Sweden

Road Trip Spring 2011 ~ May 12th to May 18th

All is well that ends well.

Back at home from our road trip which I had been looking sooo much forward to. It was supposed to be an exciting, unforgettable two week experience.

I had made plans for the routes to drive already for weeks, actually months. Just like in the spring 2009 we would take the ferry from Naantali to Kapellskär. An 8 h crossing. We would stay one night at hubby’s cousin in Skåne. Then continue through Denmark, Germany and France. In France we had planned to visit Paris. I had e.g. looked up several nice camping sites only about 20-30 minute by  metro or train to the Eiffel Tower.

Some days before we left I suggested to Lefa why don’t we skip Paris and go to Mulhouse instead. There is a very famous car museum, Cité de l’Automobile. Many, many old Bugatti, Ferrari, Rolls-Royce etc. I recalled a very nice slideshow we saw last fall shot by a married couple who had visited the museum. They and hubby belong to the same museum automobile club here.  Mulhouse is not far away from Zurich so it would be fantastic to go there as neither of us have ever been to Switzerland.

When we had booked the tickets I realized we would be on the road on Friday 13th.  I told hubby, oh no, not Friday the 13th !  Hubby said, so what ! Don’t tell me you believe in those things.  Well, I sure am a bit superstitious and I had a slight nagging uneasy feeling about it.

Another thing that made me feel a bit uncomfortable was a dream I had a few days before the trip. “There was some kind of an explosion. We didn’t know exactly what it was. The unknown danger was approaching us very quickly to then stop just before it hit us.” I woke and felt my heart was beating. In the morning I told my husband about my dream. I told him it was a very unpleasant dream.  He told me to forget about it and not to let it bother my mind. Despite that, the dream was on my mind for many days.

May 12

What ? It’s 4:30 a.m. already ! Yawn ! A quick coffee. Then telling &  waving bye to son and cats.  Filling the tank at the gas station and off to the 170 km drive to Naantali. We were there in good time for check in. Only they had some trouble with the check in program so we had to wait for quite a long time. The ferry actually left 30 min, behind schedule.

The crossing was nice. Smooth. Hardly no wind. The food onboard is good and you may eat as much as you want to. One hour before Kapellskär there was a thunder with heavy rain.  The rainbow was beautiful. You could see both ends of it. I shot a picture through the window. The window was dirty and wet so the picture is no good at all. I should have gone out on the deck. By the time the ferry had docked and was ready to unload the sun was shining again. We decided to drive through Stockholm to Stavsjö to stay the night there.  The same place we stopped at for the nights in 2008 and 2009.  The traffic on E4through Stockholm was jammed. It took us about 45 minutes to get through. We arrived just in time to Stavsjö to make a walk with Canelo before it started to rain. Listening to the rain pattering the roof I fell asleep in no time.

May 13

Hubby was up way too early. He took Canelo out for a quick walk. I tried still to get some more sleep. When they returned from the walk, no more sleep for me as Leif was babbling too much. We were too lazy to make coffee ourselves and Stavsjö would not open until 7 a.m. so we decided to stop at the next open gas station and buy a take away coffee. After a short drive there was one. We filled the tank, had our coffees and were looking forward to soon be driving one of the most beautiful parts of E4. The part between Ödeshög – Jönköping.

We saw the sign Mjölby so I checked the map and told hubby that in about 35 km we are there. BOOOM ! A big, big boom, then a terrible, terrible sound. Oh my goodness. My heart beat with fear. Hubby shouted we got a flat tire. The car skidded. We were on a bridge crossing a road. Hubby got the car to a halt. We both turned to look back. The floor was filled with some white stuff and also some other stuff. We hopped out to see the damage. Yes, the tire had exploded ! The rim was damaged too. There was a lot of all kind of fragment on the road behind us. Hubby went to tidy the most of it away. Back into the car we took the bed apart. There was a huge hole in the floor. Oh my God. I was trembling.

This was not the first time we had a flat tire. Once I was behind the wheel driving our old camper. But this was pretty bad. Would we be able to drive with a big hole. You could see the damaged tire and the road. The floor and bench chipboard practically became sawdust. I was shocked. Only about 7:50 am but the E4 traffic already was hard. We would not be able to change to the spear tire. Hubby said we better call for help. He called the 112.  They informed the police who sent an assistance truck. While waiting for the help I was wondering how to get back home. We could leave the camper but all the stuff we have with us. The truck arrived. The guy checked the situation. Ooops, our spare tire was way too bad. He said it is best the other one of us go with him to a garage to buy a new tire and rim. He then changed the tire.  I’m so glad we got the help instead of changing the tire ourselves. Of course it cost a bit. But much better and safer this way.

I was still very much shaken. I wanted to turn around and go back home immediately. Leif said we would be able to drive. Neither of us were interested to drive to Switzerland anymore. After going through all pros and cons hubby got me convinced we should drive to stay at his cousin’s in Skåne. We were now halfway between Skåne and Kapellskär. About 350 km. I still was not very happy to go southwards as then we would have about 700 km to drive back to Kapellskär. Eventually I gave in and we continued the E4 southwards.

