Thursday, 9 June 2011

Wednesday 8th June

Off we go again on the 93 which is the best surfaced Norwegian road I have driven on for a week or more. By 9.00 am I had crossed the border to Finland. The scenery was the same, forests of birch or fir or both, lakes, wide rivers but there was something different, the road surface was superb! I wondered whether they had just been more diligent near to the border but the whole way through (over 200 miles) showed that they made a real effort to keep the roads in good order. Yes, of course there was some minor damage but nothing that caused any concern. I would see ribbons or patches of new black tarmac coming up where repairs had been done and waited for the bumps but they were hardly if at all noticeable. Excellent repairs. Was it because we were further south and there was less damage from the weather? I don't think so as when we crossed over into Sweden, even though the roads weren't as bad as Norway's they were definitely worse than in Finland, well done the Finns!

Last look back at Norway for now.

You probably think I'm going on about roads a bit too much but when you are trying to clock up the mileage each day it is very high in importance but enough about them for now.

I decided to have half past tenses and saw a cafe/souvenir shop which seemed to be offering a bargain so stopped.

Coffee and this cake was had for the grand total of one Euro. If I had been less extravagent and had a doughnut with the coffee instead it would have cost 50 Euro Cents! Probably it's that price to draw in the punters to the shop and it worked but their prices were reasonable as well.

More friends for Fluffy.

Back through the Arctic Circle and as it had been signed for a while I thought I would have a good lunch there. Unfortunately, even though the people were very friendly it seems that cooked food isn't available for another two weeks so I had to make do with a Pepsi and a sandwich. I chose a Pepsi from the fridge as the weather has turned remarkably warm all of a sudden.

Just remembered that when we stopped at the Arctic Circle Centre on the way up through Norway (remember the snowstorm?) I did ask if there was similar centre on the way back through Sweden as that was where I thought I would be returning. Turned out the assistant I asked was Swedish and he thought that there was nothing so big as the Norwegian place, his words. "We will probably just sell you a hotdog". Cynicism is alive and well in the Swedish culture and as I came through in Finland I never even had the hotdog.

Stopping beside another river I saw this interesting building, not sure what it was, maybe someone's fishing hut.

Despite the satnavs ever increasing insistence that I should turn right into Sweden I decided to carry on down to the Gulf of Bothnia on the Finnish side and cross over from Tornio. First major building I saw when entering Sweden.

Went in and bought 4 basic door mats (about 50p each!) and had their meal of the day.

Stopped for the night at a campsite in Norffjarden near to the water, lovely spot but of course what with the change in weather the mosquitos were active.

Fluffy saying thank you to the camp attendant, take that how you will.


Auntie Betty said...

From the look in the Camp Attendant's eyes, I guess he's thinking "Another mad Englishman!!!!"

Fluffy looks a bit tense, I think !

Auntie Betty

Sarah said...

Oooh! Daddy went to Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden (and a few other places as well) and we're each going to get a new doormat!

I love that fishing hut. I bet it would win a gold at Chelsea.

Anonymous said...

Just catching up with your trip. Congratulations!! Have a safe journey home. Tim & Selina

adrian-w said...

AH Sarah, but not just any door mat..... An IKEA doormat!

The bergenias outside that fishing hut would do well at Chelsea, a great display.

Sue & Richard said...

Enjoyed reading all about the trip so far! Hope you're preparing a talk for MADGC on Nordic plants!!
Hope the rest of the trip goes well. Sue & Richard