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Author Topic: North to Lapland, Part III  (Read 4191 times)

terry nathan

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North to Lapland, Part III
« on: June 19, 2005, 08:28:16 AM »
NORTH TO LAPLAND – PART III


3rd June 2005

8am and it is time to get back on the road.   In the Lubeck campground they have a rather quaint system for emptying motorhome waste tanks.   They have a 5” diameter hose which runs along the ground for about five feet and then disappears down into a drain.   You fit your own hose into theirs, hold it in place while you pull the handle to release the contents of your own  tanks and hey presto it disappears through their hose and into the drain.   The theory was great, the reality very different – their hose had a hole in it so the contents of your tank sprayed into the road!   Fortunately we always test the system by first pushing grey water through, so we weren’t embarrassed on this occasion.   Next stop just a few miles down the road to fill up with propane.   The guage was showing empty, but we could only take 65 litres out of a useable capacity of 80 litres, so now we know the guage is not entirely accurate.   Back to the autobahn, head north for just over an hour and we arrive at the ferry port of Puttgarden.   The signs are very easy to read – trucks one way, all other vehicles go the other way – so that is what we did.   Drive into the ticket booth, it was very very tight, the extremely aggressive guy in the booth shouted that I should have followed the truck sign – how I was supposed to know that is beyond me - anyway pay him ($82) and off we go to find the ship.   Now we find another very aggressive guy who is waving his arms at me like a windmill in a gale, urging me to move rather more quickly – anyway something like that!   We interpret his arm signals as best we can and find that we are driving into the hold of the ferry, where another man has clearly caught the same arm waving disease plus he is jumping up and down in his excitement at seeing us.   He is trying to direct us to park in one of the lane lines, but since his arms and legs are all pointing in different directions it is difficult to interpret his precise intentions.  Just then I was distracted by something behind me – the ship’s door is closing and we are in the way, and very shortly we’ll qualify for a refund from the shipping company because instead of being 32 feet long our motorhome will be some six feet shorter!

The voyage from Puttgarden in Germany to Rodby in Denmark takes just 45 minutes, and there are at least three sailings every hour.   Once on board we headed for the cafeteria to have the buffet breakfast which consisted of stale bread rolls, plastic scrambled eggs and luke warm coffee – what a day this is turning out to be, it’s still only 11am!   Disembarkation in Denmark was very quick, no passport or customs control at all, and immediately we are on the motorway heading for Copenhagen.   The roads were very quiet, particularly when compared to the autobahns in Germany, and we had a pleasant drive, skirting Copenhagen to head for our chosen campground at Naerum, some eight miles north of Copenhagen.   We know the campground well having been here several times before, and anyway the wonderful GPS directed us almost to the door.   No problem finding a space, and we managed to finish the settling in formalities just before the rain came.   

Three nights at this campground, visiting the capital on one day to see the Little Mermaid (a tourist must), spend some time at Tivoli Gardens where we were shocked to find the ‘amusement’ rides were every bit as fierce and scary as those in Las Vegas, and view the convoy of wonderful Tall Ships which were visiting the city to celebrate the 200 years of Hans Christian Andersen’s birth.   Tivoli is Denmark’s number one tourist attraction, providing enough variety of entertainment, fantasy and charm to satisfy almost every taste; spelt backwards (i lov iT) and you understand people’s feelings very well.   

No visit to Copenhagen is complete without paying respects to the famed Little Mermaid.   This bronze statue by Edvard Eriksen was donated to the city by Carl Jacobsen, son of the founder of Carlsberg Breweries.  The statue is situated at the edge of Churchill Parken, an area which houses the Resistance Museum and which gives a fascinating history of what life was like in the Danish capital between the years 1940 and 1945.   Next day we drove to Roskilde, the capital of Denmark in former times.   The highly publicised church (Dom Kirke) turned out to be a glorified mausoleum  to the Danish Royal family – there were tombs in  every conceivable nook and cranny – but the church itself lacked any feeling of soul, or at least that was our opinion.   More interesting was the nearby Viking Museum with a display of their boats in the harbour and an indoor display of recent finds.   Visitors are invited to try on a cloak and become a Viking – if only for a few moments.   

Move on – north from Copenhagen thirty five miles to Helsingor, the so called Gateway to the Baltic.  Its main attraction is the castle which acquired international fame under the name of Elsinore Castle as the dramatic setting for Shakespeare’s Hamlet.   We had visited the castle on a previous occasion so today we head straight to the port to join the ferry to Helsingborg in Sweden.   As with the previous ferry from Puttgarden to Rodby there was no shortage of sailings, and once we had paid the ridiculous fare of $160      we were directed straight on board and were off for the twenty minute three mile journey to Sweden.   Disembarkation was straight forward, absolutely no formalities at all, and immediately join the motorway north to Gothenburg and three hours later we were directed by the GPS to Liseburg Camping, three miles south of the city.   The campground was excellent, the view was wonderful, welcome to the west coast of Sweden!                                   

