Sweden is a wonderful country for relaxed travelling. Even though my heart is more into France and Italy –less distance + higher communication possibilities – I will surely choose Sweden again for future holidays. So here comes the personal reminder for my future self:
- Add some cities to the tour: Malmö, Lund, Gothenburg (Stockholm is just too good and thus more of an extra destination for extended weekends)
- Dancing! Get into touch with people of the Lindy Hop or other dancing scenes
- Enlarge wild camping: start in the south and continue along the way
- Look out for luxury camp sites: spend 75% on simple camper parking / without service and fresh up van + body every once in a while, then best on exceptionally good sites (if available)
- Go North! Armed with masses of no-bite head for Lappland and continue via Norway all the way up to the high North
Going through all places I have been in reverse order, the highlights have been the following:
Labussee / C24 Camping Bibertours
What? Nature, a whole lot of it. Pretty lake, relaxed atmosphere, good showers (electricity available for few pitches only) and nasty mosquitoes.
Who? Me, myself and I plus some smalltalk with other campers and the camping staff.
What else? Slow down, use the boat rental or not, switch off your cell phone and forget about a world that only exists beyond the endless forest.
Warnemünde / Rostock
What? Endless beach, touristic town, cruise ships and ferries. Camper parking on “Stellplatz Mittelmole” or close to the Ostseestadion (no service).
Who? Friends + friends of friends. And the beach bar.
What else? Perfect in-between. Between Germany and Scandinavian ferries. Between everyday life and holidays. Between sand and sea.
Who? Legendary Svenja with charm and travel stories.
What else? Military base, Kieler Förde, starting point of the Kiel canal = the most frequented artificial water way worldwide.
Ferry Gothenburg – Kiel
What? 15 hours, 240m ship, restaurants + bars, comfortable cabins and Hector in the pole position.
Who? Greedy tourists between me and the breakfast buffet.
What else? Pure luxury: my own bathroom. Colorful sunset + sunrise.
Who? Hector, the skateboard and the jogging shoes. A bit of smalltalk here and there and the kayak rental.
What else? Pretty close to Gothenburg, however very calm and inviting. Sincerely recommended: float through the Skagerrad by kayak (eventually with a stop at the Gästhamn), walk or run through cliffs / reed / hills / forests of the nature reserve, visit the fortress, eat delicious fish soup at Marstrand Wärdshus, sit in the sun at the harbour, count the wild sheep on the peninsulae, zzzzzh…
Orust / Tjörn
What? Pretty islands in the Skagerrad, North / West of Gothenburg, dominated by local summer residence owners, strange mixture of lovely places and a repellent undertone.
Who? Grumbling pensioners meet sullen Hector.
What else? Eat at Café Borgen between Orust and Tjörn – and forget about the islands.
What? Tiny island between Skaftö and Orust, relaxed camp site with places directly at the sea (w/o electricity) and regular pitches on the other side of the island’s sole street.
Who? Chats with other campers, tents and vans mixing up at the shoreline and sharing the sea side meadow.
What else? Free ferries from and to Malö. Instead of the camp site’s outworn showers you may prefer a bath in the crystal blue sea. Hector marked a cross in the grass with his tires, says he wants to come back.
Between Tanumshede and Norra Grundsund
What? Ancient rock carvings, perfectly explained during the free guided tour. Small villages, yacht harbours and hard to tell if the landscape’s core consists of water or land.
Who? Competent guide, mostly German tourists, ancient artists (at least their traces). Not a single soul found in Grundsund.
What else? Grundsund is a pretty harbour with a small parking – but so void it was almost spooky, thus we hurried on until we found Malö. Good choice.
What? Vivid small town that if nothing else attracts tourists for Camilla Läckberg. The sole camp site contains hundreds of residental campers + 1 meadow for spontaneous tourists. The long-established Hotel Bryggan (free WiFi in the lobby!), several restaurants / cafés / bars and the very best Kanelbullar mark the town as a high potential stop-over.
