In a way, perhaps a truth with modification, as we actually spent New Year in the Pearl this year. But somehow it still feels like it was this weekend that the 2020 season really started.
The first real trip for this year may, due to the circumstances, become a trip around the east of Sweden. Hardly negative from our point of view, as this amazing landscape has much left for us to discover. What has perhaps struck us in recent days is that the eastern plain consists of quite a lot more than just plain. We have had the privilege of seeing much of S:t Anna archipelago, which is amazingly beautiful. In our opinion, just as much nature experience and views as last year’s trip along the west coast, with the difference that you are welcome here with an RV almost anywhere.
The night of today we spent free camped in a parking lot belonging to an outdoor area in a nature reserve called Svartdalen (“Black Valley in English). Free camping really has its very special charm, and it’s a fantastic way to find peace.
What may not be quite as amazing is when the LPG bottle decides to run out in the middle of the night, and you wake up with the fact that there are almost sub-zero temperatures in the RV. The mental strength and impaled psyche required to deduct the duvet (and the little heat that is left), crawl out of the high bed, grope for some clothes in the dark and head out into the sub-zero temperatures and change LPG bottles… it would probably make Gunde Svan* himself jealous. *Gunde Svan is a famous Swedish skier, known for his incredible winner-mindset. Anyway, it feels worth it once the car gets hot again, and you get awake from a brilliant spring sun dazzles you through the roof hatch. Or…at least Linnéa, who remained in bed, thought it was worth it 😉
During the day we took aim at St. Anna, but on the way we saw that along the road was signposted to a castle ruin, which felt like a fun excursion. So we strayed from the main road a little bit and ended up at Stegeborg castle ruin. Stegeborg has a history of a fortress built in the 900s, and since then countless royals have housed the castle. Today the castle is clearly a ruin, but a bit cool is that the high tower itself is still there. 120 SEK costs a visit for the whole family, and although it is not a full day trip, it is quite cozy to walk around the castle area. Especially for someone who’s interested in history. Pay is done smoothly with cards in the machine outside. We also read that during the summer season it is possible to rent some kind of audio guide for 50 SEK per person, where Herman Lindqvist, a well known Swedish historian, guides through the ruin. I think this is a fun addition and enhances the experience somewhat.
The surroundings of the castle are fantastic, as the archipelago makes you feel like you are staring into a painting wherever you look. In the harbour area that is right next door there are also RV-sites , and also a camping on the other side of the cable ferry. We think that we may well come here one night, put the RV on the RV-site, and go to the harbour restaurant. It is clear that the season has not started yet, as everything is still closed for the winter. However, it was fun to see that there were many RVs that were already on the road, just like us.
Furthermore, the trip took us to St. Anna, and we visited some of the islands. Almost everything was closed, so there was not so much of a reason to stop anywhere. Maybe we’ll get back a little later when camping and boating season has started for real. Instead, we set our sights on Valdemarsvik, where the ambition was to get hold of a new gas bottle to avoid the same adventure as the night before. However, this did not go so well, as those who usually sold LPG down in the port also had closed for the winter. We therefore decided to spend the night in Valdemarsvik harbour RV-sites, which we, although it was closed for the winter to a large extent here too, are very happy with. A review on the RV-site comes as a separate post, but we can reveal that it was unusually high standard for a RV-site location. In addition, the staff seems to have humor, which is always a plus.
Now we take evening, and recharge both Pärlans and our own batteries for new adventures tomorrow.