Sunday, 12 June 2011

Not been able to update for a while so I haven't been able to say of my slight change of plans. There were various goals I had for this trip and they have been achieved. The main one was to get to the very top of drivable Europe and along the way seeing a Munch in Oslo, riding the Flåm railway, getting inside the Arctic Circle and seeing elk in the wild, all done. I'm still loving the scenery but now I would like to go home and see Sarah, I am missing her terribly. I was thinking of spending some time in Stockholm and Copenhagen but these are places that Sarah would like to see again as well so we will be planning a return trip to visit them together, maybe in a year or so. It's still going to take a few days to get home and I'm not sure which route back I will take, heading for the Hook of Holland first.

Thoughts occurring while driving in Sweden. They love their burgers. I don't think I have seen so many McDonald's golden arches, they seem to be at almost every road side stop and every town. The signs rise up out of the forests to let you know they are just 15 minutes away, ten minutes away, five minutes away, just so many! Not only Macdonalds, a couple of days ago I saw the knife and fork sign showing for the next service stop and found that the only food available was from a Max which is another chain of burger joints, about twenty different burgers on the menu but apart from fries and milkshakes, nothing else. Later I saw a large sign listing all outlets at a service point on the opposite side of the road showing you had a choice of two brands of fuel and the only food seemed to be from a Macdonalds, a Burger King and a Max. Three different burger places and nothing else. I don't think I will say a bad thing about a Little Chef again!

So much for Sweden losing its identity, how about a small positive point. I liked the way that the chevrons used to show corners or sharp bends on the road are not in the usual red and white but in the Swedish colours of yellow and blue.

Took the ferry back from Helsingborg to Helsinor, same one as before, the Hamlet.

Today's photo shows some old rail tracks on the ramp onto the ferry. Not used now but trains from the south would use the ferry to get further into Scandanavia. These days the new (ish) bridge/tunnel from just below Copenhagen to Malmo carries a railway line as well as a road.

On to Copenhagen and a couple of hours spent with friends who gave me coffee and strawberry cake. I also met the beautiful Mathilde.

Down towards Rødby for the ferry to Germany but first to a campsite near Øre by the water. Very crowded as it's another Danish holiday weekend. Up early on Sunday and was on the ferry at 9.10 and it left at 9.15. It goes to the Isle of Fehmarn which is where Jimi Hendrix had his last official show in 1970, I played Hey Joe as I drove through the boring flat landscape and decided to miss the huge duty free shop that was crowded with hordes of people with trolleys stacked high with lager. Not sure where the duty free bit comes in as the border is between two EC countries but it was doing phenomenal trade.

You can soon tell you are in Germany as there are more roadworks than clear roads. I measured at least 15 miles of almost stationary traffic around Hamburg but fortunately it was in the opposite direction. We are forever being squeezed into two very narrow lanes when the other carriageway is closed off.

OK, now in a service station which fortunately seems to sell more than just burgers and has wifi, not free but I needed to do some updating. After refreshments I will be heading again to the Hook of Holland but doubt whether I will be there until tomorrow and then I will have to see if there is a reasonably priced ticket for the crossing to Harwich. If not I will head further round the coast and come across on one of the channel ferries.

Oh, and Mathilde is not yet four and seemed to love exploring the campervan, I think her parents might be hassled to get one for her!


Monster said...

Paul, just catching up with your trip; thanks for the tour and letting us share this journey with you. I've really enjoyed it.

Auntie Betty said...

A bit homesick eh??? That's rather sweet!

You missed a humdinger (or did you?) on Sunday in Canada - kept us going on the Forum for nearly 5 hours !!!

Safe journey home.

Auntie Betty

Anonymous said...

Interesting about the McDonalds. The lack of choice reminds me of my trip down part of the AlCan highway in Alaska. If you did not like reindeer sausage, there was very little to eat in some places. Fruit and vegetables was either preserved/canned or very expensive fresh.


Sarah said...

Delighted to report that Paul and Fluffy are home safe and sound and will be updating their blog shortly. I missed them too.

Auntie Betty said...

Great news !! He might be absent for a while as he has RATHER a lot to catch up with on the F1 forum !!!

Thanks, Paul, loved reading your blog and looking at the beautiful photos.

Auntie Betty

Anonymous said...

welcome home Paul (and Fluffy). Can understand how you and Sarah missed each other. Congratulations to P, F and the van for completing the epic journey and getting back safely.

Agree about the Finnish roads, they are generally pretty good. A few speed cameras in some very bizarre locations though.

The duty free shop is in Germany for the benefit of the Danes. The alcohol duty in Denmark is so high that serious drinkers can save by going to Germany and buying in bulk. Some Brits used to go to Calais for the same reason - perhaps still do.

Will catch up with you soon I hope.



sassi said...

Hi Paul, thanks for visiting us. It was very nice to see you. And thank you for the sweet present to Mathilde, she is very happy with her mice and cheese:-) Hope you had a good trip back to England. See you!
Susanne, Bjarni & Mathilde