the edge of a small village and right next to moorings for small boats:

We liked Norje so much that we went back on Sunday night!

Saturday and most of Sunday were spent at the small marina at Hällevik – 180 SEK bought us parking until 5pm the day after arrival, electricity, and free use of the washing machine (there was a tumble dryer but it wasn’t working; thankfully the weather was warm and dry):

Our Swedish neighbours probably thought we must be a right mucky pair:

To lower the tone yet further, Mark decided to use the free showers after going jogging on Sunday morning whilst our washing continued to dry…. Here he is, setting off carrying his various accoutrements in a collapsible plastic bucket (I know not why – he does have a toiletries bag in SOK):

We did finally get all our washing dry and SOK got a good internal spring clean before we headed back to Norje.

There’s not much to report for Monday. We excelled ourselves on the shopping front, completely clearing out our remaining small stash of SEK cash. Then it was on to a small car park just outside Trelleborg that filled up with campers as the evening progressed, all doing the same as us – getting ready to catch a ferry from the nearby port first thing on Tuesday morning.

The port at Trelleborg was nothing like Dover. The check-in was completely unmanned – you just checked in at a machine using your booking reference and it spat out two boarding passes. No customs (OK, fair enough, it’s Europe) but no ticket or security checks of any kind either. The first person we saw was the guy directing us as we drove onto the car deck – and all he wanted to know from us was whether we were going to Rostock! No-one checked that our vehicle or the number of people inside it corresponded to our booking (and although the booking conditions stated that you had to carry a passport, no-one looked at it so we could have booked as Mickey and Minnie Mouse and boarded the ferry no problem).

The other thing that really struck us was the sheer number of motorhomes boarding the ferry, most of them German. Incredible.

We had the smoothest crossing I think I’ve ever experienced on a ferry. If you’d blindfolded me and told me after five and a half hours that we were still tied up at Trelleborg, I’d have believed it. Judging from the way jars were stacked on top of each other on high shelves in the shop, it must always be flat calm on Baltic crossings!

Our first task on arrival was to join the long lines of motorhomes queued up at the first fuel station. We figured that if the Germans were all piling in there, it must be a good price by local standards.

Diesel at €1.169 a litre – luxury! We need to hit a German supermarket tomorrow – Mark is super excited at the thought that we can now afford to eat salad again!

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