Sunday, 17 June 2018

Our Scandinavian Tour - Day 37 - 40

Thursday 14th June 2018  ⛅⛅☁☁☁ but no rain
72 Miles from Borensberg to Orebro
Parking coordinates  59.27751, 15.2536

Not much to say today because I think I've already gone on enough about the Gota Canal😂, but I have just 'gota' tell you we had one more viewing of it at the town of Motala today. There the canal leaves Lake Boren, and via another series of old locks, it reaches it's highest point at Lake Vattern - and while we were there we quite enjoyed watching several yachts being hoisted up 15.3 metres via the series of 5 locks that collectively bear the name Borenshult.  And interestingly the middle lock is inscribed with the names of two building supervisors who wanted to be remembered for their contribution.  The north wall has the name Byggmastare W Barack chiselled into it and the south has Arbetsledare And Sohlen, but I think they might both turn in their graves if they could see all the 🥒leaks🥒 in the 190 ish year old structures!

Once our viewing was complete we had coffee in the car park beside the canal and watched the boats we'd seen in the locks earlier bob out at the top.

Then we trundled off to our next destination which was a free camper stop just outside the town of Orebro - but really it's nothing to write home about!!  There were several other 'decent' vans there but we ended up parked next to an old green bus that had certainly seen better days and didn't look as if it'd been moved in a very long time!  But hey ho, the forward view was of a pretty swimming lake and as we were only there for one night the neighbours didn't really matter as long as they were quiet!

Friday 15th June 2018 🌞🌞⛅⛅⛅⛅
Mileage - 131 from Orebro to Dalarna Campsite near Sifferbo
Parking Coordinates 60.55037, 15.22494

This morning we left our free camping spot after declining a quick dip in the swimming lake - but one of our German neighbours braved it, and after her quick dip she even ducked under the very cold beach shower!!  Brave lady!

Is it an Elk or is it a Moose?
Today's target was the Province of Dalarna and to get there we needed to take Route 66, but it was a slightly different to the one  that the badge represents 😂.  Instead of oceanic views we had ones of millions of trees, huge sparkling lakes, but sadly none of the animals that the road signs warned might get in our way!!

Dalarna is apparently often described as 'Sweden in Miniature', and as we travelled further north the 'texture' of the landscape certainly changed to more of what we had been expecting Sweden to be like.  The area was originally made famous by the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen, and as we peeked into the deep dark forests it was  quite easy to see how they inspired him for any number of fairy stories.

I've left home!
For example, one of the areas that we wanted to visit was called Trolldalen, and the tale there goes that in times gone by the valley was home to a group of trolls who  terrorised the nearby village of Bjorka.  But eventually the Trolls made a pact with the villagers - that they would leave Trolldalen if any man could fell a big tree over seven Thursdays with seven axe strikes per day.  Its said that a local man succeeded and the trolls have not been seen since. Unfortunately we couldn't go and investigate for ourselves because there was no where to park, but if the Trolls had cleared off it was probably a waste of time anyway!!

T4rdis2's lunch spot by the calm part of river Vasterdalalven
We did however visit Fanforsen - a 600 metre long rapid on the massive Vasterdalalven river where the water spectacularly drops nearly 9 metres.  The river bed, and in places the banks as well, are strewn with boulders of varying sizes that obstruct the waters and make them run fast and furiously downstream.

After our journey was complete we settled into a campsite right on the banks of the Vasterdalalven River and tomorrow our plan is to be off out on foot to explore more of this lovely area.  Oh, and just out of interest, we're now on a similar latitude to the Skerries way up above Scotland and the weather is still mostly treating us very well!!

Saturday 16th June 2018  🌞⛅⛅⛅☁⛅⛅
About 10 walking miles today

Well, today didn't quite work out as we planned, and I suppose we could have classed it as a bit of a disappointment, but the sun shone, we're both very well and even though we didn't get to see what we wanted too we had a pleasant walk and plenty of exercise - so really we shouldn't complain!!

