Not too bad either…..

Location: Norrköping
Odo: +200km 

I wanted to meet up with somebody I met online but mixed up two towns which meant quite some additional driving. A bad day for my carbon footprint. But I would hated me for missing the chance to meet nice people. After a very nice afternoon I ended up with plenty placemarks on my map and found the best camping spot so far thanks to the recommendation.

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Day #10

Odo: no change
Location: Neither...

The first day where I didn’t move the van. Hooray! But I payed 15€ of parking fees just to park in Stockholm in front of some housing. It was a slow day. Yesterday I didn’t really took care of drinking enough water so today i payed the bill. The whole day was just hanging around and reading. I went to town to top up my mobile broadband card which was quite a hassle. I didn’t understand how to do it online because the site is only in swedish. I also was quite curious if I can stay anonymous so I went to a tre store to buy a recharge code. After some waiting i found out that they only take credit cards and that my mastercard has a chip but is lacking some other feature to work well with the terminal. This might also explain why statoil declines my card while it is working at all other gas stations. Anyways, I was sent over to The Phone House and after quite some waiting I exchanged 299 swedish crowns (35€) for 100GB of mobile broadband traffic. Not the worst deal ever, especially since it’s a 4G network… So I’m still completely anonymous if I use the supplied usb stick. That’s free speech as I like it…

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The view from Langholmen to Kungsholmen

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A chopper surveying Langholmen for the better part of an hour. It even followed me to Kungsholmen but left before i went to sleep. Probably police…

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The official caravan parking in Stockholm. Sleeping under a bridge (literally) for 35€ per night. I somehow look down on these people (passing over the bridge :))

Day #9

Odo: 283177
Location: Kungsholmen, Stockholm / Sweden

After a late start into the day I went kayaking with a local whom I met online. This has been my first kayak experience and I felt a little uneasy for the first couple of minutes. Once I almost capsized or at least it felt like it. I did get the hang of it quite fast and we circled Kungsholmen in about two hours. I’m really amazed how fast kajaks are compared to canoes and how stable they are when passing yachts are creating waves. It’s really an awesome experience to discover a new city from the water!

Afterwards we sat by the river and talked about prejudices and plenty other stuff. A really nice and enjoyable evening! I even forgot to take any photos…

Swedish Healthcare

I was hoping not to try out any healthcare institute. Now my friend suddenly got an infection of the bladder. Luckily we were already in the suburbs of stockholm. We arrived at the first hospital around 23:30 and it was closed. 20 mins later we arrived at karolinka, a quite large hospital. While I was parking the paperwork was done and they said it would take 15min until somebody will take a look at my friend. Actually it took a little longer but maybe there was an emergency. They ran blood & urine tests, waited for the results and made a prescription for the matching meds. From my point of view they did a good job but I have to admit that I was only sitting in the waiting room / napping in the van and that I’ve no clue of healthcare whatsoever.

After driving to a 24h pharmacy the first hotel was booked out but the second had vacancy. Around five in the morning we could check in, the price was reasonable (Ibis Style, 65€ / double) and the night clerk was just preparing the early breakfast so we could make some sandwiches and sleep through breakfast. I dropped my friend at the train station at 11:30, searched a parking spot, bought a wrong ticket and went to sleep again. Luckily I wasn’t fined.

Day #4 – #8

Odo: 283106
Location: NE of Stockholm

Not much to blog about. Travelling in decent company is always a good thing. The countryside over here pretty much looks like the harz mountains. Yet everything is bigger and the countryside is rather flat. And windy. And you are allowed to use motorized boats. And you got wireless broadband everywhere. Let’s say it somehow resembles the harz mountains vegetationwise… After a couple of days I become a little bit bored of the countryside. It is nice for sure but i seem to have become quite spoiled over the years.

Hence the short distance to Stockholm the area is densly populated. It’s still beautiful nature but everything is private ground and you are almost always in direct sight of peoples homes. This makes finding a spot for sleeping somehow tricky. The best tactic so far was to look for natural reserves (which are gouvenment owned) and just stay on the parking lot. The only problem is that it’s quite difficult to find these reserves because there is no decent list of them online and i have no travel guide.

