Summer in Sweden

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
Trip End Nov 15, 2007

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Flag of Sweden  ,
Thursday, June 15, 2006

We remember Norway as one magnificent sweeping bend leading into another. Just when you think you're gob smacked, you're surprised all over again.

Norwegians have an abundance of timber, as does all of Scandinavia. 70% of Finland, for example is forest and 10% lakes and waterways. There are piles of trees from logging all along the side of the roads. Everyone's lean-to has a supply of neatly chopped fire wood. And of course the homes are built from timber.

Whilst crossing into Sweden today we noticed at one of our rest stops, a tree completely wrapped in cobweb. On close inspection we saw that all the foliage was dead or gone and the whole tree looked like it was dripping with snow. It was to prove a common sight in Sweden.

Its summertime here and the sports fishermen are enjoying fly fishing in the many lakes. It looks very relaxing. People are playing a walking a lot too, some have Nordic walking sticks to assist with walking, bladeing or dry skiing. It looks like the dry skiers are preparing for the winter snow skiing season.

Morning starts early here, like about 3am. The birds start singing at 4 and sliding down our canvas roof, unable to get a foothold, they're very noisy. Of course night fall doesn't begin to settle in until after 12mn so there's a great tendency to stay up late, get very little sleep, and start the day early. I get quite a lot done, but every now and then I have to catch up with an afternoon nap. One night we drove on till 10:30 before we finally camped up and had tea. They use the 24 hour clock here, i.e. no am or pm. If the shop closes at 9pm it's called 2100. Sensible, I think. This had been apparent since we left Oz, particularly with the many ferry tickets we've booked so far.

After free camping for 7 days, we were keen to get to a Laundromat. We were OK, smell wise, but our smalls were running low. However, Sweden has a distinct lack of Laundromats and most people we asked said everyone has a washing machine in their flat or house when they buy it. Or else they advised us to go to the dry cleaners.

There are heaps of people free camping, we only hear about them when we all get together in a CP for a proper shower and to wash our clothes. We also use the cooking facilities of the CPs to conserve our gas. I was cooking up a storm the other night when I felt I was being observed. When I turned around there was a small red squirrel watching. He must have been too well fed because Lynn offered him some grated cheese and carrot, but he turned his nose up at it.
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