13 November 2020 20:12
Gut, daß ihr den Sturm unbeschadet überstanden habt!
Vielen Dank für's berichten - und euch weiter eine sichere Fahrt in Richtung Griechenland!
16 November 2020 16:34
It is more than 1400 km as the crow flies from the Lofoten islands high up in northern Norway to the most southerly tip of Sweden. You can draw that on a typical map as an almost vertical line. However, if you follow the route on the actual road, you have to take a good few "detours". To put it succinctly: we have done a lot of kilometres over the last few weeks.
We had been looking forward to the Lofoten islands for a long time. But as is often the case, when you have high expectations of something: you’re disappointed. We had to sit out a storm for several days. The bridges were closed and we parked in a small harbour – facing away from the wind which ripped across the islands at up to 120 kilometres an hour. Travelling was arduous and we kept an eye on the weather apps at all times in order to find a relatively calm place in good time.
The landscape on the Lofoten islands is very wild and craggy mountains drop steeply down to the water. That leaves little room for the many campers, so several vehicles always have to share the few parking spaces. The region is very touristy and regulated accordingly. On the islands, we missed the wide-open space, free of people that you can experience elsewhere up here.
That is why we set off back towards the mainland after a few days. After three hours on the ferry we reached the town of Bodø and continued our drive along the coast. The weather on the mainland was noticeably warmer than on the Lofoten. And although there were lots of campers there, they were more spread out. And not forgetting: there is a lot to see because the road leads across many fjords and past glaciers.
On this route there are several short ferry routes. Which is how we came to cross the Arctic Circle on water as we headed south. There is, in fact, a beautiful monument on a rock, but we were “imprisoned” in the cab of our Axor in the bow of the ferry. It was so full that, unfortunately, we couldn’t climb out and only heard the moment we crossed the Arctic Circle over the loudspeakers.
We used the time when it didn’t rain to hike and discover the autumnal landscape. But we had to take precautions: as the hunting season had begun, a few hunters advised us to put a high-vis vest on Aimée so that she wasn’t shot by mistake. Apparently accidents like that happen more often than you think.
Trondheim is around 700 kilometres south of Bodø: it was our first large city since we visited Helsinki a good few weeks ago. Despite the rain we really enjoyed the city which is more than 1000 years old and its colourful houses. From there we continued eastwards and crossed the border to Sweden several hours later before finally reaching the Swedish coast at the Baltic Sea.
Once there, we found a peaceful place to complete some maintenance work – and for the first time in a while do some spring cleaning with the windows and doors wide-open. We have long since got used to our small ten-square-metre living space. But when the weather is bad for a longer period, it is difficult to keep it clean. You just can’t stop dirt being carried in on your shoes. Clean clothes become rare too. We do indeed have a washing machine. But as soon as you hang up the washing in the living area, it gets claustrophobic.
Perhaps you already know: we love “lost places”. That is why the ghost town of Långvinds bruk close to the Baltic Sea was a lovely surprise for us. It dates back to the 16th century and still has a population of around 20. But above all it consists of the ruins of an old ironworks which was driven by hydropower. Iron was smelted and forged here. The iron slag, which is more or less blue stone, was used to build other buildings and the roads. It was fantastic walking through the ruins in the sun, surrounded by that autumn feel.
Next stop: Stockholm! Here we parked our Axor directly in front of the palace where the touring coaches normally stop. The road network in Sweden’s capital is impressive. The old city centre is distributed over several islands, so four-lane roads join them through tunnels and over bridges. So navigating through the city is easy.
On the way to Sweden’s most southerly tip, we visited the royal palace of Tullgarn, walked through national parks on the coast and visited picture-book villages. Here in the south, the red wooden houses, that everyone associates with Sweden, disappear and there are more half-timbered houses – more like those found in Germany.
And this really marked the end of our adventures in northern Europe. By the time you read this we will have crossed the Storebælt bridge, left Denmark behind us and – if everything is going to plan – we’ll be on the road in the direction of Greece. More about that next time here on RoadStars!
A one-of-a-kind journey.
For eleven months, Andrea and Mike Kammermann were on the “4-Xtremes” tour with their Axor. Now they are on an even greater adventure. The pair from Switzerland will be on the road for three years and the RoadStars community will again be joining them on the trip! Always be up-to-date and don’t miss any of the breathtaking destinations that our adventurous couple are heading for.
You can find all the parts from the “4-Xtremes – The World Tour” series here.