Roadtrip through Sweden from the south to the far north
Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will – Suzy Kassem
Is it possible to jump into an RV in the southern parts of Sweden (Blekinge), drive up through the country into the far north, turn around back south again and having fun while doing it? This was exactly what I did during the summer of 2017 together with my wife and two dogs. In all, we spent 20 days on the road and I had the time of my life. Keep reading to get the whole story.
I am pretty fresh when it comes to RV’s and living on the road. This was not my first journey with an RV but it was by far my longest one (yet). In 2016 I drove the exact same RV all the way to Stekenjokk before we had to turn back home again to arrive in time for work again. The year before that we went on the roads again for some well-deserved rest and relaxation, but we aimed for Norway instead of Sweden. Our vehicle that time was a regular car and we slept in everything from the trunk of the car (yes, together with two dogs and all our packing) to 4-star hotel right next to the beautiful, breathtaking fjords. We spent a week driving up and down the tourist-friendly roads of Norway before going back to Sweden again.
This year we have a little more experience and we have a little more time on our hands. Stress kills the fun in most activities and we really don’t want that, do we?
More time on the road
During the 2016 trip I used 15 of my 25 paid vacation days on the road, during this trip, I aimed to spend a little more time on the road. For the first time in my life I took out 4 consecutive vacation weeks and I wanted to spend most of that time on the road or at least close to it.
I am a worried soul by nature but I try not to be. The best way to grow as a human being is outside of one’s comfort zone. My comfort zone has been rather narrow and small for quite some time and this trip is my way of trying to expand it. I am a huge control freak and the thought of leaving anything to chance almost scares me. Therefore it is a huge relief to just pack up my wife, my dogs, and some belongings and venture out into the unknown without any strict plans. Who knows where we would end up, I don’t, and I am not ready to walk away curious.
The thought of driving all these miles through Sweden
I really enjoy driving cars. I am not quite as happy as a passenger though. Probably the control-freak in me that disagrees with sitting behind the wheel doing nothing but “enjoying the ride”. No thank you, please let me drive. My wife doesn’t really mind traveling in the passenger seat and together we have driven several thousand kilometers during our years together. Driving has turned out to be one of the ways we spend quality time together.
Deep inside I think I am some kind of hippie, the thought of me and my family all alone in the wilderness somewhere is very appealing. I don’t want to spend all my vacation on a campsite somewhere. I don’t have anything against neither campsites or people choosing to spend their time on them. I have done it too and a couple of nights on this trip will probably be spent on such an establishment.
The comfort of having access to electricity, warm water, and a laundry room are all good reasons to spend time at a campsite, but the thought of an RV, according to me at least, is that you really don’t need those things. We have solar panels on the roof for electricity, fresh water can be pumped from numerous locations all over the country and clean clothes is a bit overrated. Well, not really. But almost.
Staying away from the big roads
Since this trip is all about experiences and seeing new surroundings and even meeting new people I will do my best to stay away from the busiest roads. Both for our sake and for all the people who need to use the public roads for other reasons than just driving around for the sake of it. My guess is that when you are in a hurry and driving a big truck the last thing you want to be stuck behind is an RV with two vacationers fiddling around on the roads for pure enjoyment.
With all this in my mind, I turned over the ignitions and started the engine. After the standard check to see if all the drawers and cabinets were locked we slowly rolled out from our driveway and took aim somewhere up north. We started our journey around 12.00 and decided to drive for a bit until I got tired and then find somewhere to stay for the night.
Swedish Roadtrip – Day 1: From Mörrum to Kråkeryd
We are going on an adventure!
The beginning of this trip with no clear goal was when I turned the key in the ignition and sat back in the driving seat while putting the gear in Drive. That’s right. Our Hymer is equipped with some sort of automatic transmissions which can be somewhat manually controlled to aid in braking with the engine during those long downhills we eventually would find ourselves on. If you take it a little easy on the right foot and plan your driving you can get away with spending around 0,9 liter diesel per 10 kilometers driven.
Money spent on diesel is money not spent on anything else so I did my best to really drive economic and I believe I succeeded. The mileage per liter stayed the same almost through the entire journey.
When planning a trip with no clear end goal it is hard to make up things to go. I looked up a few places all around the country and wrote them down in a notebook. My intentions were to have some planned secrets but after a while, I just forgot about the notebook and let chance and coincidence guide me and the RV. We did manage to make one planned stop during the later stages of our journey, but more about that in a later part of this multi-page-post.
Day one did not have any adventures hidden away from us. The day was mostly designated to driving. We spent a little more than 4 hours on the road this first day including food stops and some pauses for the dogs and the odometer told me that we had driven 288 kilometers when I parked at a small parking space in the middle of a national park near one of the biggest lakes in Sweden.
Where the polkagris is made
A popular candy in Sweden is the polkagris. In the English speaking parts of the world, you know this candy as a candy cane. In Gränna the worlds finest polkagris are made and we always stop by the factory whenever we are in these parts of the country. A little further north of the polkagris factory is where we stayed for the night.
We have this beautiful thing in Sweden called Allemansrätten which basically means that you can stop, spend the night and do almost whatever you like outside in nature as long as you do not disturb anyone or camp too close to any buildings.
If you are a landowner you just have to accept that on any given day you might find campers and other people walking around on your land. They might even set up camp for the night somewhere in the forest and then wake up the next day and be on their merry way.
When you are in Sweden you have the right to walk, cycle, ride, ski and camp on any land with the exception of private gardens, near a dwelling house or land under cultivation. We call it the Freedom to Roam.
Read more: Allemansrätt – The Freedom to Roam – Visitsweden
We are not alone
Right next to the parking lot we found some sheep in an enclosed pasture. The fence of the pasture was right next to our vehicle and the curious sheeps all took their spot next to the fence and watched us set up camp for the night. We had arrived about an hour before sunset so before we started making dinner and kick off our shoes we decided to take our dogs and check out our surroundings.
Click on the images for a larger view
The main purpose of this blog is to showcase my photos and one of the reasons I wanted to drive up the great north is to take more photos.
Therefore I unpacked my camera for the first time during our trip and took some photos of the sheep and the great viewpoint. Sadly, the sunset was rather cautious and we didn’t get to see any colorful skies. A small band of lightness next to the horizon was all we got this time.
Click and drag around to check out the viewpoint where we drank our evening coffee before returning to the RV to cook dinner and get ready for bed.
A good nights sleep
Happy with the fact that we were finally on our way I fell asleep early this first night of our journey. We decided to spend a little more time this year in nature instead of just on the roads. To do this we decided to spend the first few days of our trip driving rather hard. We were eager to see new places and meet new people instead of the same old stuff we always see while driving around down here in the southern region of the country.
The main language of this photoblog is Swedish. I translate most of the posts to English as a linguistical exercise. Therefore you will find that the amount of posts written in Swedish is much larger than the ones written in English. Just press the Swedish flag in the navigation menu to switch over to the Swedish version of the blog if you want to read more about me and my photography.
You may not understand everything that is written but you can still view the images.