What a world of difference. Last week it was clearly not going so well. But this week I dare to say that we are there. We are completely in the travelmode again. Jasper’s back is completely healed, the sun is shining (most of the time), the environment is much nicer, we have a good idea of how camping here works, only 1 small thing broke this week (the kettle) and Lon thinks she spots moose everywhere we go. However, up to now what she thought were moose always appeared to be tree trunks, but hey the fact that there is just a possibility to spot them is fantastic, right? These two are super happy. We have a great time and laugh a lot together.
When writing these stories, it is really special to have to look back 1 week. When I think back to Sunday last week, the things we experienced back then really feel like months ago. The sense of time is so different. We have only been on the road for two weeks but it has been feeling so much longer. Where the days flew by in a working week, it is now completely different because the days are full of new experiences. The fact that these two weeks already feel like so long, makes it bizar to realize that it is at least 76 weeks more before we come home hahaha! I have never felt more relaxed. There is no time pressure or limit in any way. We really do what we feel like every moment of the day. Okay, with the exception of grocery shopping, we both really didn’t feel like it yesterday, but we were out of food, so .. We’ve never experienced this before. We have been away for a long time, but then we already had flights ready at the start of our trip that would take us from one destination to another. As an example, we had 3 months to get from Adelaide to Cairns and we really wanted to see everything along the way. But in a country so immense, it is really difficult to estimate whether you are “on track”. I certainly do not want to say that we were stressed by this, but just the fact that we do not have to take this into account this time, gives such a peace of mind. We always make a rough planning of what the next few places are where we want to go. And often at the beginning of the day we take a moment to discuss what we are going to do that day. However, the plans are constantly changing, simply because something comes our way that we actually want to do more. We love it!
As I just mentioned, the environment where we are now is increasing in it’s beauty. Over the past week we have seen the landscape change very clearly. Where the southern part was very green, but very flat. with a lot of agricultural land, which made it look a lot like the Netherlands in our opinion. This is clearly different now. The landscape is much more beautiful now, it is so incredibly green, every few kilometers a beautiful lake pops up again and what has made the difference are the beautiful rolling hills. Add to that the incredibly beautiful and idyllic Swedish houses and it is almost a fairytale. Everywhere you hear the continuous sound of singing birds, it is really beautiful. During a walk yesterday we talked extensively about what we think of Sweden so far. It might seem a bit strange to draw a conclusion about a country after two weeks, but we like to see how our opinion may change the longer we spend here. So that’s why we just share what we think now. We came to the conclusion that: Sweden as a whole is what I wrote above: beautiful, green, idyllic and with beautiful lakes. Life here is really about being outside and people really take their time for that. Besides the fact that there is a real outdoor culture here, there is also a real picnic and camping culture. And for these activities it is really perfectly set up. It is incredible that we can spend the night in our camper for free with beautiful views over a lake. Although, this is all very beautiful in principle, we have not yet been able to discover any real highlights. So far there hasn’t really been anything that really surprised us or had a little extra drama. Like we said, we’ve only been here for two weeks. And we have already seen the landscape become so much more beautiful, we might have to come a little further north to experience this.
Well enough side tracks, I will tell you what we experienced this week. We stopped the last update when we were going to the Oland peninsula. We had expected that this would be comparable in size to Terschelling (small Dutch island, you can cycle from one side to the other in a day) and that we might be able to rent some bicycles to cycle around. However, we soon found out that it was a lot bigger. So, we decided not to cycle. Instead, we had a wonderful walk on the island. There was a nature reserve in the south of the island which was known for its large number of birds. This was clearly noticeable in the amount of bird watchers. There were a lot of people with very professional equipment and huge binoculars. We therefore felt compelled to take out our inimini binoculars. Bird watching was not really our thing, however where the others were so busy with the birds, we spotted seals that they passed. Or well it went more like this: J: Lon, look with your binoculars, there seems to be a cow standing in the water. L: No, I really don’t see a cow, only a lot of large stones. Funny a lot of those stones seem to have the shape of seals. Wait it moves! They are seals !. Hahah. Maybe you should have been there, but we laughed a lot about it. Moreover, we walked between the wild cows, which sometimes seemed to chase us a bit too much, and between the cute lambs. We had the most fantastic camping site on Oland. With a beautiful view of the sea. Jasper was able to try out his drone for the first time here and was thrilled flying it. He also took a dip in the water, but this was very cold. We stayed on Oland for 3 days and then drove on again.
