Tuesday 25th July 2000
We crossed to Sweden from Denmark via the new bridge, got somewhat lost in Malmo and then found the area where we were to stay. We drove into what we thought was our hotel at Margretetorps but Adie wasn’t convinced since the locality given on the instruction sheet was Hjärnarp; a neighbouring village. So we left the car park and drove around looking for where we should be – finally returning to where we had started. Reception confirmed that we were in the right place!
We settled in and shortly encountered both of the other British couples. One had been to see Viking longboats that had been preserved in the mud.
We booked our evening meal for 7.30 p.m. – it was a smØrgasbord which I thought was delicious but Adie didn’t like. He was in fact feeling somewhat under the weather and so went to lie down straight after eating. I read The Queen and I for a while but we were both in bed by 9.50 p.m.
Wednesday 26th July 2000
Got up from 8.15 onwards and were in breakfast at 9.15. The clock in the Dining Room showed exactly ½ an hour later than we thought it should be but this might have been an error rather than a different time zone.
We left Margretetorps Manor at 10.15. We managed to miss the turning we should have taken for the E4 since we had been directed to take Road 14 and it seemed as though they meant the 114. We only realised this too late so had to go a fair distance out of our way before we could join the E4 to which the 14 would have taken us.
Adie had quite a nasty sore throat during our journey through much torrential rain.
We stopped at Jönköping and went to Europstop where we found a shop and bought some things for lunch and some Vicks throat lozenges for Adie. We sat on a seat in the covered complex (it was still raining) to eat. We had about a one hour stop and left there at 2.10 to continue our journey.
We drove along the shore of Lake Vättern, which was on our left. We took the old E4 tourist route from Gränna to Ödeshög which made somewhat of a change from the motorway and meant that we had prolonged views of the Lake. It was also dry for much of this detour which helped us to bea able to see more.
We then rejoined the modern E4 and headed (again in pouring rain) towards Norrköping as per the instructions.
Adie saw a sign off right to Söderköping which was where our hotel was, so we took this short cut and arrived in the area at around 4.10. However we had some difficulty finding the Hotel Söderköpings Brunn and became tangled up in a colossal traffic jam in the process.
We took a chance and followed someone who had done a u turn out of the traffic and by following a side road avoided probably a mile f the jam. We finally arrived and were in our room on the third floor at 4.50 p.m.
At 5.30 we went out for a walk in Söderköping and met one of the other English couples who were also exploring.
When we arrived back in our room, Adie watched television and I read my book for a while. At 7.30 p.m. we went down for Dinner which was very enjoyable apart from a black and very much alive slug that Adie discovered on his plate after he’d eaten his strawberries! The waiter’s English extended to “Not Good!” but not to “Sorry!” We were back in our room by 9.00 p.m. where I finished my book and Adie watched television. We went to bed at 10.35 p.m.
Thursday 27th July 2000
The day did not start well! Neither of us had enjoyed much sleep – Adie because of his throat and me because of the noisy air-conditioning which did not seem capable of being turned off. Adie went to see if he could find an open chemist with no success. We went in to breakfast at 8.35 but without the necessary tickets so I sat in the lounge typing this entry whilst Adie went back to find them. We got into breakfast at 8.35 and never were asked for the tickets!
We were back in our room by 9.15 having eaten and chatted briefly to one of the British guys doing the same tour – his name is Brendan and he is from Ireland. Adie then went back to the chemists since they opened at 9.30. He got some Panadol and some throat lozenges (Swedish chemists are very like doctors) and we set off for Stockholm in the pouring rain.
We arrived at about 12.20 by which time it had stopped raining. We had no problem parking and went to get a sight-seeing bus for a tour lasting virtually two hours. We sat on the open top of the bus but couldn’t get the front seat this time. There was quite a lot of traffic to negotiate but some magnificent views including one where the bus stopped for five minutes for the recorded commentary to describe landmarks (there were headphones and a dial to choose the appropriate language).
After the tour, we went to McDonalds and then went to buy a map, 13 postcards and 12 stamps – about £18.00 for all!
We left the car park at about 430 p.m. On the journey back I was playing a card game and the Psion crashed! This had never happened before and I did not have the book to tell me how to do a soft reset. Quelle domage! We got back to Söderköping at about 6.30 p.m. and I rang Nath shortly after 7.00 p.m. to arrange for him to look for the instructions since otherwise we would not have the addresses for our postcards. We went into Dinner and then I waited until 10.00 p.m. to ring him back as arranged. He’d forgotten to look so I called again about three minutes later but the manual wasn’t where I thought so we got no further. Went to bed about 10.30 p.m.