The lake Vättern view was as stunningly beautiful as always. Also this time a shot some pictures. We arrived at hubby’s cousin in time for afternoon coffee. Then we had to leave for the appointment with a vet (an appointment we already had cancelled and then rebooked because of the incident with the tire). According to new regulations Canelo had to be treated for Echinococcus multilocularis by a veterinary.

The veterinary situated only about 10 km from hubby’s cousin. We all three, hubby, me and Canelo met our first pet pig named Svinto. She or was it he was a very nice acquaintance. I don’t know what Canelo though Svinto was. Probably he thought what a strange dog. The vet was, like Leif, very talkative, both babbling at the same time 🙂

While we were at the vet Britt, hubby’s cousin had made a delicious dinner. As we had a long hard day we soon after went to sleep. Again, raining so even I still could not let the car incident off my mind I fell asleep to the rain pattering the roof.

May 14

Opened my eyes. Yes. Sunshine today. Happy Anniversary ! Married for 44 years. Today we were going to visit Britt’s son’s place. We visited the place in 2008. Britt the told us that their son would move in there with his, then girlfriend, now wife. Britt’s husband have made a huge fantastic job to enlarge the house a little and also modernize it. It was a lovely place in 2008 but it is even more lovely now.

In the evening there was the European Song Contest live broadcast. Guess who fell asleep after only ten songs. Yes. I was unable to keep my eyes open. Must have been the rain, once again, pattering the roof.

Tomorrow we are heading back home.

May 15

When we arrived on Friday Britts’ husband told us that on Sunday he would have a look at our car. He said he might be able to fix some of the damage. He took away everything. The carpet, the rest of the bench etc. Geeez ! What a nasty hole ! He is such a fantastic guy. I really believe there is nothing in the world he can’t fix. He was working all day long, sawing, drilling, hammering, nailing. He was in the car, under the car. Of course it was raining by and by. The poor guy got all dirty and wet.  In the afternoon he had made us a new floor and a bench. Amazing ! WOW ! I was so happy and grateful that I almost fell in tears. Now I would be able to relax a little bit on the way home.

We left at 5 p.m.  We decided to drive via Hallandsåsen. A ridge, about 220 meters above sea level. We had been driving the Hallandsåsen about 40 years ago. The view at the top was beautiful. Now by the time we were “climbing” the ridge there was a heavy downpour. That was disappointing. No pictures. Or let’s put it this way. Bad, bad pictures !

After about a 240 km drive it was already getting pretty dark. We stopped at a gas station to stay the night.  Again, Leif was able to take Canelo for a quick walk before it started to rain. We wanted to watch the ice hockey WM final Sweden/Finland. Unfortunately we were unable to get a good TV picture. We listened to the radio. Guess what ! Yes, as every night, the rain was pouring. The pattering made it’s magic. I fell asleep when it was 4-1 to Finland. Heh-heh.

May 16

First thing in the morning we switched the TV on. Yes, perfect picture now. Must have been the rain messing up the picture last night. We now saw on the news that Finland won the Championship. Nice 🙂  Well done boys !

Today Leif is going to visit the Husqvarna Industrial Museum. Husqvarna factory have been producing lots of different items in their over 300 year history. Among other things they have made motorcycles. I don’t remember for how many years Leif have wanted to visit the museum. I guess ever since he bought a “Husqvarna Silverpilen” motorcycle. This sure would be the highlight, the main attraction of this trip.  He was staying there for 2,5 h ! He was very happy and enthusiastic when coming back to the car. Meantime Canelo and I we were making a long walk. The surroundings there are very beautiful. There was a path called “Pustaleden”. The view from high up at the top must be wonderful. After climbing the path for a little while I had to tell Canelo I’m not going to be able to make it to the top. Too much “pusta” (puffing and and breathing) for me. We turned back which was just perfect timing as it started to rain. We made it back to the car without getting too wet.

Leif called the ferry company to rebook our return. We wished to go back Tuesday morning.  They said sorry, Tuesday, fully booked. Wednesday morning is OK. Well now we would have the time to visit some of the museums Britt had recommend. In the end I got it my way to drive as close to Kapellskär to stay there till Wednesday morning. We found a nice campsite to stay the night. Only some 15 kilometers from Kapellskär and some 15 kilometers from Norrtälje. Very nice and confortable after staying the nights at the gas stations.

May 17

We spent a wonderful day in Norrtälje. The old town is beautiful. The weather was nice. We strolled around for about 6 hours. Canelo was as happy as we were. We spent the night at an other campsite only 1,5 km from the harbour. We slept well. Of course to the rain drumming the roof.

May  18

Oh what a wonderful morning. Sunshine from a clear blue sky. I went for a walk with Canelo. Suddnely, almost in front of us there was a flock of cranes. Why oh why did I not take my camera ! We turned around. Went back for the camera. Well, when we returned all the cranes were gone.

This time there was no problem at the check in. Eight hours later we rolled off the ship for the last 170 km drive home. At home at 21:30. Soooo happy, happy, happy 😀

All is well that ends well 🙂

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