We left Sweden over a week ago, have traveled through Denmark again for a few days, and are now in Germany. On our last evening in Sweden, we are sat on the beach and I can see the orison bridge dissapearing off in the distance and I think we can see Copenhagen in the pastel shades of far away. I feel like perhaps we haven’t given Sweden enough of a chance. I feel this with most places to be honest, but I feel it more keenly now than I have previously.
Perhaps it is because we raced from Oslo to Stockholm, then Stockholm to the west coast again. Our plans to then slow down quickly changed by discovering a diesel leak, and the oil leak our van had, looking even worse. Or perhaps I’m not sure if we’ve actually SEEN Sweden. Have we really taken it in?
We did find a few great places to stay in our time here at least. A lake to swim in on the first night,a peaceful canal with tiny wild strawberries just outside the van door the second,and one of Craig’s old clients kindly put us in touch with her brother who lived just outside Stockholm.
He and he’s wife were very generous to us strangers and let us park on their land, which happened to be just across the road from the royal palace! We spent a couple days with this as our base to explore, a very hot, Stockholm, with the added benefit of being able to jump in the lake at the bottom of their home each evening after returning, tired and sweaty. They made us feel very welcome and were so interesting to sit and chat with.
Leaving Stockholm we decided to find another lake to swim in and discovered a place near a national park, that although it was busy in the day, it was lovely in the evening with a community of vans. We talked to the most people here since the start of our trip. So this, along with the ability of swimming in a very beautiful and refreshing lake, enticed us to stay two nights.
With a predicted day of rain the following day, though, we drove some miles and stoped at a campsite, not to be recommended, before visiting the Ikea museum th next day, to be recommended.This is where we discovered the diesel leak. And so a very worrying drive to the coast ensued.
We had no idea what would need to happen to fix the van. Could we patch it up? Would we need a new engine? Or more stressful still, would we need to cancel our travels and head back to the UK? Our van is our home, our vehicle, the main piece of the puzzle to allow us to do what we are doing. When it goes wrong, you realise how much you rely on it.
Luckily, another friend put us in touch with one of their friends and luckily, they lived close by! And even more luck for us, they are wonderful people. So the negative of having to get the van fixed turns into a positive and being able to spend time with this welcoming family in Lund actually turns out to be the highlight of Sweden.
They helped find a mechanic, let us use their little pool (very welcome during the mid day heat), and we enjoyed a good couple of nights of food, drinking, and being merry.
So we left Sweden via Malmo over the Øresund bridge, with a somewhat patched up van, but more importantly a warm feeling in our hearts from the genoristy and kindness of people we hardly knew taking us under their wing. The time we spent with them will always be a fond memory of Sweden and the kindness of people to help when you need it.