We set off on foot aiming for a place called Djurmo Klack - our guide book had recommended it because it's a nature reserve where we should have been able to walk right up to a 400 metre precipice that would have given us fantastic views along the Vasterdalalven River and surrounding countryside. However, after we'd walked uphill through pine and broad leaf forest for a little over two miles we were halted in out tracks because the area was closed to protect the nesting birds.  Apparently there are caves on the rock face that are home to eagle owls and peregrine falcons and every year from March to July access is banned while the birds hatch and fledge
This is what we should have seen!
Falu-rod as the paint is known in Sweden gets it's name and colour
from the red pigment at Falun copper mine where the paint has been
manufactured since 1764.  The mine closed in 1992 but the
red paint is still made there to this day!
With no other choice we retraced our steps back down the hill, and then stopped for a break while we tried to suss out if there was an alternative interesting walk we could take - we thought maybe we should head down to the river side.  So off we trotted through more forested areas, then through some residential streets (where nearly all the houses were the traditional red), and finally down a lane that did indeed lead us to the water's edge. But it was a dark swampy area that was heaving with big hairy mosquitoes who were determined to drink our blood - there was no way we could have sat there to eat our lunch without being half eaten ourselves!

This resulted in more backtracking and with me dragging my sulky bottom lip along with me!  But when John finally found us a sunny spot high up above a lake where there were no bugs in sight my normal happy disposition soon returned😊!  And after we'd scoffed our picnic we decided we'd gone quite far enough for one day so we aimed our foot falls back towards the campsite and enjoyed the rest of the partially sunny afternoon in T4rdis2's company.

Sunday 17th June 2018 🌧️☔☁️🌧️☁️☔🌧️⛈️⛈️
Just 16 miles in T4rdis2 and maybe 2 on 👣
Parking Coordinates  60.50797, 14.79943

Today's activities were more or less governed by our need to get more LPG gas!  We're not desperate yet, we've still got enough to last about 4 days but over here in Sweden it's a fairly rare commodity.  John's located a place where we should be able to get it in nearby Falun (at a diving centre), but it isn't open on Sunday's, so therefore we need to wait till tomorrow to fill up before we move away from this area.  So really we'd got a choice - we could either stay on the campsite (at a cost of about £25 a night), or we could move to a free spot in the village of Dala Floda, and as we wanted to see the village anyway it was an easy decision to make.

Tonight's Wild Camp Spot
The Wooden Bridge is where 'The Cow Party' is celebrated every year - a
celebration for Midsummer's Day
However, as the weather was so wet we dawdled about on the campsite and didn't move until about 11ish and then we nipped a short distance to Alvmotet which is a promontory at the confluence between the Osterdalalven and Vasterdalalven Rivers - apparently a romantic spot where many couples come to propose.  But on this wet Sunday morning it seemed more like a place where your main concern would be dodging the large bands of marauding mosquitoes !!

Bite Score so Far  John 21  and Me 0 😂😂

So as you would imagine we were soon back in the van and heading for tonight's resting place from where we have lovely views of the river on one side and of the Church with it's well kept cemetery (where lots of other people rest) on the other - I'm sure the neighbours won't be keeping us awake tonight😴😴.

Our perch also gives us an excellent view of the red wooden hanging bridge that provides a single wooden track for light traffic to cross the river.  In times gone by it used to be a floating bridge that consisted of several rafts across the river - I certainly wouldn't have liked to try and cross that with T4rdis2's 3 and a half ton weight!  This was replaced in 1916 by the first hanging bridge but that burned down in the early 1980's, and then it wasn't till a few years later that the present bridge was built.

Around lunch time there was a bit of a lull in the rain so we quickly took advantage to nip out for a stroll across the bridge - but each time a car crossed we had to tuck our toes in to prevent them from getting squashed.  However, we did make it safely to the other side, and from there we walked along the opposite river bank until we came to an old pedestrian wooden suspension that bounced and swayed as we crossed back.

Then we had just enough time to run back to T4rdis2 before the rain set in properly for the rest of the day!  Anyway, that just about brings us up to date, but please keep your 🤞🤞that we're successful in our quest for LPG tomorrow because then we can continue our journey for another 2 weeks without any further deviation or delay.

PS following our walk I have to change my Bite Score because one of the little 'bleeders' bit me through my clothes 😧

John 21  Me 1


 Click here to see our Swedish Camping spots