83 – Friday in Frederikstad
More running, followed by packing up and using the emptying and refilling station on the campsite. We are hammered on toll roads as we are over 3.5 tons … somewhere around 3 times a car toll, so we set Sally Sat Nav for toll free. No idea how much she saved us, but the views were prettier than the main road and motorway, if slower and bendier.
We had been ‘collecting’ Norwegian beer and cider cans. You pay a ‘Pant’ (deposit) on them and then post the empties into a machine that prints a credit note for use in the supermarket. The machines cleverly spot fakes … it rejected a Finnish Fosters can. K went in with two bags full and came out with the tinies value in milk and cheese spread. We did well leaving Finland with only about 50p in local currency; K had looked for something for 6 NOK, but could not find anything that cheap!
We stopped off at Frederikstad. K thinks it vaguely familiar .. Must ask Mutt if we visited this … she WILL know. It is incredibly twee and pretty, but worth the stop. It was a fort for over 300 years. Cafes and craft shops now; see the crochet bench below. K had to explain to James that there is always room for an ice cream or cheese as they go into a different stomach. He was eventually persuaded to have an ice cream so K could … too embarrassed to pay for only one using a card!
And so to Sweden, once more.
We have parked up off the main roads in an archipelago overlooking the Tjorn bridge, which opened in 1960. A disaster in the 1980s when it was destroyed by a ship in mist, who could not alert anyone for 45 mins that the bridge was down. 8 people died in cars that drove onto the bridge … and off.
84 – Saturday: Another Archie Pelago
We decided to stay on the island and explore a bit. The plan had been to go onto Gothenburg, which is the 2nd city of Sweden and had 4 pages in the guide book to denote its importance. However, we were feeling a little citied out after our two days in Oslo. And the weather looked fair … time to enjoy being outside. We drove to the the tourist information in the main town on the island and picked up a cycling map and were told there was the annual harbour festival going on. We had a wee dander down there and an ice cream (separate stomach, remember!). What was really lovely to see was there was not a booze bar in sight. Lots of coffee and cake, music (including the diesel engine for the country and western railroad sound), local produce and arts and crafts stalls, old wooden sailing ships with joyful bunting. People were having a really good time without the need to get off their faces.
The whole of the Swedish Ford Mustang Club had convened and James was finally towed away.
Lunch back in Chardonnay and call it a reaction to warm weather, but we both went for a nanny nap. The bike ride became a distant non-reality. We drove to the sculptures / ancient burial mounds and then decided not to go in as it was £8 each. Just as well we had not cycled after all!!!
Back to our pitch of last night and the view of the Tjorn Bridge. A BBQ at the picnic tables – lovely.
85 – Sunday: Driving to Denmark and Hamlet castle
Little to report … we drove, passing Gothenburg …. this will be another trip. Arrived at the dock for the boat to Helsingor DK… paid £72 and boarded almost immediately. Castle in view on arrival so we followed our noses and parked up between it and a marina. We had a leg stretch around the very pretty town and fair gawped at what seemed really cheap prices.
Another motorhome had checked it out with locals… yes it was free. The toilets were free. The chemical toilet disposal was free. And the water was free. And yet, the castle car park next door was fee paying and packed! We did laundry and both showered … it makes such a difference knowing you can replenish water supplies the next day really easily.
86 – Monday: Ferry Unexpected Ferry
We wandered into the town to replace part of James’ e cigarette and by the time we had done this it was properly raining (again). Our urge to visit the castle was washed away. Something about the rain as we feel we should use the day as a driving day … so we did. Replenished water and set the sat nav for fastest route to Bordeaux, near our destination for 12 days time to meet up with K’s family.
It was not until the symbol of a ferry came up, that we became aware that Sally Sat Nav was taking us down to Rodby for the ferry to Germany … we had expected to go across the Storbaelt and Little Baelt – island hoping through Denmark. A quick phone call to Scandlines and J discovered that the 45 min crossing was less than we had thought it might be … £85. Given the Storbaelt bridge was £36 we decided to go for it. Unfortunately, we had a 2.5 hrs delay as one of the boats had broken down, fortunately we could see it gaping hull in the dock, so no one was stranded at sea. We took a thrown together salad up onto the boat and, as it was 9.00 p.m. when we alighted, we headed almost immediately to a Stellplatz in Burg auf Fehmarn. Stellplatz are motorhome parkings in Germany. Sometimes they charge and often have sanitary services and electricity. We had to do a wander and get coins for the parking ticket of EUR10 … does this count as a campsite? We have stayed in campsites for only 22 nights and in a fee charging marina for 2 nights. Pretty good going.
87 – Tuesday: Shorts and Driving
Exercised and K spotted really cheap shorts and trousers in the centre of Burg – she was definitely not moving fast enough! Given she is using string to hold some up, it really was time to replace some items in her wardrobe. After breaky we set off and returned with 3 pairs of shorts and one pair 3/4 length trousers – all for a grand total of £32. We do like Germany and its prices. The town offered multiple choices of lunch for around EUR10. We also stopped at Lidl and bought fuel on the way. As we departed, the queues to get into the town were humungous. Mostly S and some DK plates all on a much cheaper than home shopping spree.
A driving day and the rain came and went and returned and left again. Was K too optimistic in buying shorts?
Having decided to stop by 7.00 p.m., we found a free Parking … with free, if slow, wifi, at a place called Neuss (nice and free) Ski Hallen.