The locals really fancy old US cars. I thought I would see plenty of old volvo, saab and the like but classic cars are scarce and almost always iconic US ones. Pony cars like Firebirds, Cougars, Corvettes, GTOs, and classics like Bel Airs, old chevys… You name it, they drive it. The only kind of ride i haven’t seen so far is pick-ups.

Another weird thing is speed limits. Everybody sticks to them. In 1200+ km of driving I haven’t seen anyone driving in idiot mode. Not even motorcyclists. Actually I like it, it makes driving with the van quite a pleasure. On the german autobahn i’m always afraid that I don’t notice someone when changing lanes because he/she is going 280+ kp/h. This just won’t happen over here.

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Blogging in the nature. Every spot in this area looks quite the same so i was to lazy to take more photos...

Day #3

Odo: 282480
Location: Vättern Lake, west shore, between Gränna and Ödeshog

Another day of driving.If it wouldn’t be for meeting Debo in Stockholm I would have never set the pace that fast. The van isn’t made for munching up kilometres, it’s just too slow. And loud. In the australian desert I could do 700k per day easily, but here there’s plenty of stuff to see all around. And the falcon did cruise at 130kph with less than 2000rpm while the van is quite loud doing 95kph cruising speed.

I paid a short visit to “Germany” to shift the weight of my beer stash.

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After Sweden conquered Germany with IKEA the Germans repaid the favour with Bauhaus, Familia and probably other big companies…

At first all beer was stacked in in the “bathroom” at the farmost corner on the left side behind the rear axle. Since the fresh&waste water tank and I are on the same side of the car it started pulling to the left while braking. So I sacrificed the second bed for beer. At Bauhaus you can buy a single piece of lumber, you grab some screws and pay the gross weight and they supply saws so that you can cut the wood in pieces that fit in your car. First use of the power drill.

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My precious… Securely held in place by three additional pieces of wood…

Lot’s of driving. No hitch-hikers. Stopped for a broken down Merc 190E 2.3 which overheated. The elderly couple was quite self sufficient filling it up with water and didn’t want no help so I drove on. Since it’s not that hot of a day and the M102 is a very reliable engine without heat issues I’d guess the sensor or the electric clutch for the fan probably is broken since the radiator was quite hot. Whatever, they neither fancied help nor did the want to find the cause of the problem. Depending on how far they have to go they’ll probably have to let the engine cool down for quite some time…

In the evening I met a nice couple from Austria with children and we spent quite some time talking. While they were bedding their three children I just sat by the sea enjoying a beer and “a clash of kings” as an ebook. Ebooks with backlight are really handy while watching a sunset…

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Vättern, Veltins and a good read which fits into the scenery… It starts feeling like holidays…

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Different spot, same evening…

 

 

 

Day #2

Odo: forget to check
Location: near Landskrona / Sweden

Mostly driving. I crossed Denmark completely taking the bridges.  A decent hitch hiking guy came along, so time flew by while talking about travelling, differences between Denmark and Germany and stuff. Try to explain the German healthcare system to somebody in a country where you just go to the doctor, flash your ID card and get treatment….

I stopped at a broken down Opel Kapitän in quite decent shape. The guy already called the roadside assistance so I only had a quick look. The wiring looked like a rodent had quite some fun with it and he told me that the fuel gauge went from 50% to not in a second and than the engine stopped. Hanging fuel gauge? Faulty ground connection? Whatever, I left the riddle for the roadside repair guy who is being paid to worry about it…

On the search for a decent spot to sleep I left the tarmac for the first time on this trip. Even without a body lift the ground clearance is quite good and the new heavy duty shocks and springs pay off. I neither got seasick nor rattled to death. At the end of the track I was at a beautiful spot close by the sea. On a private field. Directly between zillions of power lines leaving a nuclear power plant just a couple of hundred meters away. After a cup of tea I decided that I’ll better move on…

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Bärseback, a decomissioned swedish power plant… Thanks to wikipedia / Lars Bo Wassini for the picture.

After quite some time I found a nice spot at a public beach. Just a couple of hundred meters from a commercial camp-ground which was crammed while the parking spot was empty and in front of some rental houses. Tired enough I gave it a try. I was a little afraid to be sent away and it was my first night but as I hoped nobody cared. I woke up at six any ways because some workers did cut some hedges with quite loud tools.

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The beach. Finally….