From Norway and northern Sweden in
Diary 1, I now enters the central part with
I follow E18, but it span from real narrow, twisted two lane road to four lane highway. Swedish roads are great, and in many stretches, the speed limit is 100 km/t. But then; 70 km/t and they have speed-traps everywhere! That make it a bit hard to lean back and enjoy. Well, I try, and although the landscape is beautiful, it is also familiar: Mainly forest with conifers, some barren rocks, mirror lakes and some fjords - or what it is called, when it is a major lake and not the sea.
I make a few photos on the way, so I have something to delete in the evening. I pass a single larger town; Grums! (Dregs in English). Then I'm back in the countryside with forests and big farms. I leave the big road and get into some real narrow roads before I make it to Nora.
I park at Coop and do some loops around the centre of town. It is kind of cosy with some old wooden houses along the newer ones. Here are several pizzerias, and the prices are half of the Norwegians. Bit strange, as the shops have pretty much the same prices on raw food?
I celebrate with a falafel roll, and then head back to Coop to stock a bit of food for the last days. The camp is walking distance away, but I need to bring the car. It have just closed, but the nice girl opens for me. A campsite is 199 kroner (€20), but she have closed the Visa gismo, and I get to stay for free.
It looked vacant like the last one in Norway, but when I get in, it is almost full with huge campers. I find a spot between, and do my best to blend in - which is a bit hard, as most are truck-sized. We all face the big lake, and there is a mellow atmosphere here. I guess I'm the youngest.
I have been taking way too many photos, and now, the hard-drive is full, and the Windows part can't work. I transfer a lot of music to the Mac-part of the machine, but then it fails. I can "reclaim" a lot of space, but when I do, the program delete the start-up file for windows as well. I am prepared for occasions like this, and I just start-up a spare Windows, I made in Austria. Unfortunately, the Swedish internet fail to work, and I can't update any of the files from Dropbox - and I'm stuck again. I do not have backup of the original Norwegian and Swedish photos, but the rest ought to be saved on external drives. But; the photos of the day is stocked in the closed Window, which only a wizard-friend of mine are able to release (partly). Central Sweden with Nora.
16/8. I check the internet at five, but it is still down. At seven, it kind of work, and I start downloading everything from Dropbox. It is a slightly drizzling day, but I have two botanical gardens to see anyway. After one hour, I give up restoring my data, and set off to the first sight of the day; The Botanical Garden in Uppsala. It is 200 kilometres east, and it is through real flat farmland with huge farms.
The Uppsala Botanical Garden it not big, but it is keep in a pristine condition. Not a stray of grass sits the wrong way. Their collections are not that interesting to me, but it is a true pleasure to see how well maintained everything is. On the other side of a road, a larger part is found, and it is more like the promenade garden of a castle.
It is a short drive to Linne's House and Garden. The garden dates back to 1540, and is a classic collection of genera and families. With the exception of a strange Sunflower, I see nothing interesting in particular, but it is walking here where Linne worked, that is the experience. Carl von Linne; the farther of taxonomy.
The house he lived in most of his life, is now a museum with a lot of original objects, and still feels like he just left. A good audio guide tell quite detailed about everything. This is the life in 17'th century, and quite primitive compared to now. On the way out, I do a real short loop in Uppsala, and it might be worth getting back to. The river with all its green brinks, the old houses and copplestones create a great atmosphere.
From here, I head towards Stockholm, but do a stop in the recommended village of Sigtuna. It is the oldest Swedish town, founded 980, and a real cosy little one, although it know it. Here are the older houses I have been missing in other wooden towns, and it feels so much alive. The pedestrian street is lined with old wooden houses, and the back alleys have so many nice houses and gardens.
Another street back, and I find the big lake, and on a granite hill, a strange tower is found. It is an old church bell tower. I would like to have more time, but on the other hand, I would like to see Stockholm's botanical garden as well.
It is a short drive, but the traffic seems to intensify now. Bergianska Trädgården is a surprisingly small botanical garden. It is well maintained, although not Uppsala standard. The greenhouses have some nice collections, based on origin: Mediterranean, Australian and alike. And a single bench have some Tjockstamsväxter: Caudiciforms.
I rush on to the Victorian house, which have two plants,
the V. cruziana and an even bigger hybrid, which strangely enough is
flowering this late. Then again, the nights are a bit short around here.
At four, I have see most, and figures I can drive home. It is only 700 kilometres, and should I get tired, I can pull over at sleep anywhere. I stop for lunch at McDonald's - sitting outside and eat what I brought. It turns dark early down here, and it is a rather boring drive after nine. Uppsala BG, Linne's House & Garden, Sigtuna and Bergianska Trädgården.
Sweden is a beautiful country with a lot of nature. However, I am a bit surprised about how little it changes from Hallandsåsen and all the way up north. I will surely return many times. I have driven 2267 kilometres on these two visits, taken 723 photos and spend only €264. Diesel the major part with €106.
I reach my home at midnight, and it is a bit strange to get home and find winter coat, gloves and socks. I've been gone four and a half month, driver 46.580 kilometres in 40 countries and experienced so much. I could actually do with a weeks vacation, but here are so much that need to be taken care of.
Links to the entire tour is found on Europe.