Friday 28th July 2000
We left at about 9.50 and chose our own route via Örebro where we wanted to see what is described as the most picturesque castle in Sweden:
We arrived there at about 12.15 and parked at a meter. We went to look at the castle and walked around the very attractive city.
I found a computer shop where they didn’t deal with Psions but told me of one that might. We found that shop and they put through a call to Psion, Gothenburg, but the man who ran the help desk there was at lunch until 1.00 p.m. We were told we could go back, so meanwhile went to to Sub City to get some paninis – the 2 girls serving were being attacked by a wasp! Whilst eating the paninis outside, the “wand” for the Psion stopped being contained in its keeping. We went back to the shop and this time the man in Gothenburg was back and talked the shop assistant through a soft reset. This worked, and all that remained necessary was for me to buy some sellotape to keep the wand in its socket and to make a resolution to get this repaired and to buy a second machine so that I never have the problem again.
We left Örebro at about 1.30 p.m. to continue on our journey to Tällberg. The weather was fantastic and we passed through beautiful countryside.
finally arrived at around 5.00 p.m. Our hotel (Klockargarden) was a series
of log cabins.
Our room, in a log cabin overlooking Lake Siljan, was lovely – with an enormous bathroom complete with a large bath with Jacuzzi. It also had a balcony with two chairs, a television and a CD player with 2 classics CDs.
We unpacked all our things and wrote our postcards before going down for the barbecue that we had booked in for at 7.30 p.m. We only stayed a relatively short while as we weren’t particularly hungry and a Swedish couple who had joined our table were both puffing smoke at us. We went for a short walk and then returned to our room where I continued writing the diary. I also fund that the “wand” would now stay where it should without the sellotape, which was good.
At about 9.30 p.m. Adie went for another walk to take a photograph of the lake as it looked really beautiful with the late evening sun on it. Today was a fantastic day – incredibly hot with a cloudless sky. Adie came back 25 minutes later with two cups of coffee that he’d bought at the barbecue as he returned from his photo taking. Went to bed at about 10.30 p.m. and it was still very light until at least 11.00.
Saturday 29th July 2000
We went down to breakfast at about 9.20 and decided to eat it indoors rather than out as was possible. It was another bright sunny day but not as blazingly hot as yesterday. There was an American family also at breakfast but they were sitting too far away from us to be able to speak with them. We spent some time in our room working out what to do with the day and then left just before 10.30 for Rättvik slightly further north and still on Lake Siljan. We stopped in Rättvik to get a few items from the supermarket and then went further round the Lake to Orsa en route for the Bjornparken (Bear Park) at Grönklitt.
The Bear Park only cost about £5.00 each which we thought was good value. We saw many bears, three wolves and a mother and baby lynx. We had a coffee, baguette and cake at the restaurant at the highest point of the park and returned to the car park at 2.30 p.m. There was a British car parked there but we did not see the inhabitants.
We went back through Mora where we eventually found a box to despatch our postcards at 3.30 p.m. The box was due to be emptied at 4.00. We continued on via the Isle of Solleron and then stopped at some buildings of historical interest – a collection of log constructions including an 18th century water mill.
We got back to our hotel at about 5.30 pm. To find a wedding reception taking place. We were both feeling somewhat tired – Adie in particular – so we went to our room and had a drink and the pastry we’d bought in the supermarket. Adie in fact went to bed and didn’t get up until nearly 7.00 p.m.
We went down to dinner at about 7.30 p.m. There were only five couples in the restaurant and three (including us) were those from Britain on the tour. The wedding party was downstairs so we had to wait a while for some of our courses. We were still back in our room by about 8.25 p.m. and then Adie went for a brief walk whilst I did some of the dairy. By 9.00 pm. He was back and worked out the route to take us into Norway the next morning. He still wasn’t really feeling very well so we were both in bed by 10.20
Sunday 30th July 2000
We woke at about 7.45 a.m. to more extremely good weather. After breakfast we packed and left at 10.15 enroute for Norway. After some way we had to take a local road to Oxberg and Sälen. Early on we were slowed by speed signs to a ridiculous 20 km per hour. Then we saw why – we had been over narrow bridges before, but never one that is a railway bridge! Yes, this was a single track railway bridge over a river that was also used by road vehicles in both directions and with no traffic control system. By the time we reached the other side, someone else was wanting to use it the other way – fortunately with a car and not a train! A unique and rather scary experience.
We stopped for lunch by a wide river north of Sälen. It was a beautiful wide mountain river with some white water. A canoeist was nearby eating his lunch and we felt he too would have preferred to be truly alone in this beautiful, quiet spot. We were on our way again by 12.45 and crossed into Norway at about 1.00 p.m.