Monday, 25 June 2018

Our Scandinavian Tour - Day 45 - 48

Friday 22nd June 2018 🌞🌞☁️🌧️⛅🌧️⛅🌧️
100 miles today from Borgsjo to just above the Hogakustenbron Suspension Bridge at Hoga Kusten
Parking Co-ordinates 62.80414, 17.95138

Today we changed Provinces again - we left Jamtland (but we will be going back), and tracked east into Vasternorrland County, but specifically to the Hoga Kusten area (which translates to High Coast).  And to be exact, the area we're in lies in the Gulf of Bathnia which is the northenmost part of water after the Baltic Sea which is found between Finland's west coast and Sweden's east!

But I'm jumping the gun a bit because I need to tell you about today's journey before I get on to where we've landed.  We left our free parking spot at about 10am and joined the Ljungandalsvagen which is a 30 mile scenic route that more or less runs along side the main E4 but's much prettier and closely follows the Ljungan river for most of the way.

Our first stop along it was at the Vikbron - a lovely wooden bridge, which at nearly 437 feet  is said to be the longest in Sweden.  It dates back to 1888 when it was built by local farmers to avoid paying tolls on another bridge that was only 500 metres upstream, but it was damaged by floods in the summer of 2000, and although it was repaired it has remained closed to all crossings.   It was also another place we could have wild camped - we always seem to find the best ones after the event!

Another sight that was very evident as we traversed along the Ljungandalsvagen was the  Getberget mountain range.  It only stands at about 1000 feet above sea level but it is said that it often provides nesting for both golden eagles and eagle owls - both of which were absent today!

A Rare Breed!
Then just before we finished the route we stopped for coffee in a little marina and got some very strange looks from a couple of gentleman who seemed to be exploring the area!  I think maybe English people are a bit of a rare breed around here - we haven't seen or spoken to any since we've been in Sweden, but to us that hasn't really mattered because, without exception, all the Swedes seem to speak excellent English.

Once we were back on the E4 there was nothing really interesting to report until we got very near to today's destination.  Then the impressive Hogakustenbron bridge which spans the mouth of the Angermanalven River came into view!

It's length is 1,867 metres and it's 17.8 metres wide with pillars that rise up into the air for 180 metres.  It was constructed between 1993 and 1997 and it now claims to be the 14th largest in the world.

T4rdis2 is now sat in another free parking spot overlooking the bridge which I'm sure would be a magnificent sight when it's lit at night - but that might be a bit difficult to see because the length of our day here is 20 hours and 11 mins, and it isn't going properly dark at all!

So maybe a picture of a picture is the best we're going to get!!

Saturday 23rd June 2018 ☁️☁️ but very breezy, then a lovely 🌞🌞🌞🌞 afternoon.
41 miles today from our spot near the Hogakustenbron Suspension Bridge to the Mannaminne Museum and then back again! And later also a couple of walking miles!
Parking Co-ordinates 62.80414, 17.95138

John had spotted some information about the Mannaminne Museum in the guide book we're using and quite fancied a visit, but before we went we hadn't been able to identify anywhere else to park overnight, and as our lovely present (and free) spot wasn't too far away we decided we'd just make the return journey after we'd finished at the museum.

Mannaminne turned out to be quite a quirky place - it's an open air museum that's been developed over the last 30 years by an artist and his wife ( Anders and Barbro Aberg), and it displays collections of all sorts of rubbish  πŸ˜² crafts, arts, work tools, machinery, transport methods, buildings, musical instruments and lots more.  However, it has to be said that much of it had an air of gentle neglect with huge accumulations of dust and rust invading some of the artefacts, and unfortunately, none of the signage was in English.  But we did quite enjoy our visit and along the way we had some giggles when we tried to identify the uses and purposes of many of the objects!

John found a new pet but I told him he couldn't keep it cos it would take up to much space in the van😱
A wall full of old squeeze boxes - but when we tried one all we could get out of it was a loud farting sound!!
A rusty trombone
A village street complete with someone's draws hanging out to dry!
I'm glad I don't have to take my pics with this!
2 old relics - me practising my typing on a machine similar to the one I used in my first job
And another old relic - a car in much need of a little TLC
An old wooden electric washer and mangle - I rally wanted this for T4rdis2 but John said if he couldn't
have the Mammoth I couldn't have the washer😭😭
So I got my own back and wouldn't let him keep the sledge eitherπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
So in the end we came out with nothing - but that's just as well because we haven't got much spare space within the confines of our snug little home.