The weather was beautiful so we didn’t want to drive too long and decided to stop in Kalmar on the way. This turned out to be a surprisingly nice town. So we lingered and sat on a terrace and had a nice pizza in the evening.
The next day we drove to a place known for its glass blowing. This seems to be something they do a lot here and according to the lonely planet it would be nice to have a look because you can see the glass blowers at work there. Unfortunately, this part was closed due to corona and only the shops were open. Almost nothing is closed here due to corona, but especially the major tourist attractions such as this one are apparently closed. Too bad but not a disaster. We continued to Skurugata nature reserve, where you could take a walk through a gorge. We had looked at the signs and it seemed like a walk of 600 meters. We had our slippers on and decided that we were good to go. Hahah. Funny that we adjust our gear to the distance. While we knew it was a gorge. Perhaps we felt more like we could look into the gorge and not have to walk through it. Because flip-flops were certainly not the right footwear. It was a nice walk in itself. And at some points the gorge was quite deep so you could look up nicely along the walls.
The next day we thought it would be fun to go standup paddleboarding. We were parked at a beautiful lake, but I thought it would be more fun to paddle board on lake Vattern than on the lake where we were now. Once there it turned out that we underestimated the vastness of the lake. It was more of a sea than a lake and therefore not very suitable for paddle boarding. Wikipedia fact: The lake has a size of 1893 km2 and a volume of 77.6 km3 and is the second largest lake in Sweden. It is approximately 128 km long and 30 km wide and the deepest point is 128 meters. So paddel boarding was out, but we did have a nice walk along a part of the lake. At the place where we slept there were fire places and on the menu was a lentil soup, which we could also make in the Dutch oven. The first fire and the first time cooking in the Dutch oven this holiday was a fact! Yes!
The next day we drove towards Vadstena. Here was a beautiful castle and it was a nice cozy village. We walked around the castle and walked through the village. Especially looking for a place to do Fika. The bakery that we eventually found was very disappointing, really on everything was cardamom and really too much. Then we drove towards the camping spot. We were soon overtaken here by thick rain clouds. The shade was set up for the first time, especially against the rain, which was very nice because it was wet but not cold. We were also in need of a shower, and because there was none nearby, we decided to try the solar shower. The water was not really warm, but the worst of the cold was at least gone. We were both really satisfied with how it went and were especially happy that we were able to take a shower again. We spent the rest of the day reading under the shade. But because we hadn’t done much today, Jap got a little restless. He decided to chop wood .. It was raining so making a fire was not an option, but at least he was busy. But this was not enough, he also decided that he had to go for a run. Logical if you just had your shower .. And as if we had not tried enough new things, we decided to try out our new oven. I had made a quiche and we were curious if the oven could cook it properly. Because it is actually made for outdoor use, it was a bit stressful because we were afraid that things would melt due to the heat. But luckily it went really well and the quiche was delicious.
Yesterday we went to Tivedens national park. This was really beautiful. We did a 4.5 hour hike here. The walk passed 4 different lakes and many large rocks through beautiful dense forest. The ground was covered in a thick layer of moss, which gave the forest a lot of color. This was a hint to the little bit of drama we wrote about in the beginning. It was a really beautiful walk.
We are now in the town of Hjo and will catch up with you next week.
Menu of the week
|Monday||Left-over Minestrone Soup|
|Wednesday||Risotto a la Ottolenghi|
|Thursday||Lentil Soup from the Dutch oven|
|Saturday||Veggie Hamburger with fried potato’s|
Spendings of the Week
Budget per day €54 and per week €378 and per month €1700
Driven kilometers: 776