Who? Foreign tourists and summer resident owners clash together.
What else? The gorge is very special and the view from the Vetterberget cliff soaked me in for hours. The church at Kville looks like it just popped out of a story book and retrospective Fjällbacka turned out to be one of the best places of the trip.
What? Small town with a beach and a camper parking in 15m distance to the sea.
Who? Thanks to late sunset I enjoyed hours of animated conversation with the van travellers next door. Their daughter has made up a wonderful website about her Canada-via-mobilehome-trip and I really should contact her anytime and ask her to continue the blog…
What else? There is a “real” camp site in Frillesås but I have preferred the service-free parking at the beach and a bath in the North sea after my early morning run. Most travellers that use simple parkings rather than regular campings are of the sympathetic kind with open minds and interesting stories – best conditions for shared wine in the evening.
What? Luxury camp site (expensive, even for Swedish means) and a historic castle along the way. Around the camp site is: nothing (except the Ringsjö lake).
Who? Friends, a whole family of friends – great that we managed to meet!
What else? Next time I show off with acrobatic moves on the playground I should think of a warm up first (had hell of a muscle sourness).
Bolmen & Torpa
What? A calm camp site at Bolmen followed by wild camping near Torpa (lake hopping).
Who? Jogging chat with Thomas and a bit of smalltalk at the wild camping lake. The rest was Hector, the barbecue and the intensive use of my book shelf.
What else? Stormy wind in Bolmen and the discovery of a quiet region with hundreds of lakes and endless forests, speckled with small villages. Elks hiding all the time.
Hällevik and the TradJazzfestival
What? Hällevik at the Baltic Sea might be a nice town even in other times, but during the TradJazzfestival it buzzes with life. The same dozen of bands plays 5-10 concerts spread over 3 days, however leading to the sensation of live music popping up every half hour in another corner of the town.
Who? Great to have met the Lindy Hop dancers, added by friendly pensioners and all kinds of people in good mood.
What else? Lucky me that they all played my favourite kind of swing jazz! My favourite place has been the benches between the sea (3m to the right) and the large festival tent (3m to the left) – hard to imagine a better place for a festival, apart from the dance floor that is.
What? Nice village in the North of Ronneby, driving my bed into my uncle’s garden.
Who? Two days with my uncle and my cousin.
What else? Beside the beautiful lake in the North of Eringsboda we made our way along the coast line of the Baltic sea, passing by Sandhamn, Torhamn, Björkenäs and Kristianopel.
What? Sandy beach, little town with some restaurants and a large camp site.
Who? Mainly Swedes, few contact – hard to tell if I have not been in the right mood for encounters or if folks in the campers around have been sort of reticent.
What else? Millions of tiny black bugs – when wind came up it was a relieve. All along evolution the bugs have not learned to cope with the wind. On windstill days focus your outdoor activities on the time between 6:00 am and 8:00 am.
Leipzig & Warnemünde
What? Parking at the edge of the Agra Park (Leipzig) and in front of huge, really huge cruise ships in Warnemünde. Beach, touristic harbour, reams of shops and restaurants and did I mention the beach?
Who? Nico + Christian – thanks for the initial encounter of the holidays, for beer, for dinner and for the bath in the sea.
What else? Swimming pools with a spiral toboggan on top of a cruise ship – now, really??
The trip was a wonderful mixture of time for myself and people I met, beautiful nature and reliable super Hector.
I have been to Sweden once before, in a convertible car and with different company. Then, in 2003, I have seen the main cities, have discovered Astrid Lindgren land and Öland, I have been to the two huge lakes (Vänern + Vättern) but I missed being closer to nature, let alone diving in any of the waters we passed by. Consequently the 2017 Sweden trip focused on different aspects. Whatever expectation I could have had (while in fact I had none due to a lack of preparation), sure enough they have been fulfilled.
For next year I have different destinations in mind, but already now I am looking forward to coming back to the South of Sweden, then extending the trip way North and with even more time to spend. It will be a pleasure!