The third week of travelling already, where is the time going? This week we drove down road E45, washed some laundry on a parking spot and other fun bits.
Day 16 - Monday 10th of October
Östersund - Ytterhogdal
Monday morning in Östersund started a bit stiff due to lack of coffee (We still didn’t have any gas to boil water) but we were still in good spirits as we headed to the local gas store we had all our fingers crossed, and guess what, WE GOT ONE! Happy as bunnies we drove to the nearby supermarket parking lot and started making coffee immediately. How good did that taste? With caffeine running in Minna’s veins and Olivia full of a snack bar, we headed to the grocery store while Jake continued his work. Well, he did come to the store shortly and sneaked with Olivia to buy some delicious pastries and buns for the afternoon coffee. Olivia was excited about them and nearly couldn’t wait until coffee time.
We started the car after lunch and didn’t really have a plan for where we would go next. So we just started driving and after a couple of hours, we stumbled across a tiny village called Ytterhogdal. We found a quaint parking spot by the lake which cost us 7€. Finally, it was time to taste the buns that we were all eagerly waiting for!
Minna and Olivia searched for a playground and found a quite small one, but that didn’t matter. We had fun in that same park later that evening as well when Jake had finished his work for the day.
Road E45 went through the village so there were lots of trucks and cars driving past, we could hear them pretty well at nighttime as well.
Day 17 - Tuesday 11th of October
Ytterhogdal - Orsa
That morning was sunny and steam was rising from the lake as the sun warmed it up. It was time to head out to explore the village but unfortunately, we could not find another park for Olivia. Before continuing our journey we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and we took some lovely photos. We then pinned our next location on the map to Orsa where we could fill up the water tank and empty the toilet.
In the afternoon upon arrival, Minna and Olivia went to do the dirty work (Empty the toilet cassette and fill up the water tanks) in the sunny harbour. It was chillier than we were dressed for so our afternoon adventure was cut shorter than expected we moved inside to the warmth of the mobile home and played in “Olivas room” a bit before dinner. After Jake finished his work, we headed outside to admire the sunset and play some football. The Moon was big that night but unfortunately, we couldn’t capture its whole beauty on camera.
Day 18 - Wednesday 12th of October
Orsa - Stöllet
It was -6C degrees when woke up! The sunrise was so beautiful and Jake couldn’t stop taking pictures and flying the drone around.
After breakfast, the girls headed to venture the Orsa town in hopes of finding a playground which we did find! We walked around the neighbourhood and had lots to talk about, Olivia is a very curious girl who asks a lot of questions, some of them difficult! So the time went quickly and we got quite hungry on our excursion.
Lunchtime was over and dishes were done, it was time to start the car to the next location. Again we didn’t have anything special in our mind about where we would go so we just drove for an hour and a half hours when we came across to a village called Stöllet. Perfect, we could easily spend our night here! We found a parking lot next to a church (we seem to like churches and cemeteries as parking spots). Olivia and Minna headed outside to play and found this amazing orange-purple climbing gym just across the road. In the evening we found another playground at the local daycare where we built lots of sandcastles until it got dark.
Day 19 - Thursday 13th of October
Stöllet - Grums
We woke up to a rainy day but that didn’t stop us from going outside to play some football and play in the colourful climbing gym. Olivia got so sandy that we had to wash her outside with the hose. What a great feature for the mobile home to have, especially when you have an active little tornado travelling with you.
We pinned our next location to Grums which was a couple of hours’ drive away so off we went again. Minna found a peaceful parking spot by a lake in the very suburbs of the town. Us girls of course went to search for a park again after we had little afternoon snacks and this park hunting trip was a great success. After an hour or so of intense playing, coming down the zipline, swinging and making sandcastles we had to go tell Jake what we had found and after dinner all three of us went first to the shop to get some milk and butter and then to the park. It was dark already so we had to light up the head torches so that Olivia could see where she was putting her little feet when climbing.
As we parked our home in the suburbs, there were no street lights and it was pitch black. Luckily Jake had brought head torches with him so it wasn’t that scary. Even though Minna was checking behind her back every two minutes.
Day 20 - Friday 14th of October
Grums - Vänersborg
Friday morning was sunny in Grums but unfortunately, we had to do some laundry as we were running low on underwear and socks. Apparently, it is not common in Sweden to have laundromats since every house or community have their own washing facilities. So we had to do it by hand! Minna wasn’t too happy about this but she got her hands wet while Olivia was playing on her own. In the process, we ran out of water and we decided to go fill up the water tank after lunch at a petrol station and finish the laundry business later that day.
We filled up the water tank with a watering can, it took FOREVER for Minna to do it! She filled the can at least 12 times! 😁Water tank was now full and we continued our journey to Vänersborg. We parked in a dedicated mobile home parking area next to a lovely park. There happened to be frisbee golf targets in the park and Olivia wanted to go play on her own while Minna finished washing the laundry that she started this morning. We got some peculiar looks from the people walking past.
