Okay, so we finally begin the actual main road trip itself. Our first leg of the trip involved going from Halmstad on the West Coast of Sweden (where we live) to a place called Nynäshamn, about an hour south of Stockholm on the East Coast. The intention was to leave mid Monday afternoon and get there at night. But in reality, we overestimated our ability to be ready on time by a good eight hours, and left at about midnight.
I guess it was to be expected. Four of us sharing a car, a caravan and a tent attached to the side of the cabin – there was a lot of stuff to organise, put away securely, things that needed checking they still functioned. But eventually at midnight we took off, deciding it was still worth making a start on the trip so that we wouldn’t wake up with the whole thing still left to do.
At about 3 in the morning, exhausted and a little over half way there, we decided to make a pit stop for the rest of the night in the luxury accommodation of some random car park we found. One thing about Sweden is their very loose laws about where you can stop for the night in a caravan. Almost the entire country is in fact legally available, within reason (obviously you can’t go blocking the driveways of people or businesses, or stop in the middle of the road or somewhere fenced off entirely, but you get the gist). There were quite a few other caravans who had stopped here overnight, too, so it seems to be quite common. A few hours later, the sun well and truly up, we went to the supermarket to get some food, had a quick breakfast, and took back off for the rest of the journey.
By lunch time we finally got to our destination, which turned out to be this really cute little seaside camping site. We got one of the last spots and set ourselves up nicely towards the top of the hill sloping down to the beach, which was useful in that we were a tiny bit closer to the shops and the train station, both of which we would need to use. The camping site wasn’t too bad – we had electricity (something we really needed, camping there for 3 days and for 2 weeks in total around the country), there was a little restaurant/bar which we never used, and on the beach there was water slides and diving boards which we never got around to using sadly. Next time.
The second day of our stay there, we shot off to Stockholm for the day and I took so many pictures there and saw so much that it needs probably two full blog posts just to cover it, so the third and fourth posts of this series will be on that before we head up north. But, as I said, we stayed in Nynäshamn for 3 days, so back to Nynäshamn! On the Thursday, we wandered into town with the dogs and even took them to a dog cafe, which was quite a cute idea even if one of them went a little bit loopy and knocked over the water bowl put down for her everywhere. Luckily, I suspect the owner of the place was fairly used to that sort of thing. The rest of the town was sweet but tiny, and for some reason I didn’t take any photos of it – oops! Oh well, you’ll see plenty of other towns in the later blog posts so I’m sure you’ll get by. Or you could image search it if you’re really curious.
On the Friday, we had to leave by midday and that morning decided just to go on a walk around the coastline for an hour or so. Two hours later, we were completely lost. Nynäshamn is connected to a lot of other little islands, and somehow when we decided to return home we ended up on a path that was going to take us the really really long way back, around several other islands. The scenery was gorgeous, to be fair, and we got plenty of exercise in the whole process. But there was definitely a moment where we seriously worried whether or not we would find our way back to the camping site at all, especially as one person we asked for directions sort of pointed us in the wrong direction too. But we got there in the end…or did we? No, we did. It was fine. Honest.
Coming up next on my road trip blog, our day in Stockholm will be covered in a ridiculous amount of detail before we move on to the High Coast of Sweden, which perhaps in a lot of ways was the most memorable experience of the entire trip.