Gothenburg is Sweden’s second city, and has the country’s busiest port.  As a tourist city it has little to offer other than a couple of excellent museums, but it is the gateway to travelling up Sweden’s spine, the so-called Inlandvargen (inland route).  This was to take us north to Karlstad, and then further north still to the busy year round resort of Mora.   If your idea of scenery is immense forests stretching as far as the eye can see, a myriad lakes of assorted sizes all with water as black as coal making them seem both mysterious and frightening, and the occasional cabin gloriously situated on the side of the lake, as remote as can be, and with the inevitable canoe to go fishing for your bar-b-q’d dinner, then this is for you.

We stayed at Camping Mora for two nights, a huge campground barely a quarter full as we are still early in the season.   The tank facilities were superbly simple and efficient, becoming a common feature in Scandinavia, but we had other reasons for coming here, or at least Liliane had.   One of the tourist attractions near Mora is the wonderland Santa World – where Father Christmas and all his friends supposedly live – but Liliane was out of luck today, they were all on their holidays and the place was closed until 21 June!  Not pleased, but there is another attraction, Orsa Gronklitt’s Bear Park.   This park is on the northern edge of an area called Dalarna, a huge wilderness where bears, wolves, mountain foxes and wolverines wander freely.   The park has created an area where we humans can walk andview  the wild animals in complete safety.   It was well worth the twenty mile drive, the hard walk up a very steep hill, and the bitter cold to see the baby bears – priceless.   The area also has a 2100 feet long toboggan run – you sit in the cart while it is drawn backwards up the steep slope to the top, and then you are let go and plunge back down!   Liliane didn’t suggest doing it, and I certainly wasn’t about to!

From Mora it was time to turn eastwards to the coast.  If we thought the Route 45 was isolated with very little traffic it was as nothing compared to the ‘B’ class roads we now followed towards our destination of Sundsvall.   I was very apprehensive as to the condition of the smaller roads and also the width but I needn’t have worried, it was an excellent drive and we arrived at Sundsvall in mid-afternoon.   Now the forests and lakes give way to the sea as we follow the Gulf of Bothnia northwards.   Our first seaside campground gave us a taste for what is hopefully still to come – the front wheels of the motorhome were almost in the sea.   Wonderful.    Amazingly we are situated at 62 degrees north, the same latitude as Anchorage in Alaska – that makes you think!  We’ve also had three days without rain, can this continue we ask?   Some domestic chores to do – one of the gas bottles has run out so we took that to a local propane dealer and had the bottle refilled, and we were running out of the necessities of life – whisky and wine, so that was another task to do, not too onerous.

In Part IV we leave Sweden and enter Finland, and spend our first night in the country on the Arctic Circle line.



Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2005, 08:52:59 AM »
Terry

As always, your trip reports make fascianting reading, with some humor thrown in for good measure. Talk of Copenhagen and Gothenberg bring back some fond memories.
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Ned

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2005, 09:46:50 AM »
Terry,

I'm really enjoying your prose, but PICTURES please :)
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2005, 09:49:08 AM »
LOL Ned, Terry's so busy keeping himself out of trouble he has no time to take photos.
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Ned

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2005, 10:00:08 AM »
I really want a picture of their new 26' motor home :D
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Ron

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2005, 10:35:31 AM »
Terry,

Thanks for the travel log.  Sam & I enjoy sharing your adventures.  Like Ned we are looking forward to seeing photos of the 26 ft MH. ;D ;D
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2005, 10:37:42 AM »
You guys are bad!
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terry nathan

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2005, 11:12:56 AM »
Of course the title is wrong - it should be North to Alaska.  Anyway you're all bad.   Ned, check your Escapees e-mails, use the contents on the Forum as you think appropriate.   There's enough to keep you out of Lorna's way for a week.  Terry

Ned

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2005, 12:47:41 PM »
There's enough to keep you out of Lorna's way for a week.

Lorna is gone to a family reunion until Wednesday so I have lots of time on my hands to get into trouble :)

Attached is the nice picture of you and the MH.  The Word doc is too big to post (3.2MB).  It has some very nice photos but Tom will have to tell me how to get it to him.

Thanks,
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2005, 12:59:47 PM »
Of course the title is wrong - it should be North to Alaska.

DO you mean 'North to Lapland'? I can change it if I know what you want it to say.
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Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2005, 01:01:04 PM »
Tom will have to tell me how to get it to ,

You could email it to me.
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terry nathan

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2005, 02:04:41 PM »
Tom

Double oops, I mean North to Lapland, not north to Alaska.   It's Father's Day, that's my excuse.   Can you correct it?

Tom

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Re: North to Lapland, Part III
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2005, 02:37:01 PM »
Can you correct it?

Done. Thanks for clarification Terry.
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