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Published: September 25th 2021
We set off from Oslo around 1pm, with Norway offering us showers right up to the end. We went straight through the border around 2.30pm and as we did, we clocked up our first 5,000 kms of our European Kombi venture. We drove along a poor road through to Karstad, with at least an attractive backdrop of lakes and forests of fir trees most of the way. The road then improved, along with the weather, with odd shows of sunshine even, allowing us to make it a very quick trip through to just short of Stockholm by 8.30pm, an average for the day of around 70kph. We set up for the night in a little parking bay outside a luxury house just out of Sodertalje.
We were up early next morning and into Stockholm by 8am, only to find nothing open at that hour. After brekky, we hit the Tourist Bureau, their AA equivalent, Poste Restante, American Express, the Polish Embassy and the VW spare parts store. No mail for me, no rego available for the van, and possible delays in the visas, so it was not a great scoop. We did get our washing done at the local Laundromat,
however we couldn’t find where we had parked the van afterwards, which was more than frustrating. Problem finally resolved, we made it to Camping Satra, 10kms SW of Stockholm, where we completely emptied out the van, cleaned it and repaired the damage to the door. We took in a leisurely afternoon with an early meal, so we could get into town for the evening’s activities. We headed towards the Old Town on Staden Mellan Broama and strolled down Vasterlanggattan, a narrow ‘atmosphere’ street, taking in such sights as the Royal Palace, Stockholm Cathedral, Stortoget, and the super narrow lane called Marten Trotzigs Grand. We later took a short visit to the jazz-house Stampen before making it back to the campsite before the 11pm curfew.
The next day was an early start for cleaning up and washing the van. We made it into the city to check out the Town Hall, which we found disappointing, before making it down to pick up our Polish visas. We further strolled around the Old Town, getting some entertainment from a local brass band and before making it out to the Djurgarden for lunch. In the afternoon, we visited the site of the rebuilding
of the sailing ship ‘Wasa’, which was quite a spectacle, complete with films and exhibitions too. Later we took in AA to pick up our van registration papers and then picked up Bob’s photos of the Sundowners trip. We finished with a walk out to the Alf Chapman sailing boat Youth Hostel, but our intended night visit to Skansen was given away when the rain started. We decided instead to hit the road south around 6pm, and the weather cleared so we got quite a good run along flat roads through bush and forest country with some crop farming. There were no incidents and we pulled up for the night near Oskarshamn at 11.30pm, just as the rain started to fall.
The next day’s drive was through similar terrain of flat bush and farming country as we drove further south. The sun broke through early so we stopped at a beach near Solvesborg for a couple of hours around lunchtime. We even took a couple of dips in the Baltic, which was surprisingly mild compared with other beaches in Scandinavia. We pressed on through to Ystad, arriving around 4pm. We made it out to the ferry terminal, but there
was nothing doing there until 9pm. So we lazed down by the water and had an uneventful stroll around town until dinner – an uninspiring schnitzel and potatoes. We waited around the terminal to get tickets for the ferry (total 190SKr) before boarding at 10pm. We both took about the most thorough hot shower of our lives before settling down to sleep in the Kombi before the boat sailed for Poland at midnight.
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