Once back at the camper stop above the Hogakustenbron Suspension Bridge we had a quick late lunch and then went out for a walk up onto the boulder strewn hillside that rises up behind us.  There was a path of sorts for us to follow but as we went we had to be very careful of all the trip traps that the rugged hillside included.

The path led us upwards and provided ever increasing majestic views of not only the bridge, but also of the Angermanalven River, and more distantly, of the islands and waterways that lead out to the Gulf of Bathnia.

The Angermanalven River

Out towards the Gulf of Bathnia
And now, as I write this we're back in the van but, as happened last night, the camper stop is filling up fast - I think everybody likes a free spot with a stupendous view!

Sunday 24th June 2018.  🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞
Mileage today 28 miles from Hogakustenbron Suspension Bridge to Skuleberget Havscamping near the base of Skuleberget Mountain
Camping Spot co-ordinates  63.06684, 18.36717

Today we headed for a camper stop at the base of Skuleberget Mountain and it turned out to be another idyllic one!  We're right on the water's edge looking out into the Bothnian Bay (which is the top end of the Baltic Sea), and because the sun is shining it's a lovely place to sit and chill.

However, we didn't chill for long because we had a 10 day mountain of washing to do, and because John hadn't allowed me to nick the wooden washer form the museum yesterday it all had to be done by hand!!  And once that was complete we put on our walking shoes and headed 966 feet upwards to the top of the moraine and granite boulder strewn mountain that is Skuleberget.

Before we set off we'd learnt that in the last ice age this area has been covered with a thick layer of ice that had pressed the earth's crust down.  As the ice started to melt the land rose in a process called 'uplift', and that uplift is still ongoing at a rate of 8 mm per year.  Since the end of the ice age Skuleberget has risen 286 metres - the biggest land uplift in the world - and partly because of that the area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As we climbed steeply upwards  (and also on the way down) we had the pleasure of seeing iridescent  lichen, wild orchids and skeletal fir trees, and also big piles of πŸ’©πŸ’©πŸ’©!  Now I can usually recognise sheep, rabbit, cow or dog but what we saw was a bit of a mystery - and we thought it might belong to a 🐻🐻😱. But later the font of all knowledge which is Google eventually identified it as likely to be πŸπŸπŸmouse  πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚  I think I mean Moose

Anyway, we scrambled (sometimes using all 4 paws), stumbled and huffed and puffed our way to the top of Skuleberget, and as we went we promised ourselves waffles and ice cream at the summit cafe - but that didn't work out cos by the time we got there it had just shut 😭😭😭.  However, to make up for it  we were rewarded with stupendous views, and as I'd had the foresight to pack our trusty flask we were able to admire them while sipping a nice cup of sugary coffee!!

Us at the Top

Then all that was left for us to do was to scramble back down the steep slopes, and while we were doing that I was able to snap a pic of T4rdis2 in the distance - so it was a good job that John had put our rotary drier in front of the van cos otherwise, not only might you spot T4rdis2 in the pic - you might also have been able to see all of last weeks washing!!

Monday 25th June 2018  🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞🌞 but very breezy!
20 cycling miles today.

Beard Lichen - another rare breed!
Our plan for today had been to cycle into the  Skuleskogen National Park  and then along the coastal path that leads from the South to North entrances - and we'd got an info leaflet that said cycling was acceptable there!!  However, after riding 5 miles to get into the park the signage informed us (in Swedish)  that we definitely could not!!!  And because we didn't want to disobey the rules or upset anybody we decided to be good and partially retrace our tyre tracks so that we could take a different, but we thought equally scenic route that was outside the park boundary. 

And it really was just a toddle round on our bikes without anything particularly exciting or interesting to write about, but we enjoyed some lovely views of the sea, and also the antics of the birds were quite entertaining!   It seemed that some of the small black headed gulls thought they were kestrels as they hovered above the water before diving in for their prey. 

Tomorrow we're going to leave this lovely coastal part of Sweden behind - mostly because we've only got about 7 days worth of LPG (gas) left and without making a very long distance deviation we won't be able to get anymore until we reach Norway - so we've more or less decided we're going to make a run for it!!

Anyway, its G&T time now cos we've got to finish it up before we get to Norway so that's it for another episode so form us, cheerio of now πŸ˜™πŸ˜™

PS - Just thought you might like to know that we've both managed to collect a few more  bites - but John's still winning!

Score since we've been in SwedenπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
John 28  πŸ’ž Me 4

Click here to see our Swedish camping spots