Stories

 

Sweden


From the 15th to the 19th of June 2013

We disembarked the ferry in Helsingborg at 9:30 PM and found a quiet spot for the night. The following day we walked in the reserve of Kullaberg and admired the green and rocky landscape and a lighthouse overlooking the Baltic Sea.

As we got closer to Gothenburg, we discovered by mistake a marina with beautiful sailboats. We took a closer look at the place. When we got back to Zorro, an old man approached us. "You can spend a night here, there are toilets and hot showers over there." He definitely read our minds. While the Swedish coast was rather sandy till here, this marina was completely protected inside a creek which the rock were polished by erosion. We enjoyed a sunny afternoon stroll. It was a pity that we did not have a canoe to explore the nearby islets and coves.

    

As in Norway, wild camping is allowed in Sweden. When we arrived in a more touristy area, the "no camping" sign was everywhere. Under these conditions, it is easy to say that wild camping is allowed... Joke apart, since our arrival in Sweden, it was relatively easy to find beautiful spots for the night and we had very restful nights. Nevertheless, we got affected by the little note on the windshield in Germany and never had good night sleep since.

Fifteen kilometers from the Norwegian border, large supermarkets were crowded. Since our departure from Switzerland, prices rose crescendo at every border we crossed. So when we saw that the parking lot of the supermarket was full of Norwegian vehicles, whose trunks were filled with alcohol and food, we had the confirmation that Norway would not escape the rule.

We did not spend too much time in the south of Sweden at the time, because there was a good chance we would visit this area on the way south.

Click here to read the following story about our trip in Norway.


From the 7th to the 21st of August 2013

We reached Stockholm by ferry, after an eight hour journey from Turku in Finland.

After two weeks in Switzerland, Aless's father health had improved and Aless joined us back just on time for the visit of the capital city.

At the mouth of Lake Mälaren, the city is spread out over fourteen islands, part of the Stockholm archipelago, on the edge of the Baltic Sea. Fifty- seven bridges connect the different neighborhoods surrounded by canals. On Stadshelmen island, we enjoyed the narrow streets of Gamla Stan, the old town with medieval colorful houses.

    

As we were looking for a quite spot out of the city, we found a place beyond expectations. Not sure if this was a private property or nor, a woman confirmed we could stay for the night and use all the infrastructures for free. During two days, we enjoying the lake, played table tennis and many different team games.

    

After three weeks together, this was where the roads parted with Sixenroute. Once again, cohabitation was easy and very pleasant.

In Nynashamn, we embarked on a three-hours ferry journey to Gotland island. During three days, we mainly visited the north and the small neighboring island of Fårö. The coastal landscape varied between cliffs, sandy and pebble beaches, but the particularity of the island is the limestone formations carved by erosion. We especially liked Gamla hamn, where the sunset was a great show. On Fårö, we were spoiled by blueberries and raspberries growing in forests. For several centuries, the inhabitants exploited the limestone which was exported throughout the Baltic sea region. Quarries like the Blue Lagoon on the north of Gotand, are great places for swimming and sunbathing.

    

Before leaving the island, we visited the medieval town of Visby, surrounded by a 3.5 kilometers fortification. The magnificent Cathedral of Santa Maria and its wooden roof, contrast with the ruins of several churches of the 13th century, which were ravaged by fires, attacks or were simply abandoned. Nowadays, narrow cobbled streets and buildings of different eras mix well and create a charming vibrant bustling old town.

Back to the mainland, we continued our journey to the south. In mid-August, kids were already at school. Beaches were deserted and the weather was still very pleasant.

On the way, we visited the Ales Stenar solar vessel, formed with 59 menhirs. According to some studies, this structure based on a grassy hill overlooking the Baltic Sea, is an astronomical calendar. With its 68 meters long, Ales Stenar is now the largest megalithic construction of Sweden.

    

We then reached Malmö, where a former industrial area of the city has been revitalized by turning it into eco-neighborhood with the objective of 100 % renewable energy. Geothermal pumps and solar heat sensors are used to supply heat and hot water. Rainwater is collected through channels and vegetated roofs. The electricity comes from wind turbines. The city maintenance vehicles are electric. A system of underground vacuum pipes allows instantaneous waste collection without any CO2 emission. Wastes are being incinerated which allows the production of biogas. The waterfront was pleasantly designed making a perfect place for walking, running, biking or skating. On the other side of the Oresund, we could see the lights of Copenhagen in Denmark, connected by the 7.8 kilometers bridge.

We embarked on our last ferry for an eight hour journey from Trelleborg to Travemünde in Germany.

Click here to read the following story about our trip in Egypt.

See the album "Sweden - June & August 2013"