After dinner, we headed outside again to stretch our legs and get some fresh air. We walked in the park and by the harbour, and even found a playground with a pirate ship! It was quite dark there so Mum and Dad used their phones as torches so that the little one could have fun safely. What we wouldn’t do for our children?
The harbour area was really beautiful with stunning houses with tall glass windows, Minna fell in love with pretty much all of them. The Swedish have a tradition to place table lights in the centre of their window sills, They are linked to an old Swedish tradition of placing lighted candles in the windows to help light the way to the church for Christmas worshipers. It made the houses look even prettier and brings a warm feeling to the whole neighbourhood, definitely a thing that we will do in our next house.
Day 21 - Saturday 15th of October
Vänersborg - Borrås skåras - Kärradal
Of course it was raining when we woke up! It rained so much that we decided to spend the morning inside the mobile home and did some arts & crafts. Jake had small bits in his mind that he had been thinking about buying from Biltema so we decided to utilise the rainy morning and drove to the nearby shopping area. We did our shopping and got quite hungry so we decided to eat in Biltema, who could say no to a 0,50€ hotdog? We each had two hotdogs and as dessert, Olivia got big ice cream and her parents enjoyed some muffins. We did our final shopping and then decided to start driving towards Gothenburg.
As we were driving, Minna was trying to find a free or at least rather cheap parking spot in Gothenburg. After reading many unpleasant comments about how people’s motor homes had got broken into, we decided to drive past the whole city. We didn’t want that to happen as the journey had so far gone so well. As we started to enter more populated areas it was goodbye to narrow quiet roads and hello to busy motorways. It was a mixed bag of nerves in the car as Jake drove through the busy 5-lane carriageways with hundreds of cars staying as cool as a cucumber, Minna was sweating from all the traffic and stress while Olivia caught some zzz’s at the back. We stopped at a resting place and considered our next steps since Gothenburg wasn’t an option anymore.
Jake spotted a point of interest called Borrås skåras which is a gorge, with steep walls that are up to ten meters high. It was was a great way to spend the Saturday afternoon. We walked through it and had a little adventure in the forest as well. It was forbidden to stay the night in that parking lot so after dinner, we checked on Park4Night where we could go for the night. We found a dedicated mobile home parking area just 15 minutes away that was also by the beach called Kärradal.
We went to see the ocean and play on the beach in the evening as the sun was setting over the horizon, we made our way back to the van in the glow of headlamps. The night was really, really windy! You could feel the car wobbling in the wind! It also rained so heavily, it sounded like a the roof was going to come down.
Day 22 - Sunday 16th of October
Kärradal - Kullaberg nature reserve - Högänäs
That morning Minna and Olivia went down to the beach while Jake did some cooking in the van. There was a guy wingsurfing in the sea, it looked pretty cool! As he got back to the car, he flagged Minna down to ask if she could check his back. He had a accident while falling off his board and wanted Minna to check how bad the injury was, Minna not being able to stand the sight of blood took and photo and promptly made her way back to the van. Jake went then to ask if he needs first aid assistance, Jake ended up cleaning the cut on his lower back and applying some butterfly plasters, all the while making small talk, of course. After hearing about our travels and where we are heading. the “surfer guy” recommended that we should visit the Kullaberg nature reserve and Nimis, they were in the direction where we were heading and who are we to turn down local knowledge?
We drove through a hail when we were nearly there, in one point it was raining so heavily that we could barely see in front of us. But we made it safely through the storm and the sun started to shine when we arrived in the parking lot. We had some dinner and then walked to the nature reserve. It was so beautiful there! All the big, old trees were magnificent. How small you actually are in this big world? We had some small snacks by a fence where cows were enjoying their freedom on in a picturesque field, the sunset casting a golden glow over the world as it shed it’s final light for the day.
We were trying to go see Nimis which is a site-specific artwork done by a guy called Lars Vilks and it consists of artwork mainly done from driftwood, planks and branches. But the terrain turned to steep, slippery rocks that we would not have been able to get there, especially with a three-year-old. What a brave little girl Olivia was as we turned around to head back, didn’t complain much and walked for many kilometres of rocky and root filled terrain. As the blue light of evening turned to darkness Olivia was getting tired from all the walking, so Jake took her on his shoulders, and we hiked back to the car in the dark forest with our head torches leading the way. Olivia’s cheers could be heard echoing through the sleeping forest “Dad, you can do it! I’m so proud of you!” That gave Jake superpowers for sure, what a lovely little girl we have.
This day had turned into quite the unexpected adventure as we arrived back at the car after 19:00, We still had to go get some milk and bread from the shop for the next morning so we drove into town of Högänäs about 15 minutes away. We found a parking spot with a bit of shelter from the wind blowing in from the coast, the wind was shaking our car again like crazy but luckily it settled some time in the night.
It was a busy week again, a new city/location every single day. But we are liking it, at least it doesn’t get boring!
*Services include camp sites, laundry, septic tank services, water, electric, etc.