Monday 19th June
“Turn left in 100km”, instructed the sat nav when we set it up this morning.
So we took the opportunity to blast some Metallica into the Norwegian countryside, as we tore down the highway in the brilliant sunshine.
It was actually, for once, pretty warm, especially in the car.
“I feel like going for a swim!” I declared whilst driving.
About 2 minutes later, I saw a sign for a swim stop.
“I’ll pull over and go for a swim!” I declared, happily.
There was a dock stretching out invitingly into a calm lake, so before I could change my mind, I changed into my swimwear and jumped in.
Lex barked at me constantly. He hates it when we swim. Morgan stood by the lake in his down jacket barking at me “There’s snow on the mountains! You’re a nutter!”
I realised my entire body was going numb after about 30 seconds and hastily swam to shore, freezing my ass off but grinning all the same, because what makes you feel more alive than swimming in a beautiful lake in Norway?
We hit the road again, as the landscape became increasingly barren looking. Our route today was taking us dead north, and the snow on the mountains had become a permanent fixture. We stopped for lunch by a lake on a desolate looking moor. Lex pooped with excitement, the smells were so good around here.
We arrived in Trondheim this afternoon, where Lex was immediately recognised as an Alaskan Klee Kai! This never happens. People tend to assume he’s either:
a very far away wolf
a pomsky (Pomeranian / Husky cross)
Or once, a jackal.
The woman who recognised him told us there’s one other Klee Kai in Trondheim, which is how she knew. But the other Klee Kai is “toy” sized, about half the size of Lex! The lady was much more impressed by Lex’s stature, and walked away from the conversation now seriously considering jumping onto the waiting list for the one Klee Kai breeder in all of Norway.
We made us of our favourite service in Norway, Rema 1000, a supermarket with free wifi, then decided to keep driving towards Sweden, sadly wondering if we would ever see another Rema 1000 again. We’d decided to head into Sweden for their solstice/midsummer celebrations, which were coming up fast.
We reached the border and realised the customs office had closed 18 minutes before we got there. Most people would have just driven on through (the border is open – stopping at customs to declare things works on kind of an honour system), but since it was late anyway and we’d seen a nice rest stop 5 minutes back, we decided to sleep in Norway and cross over tomorrow.
The internet had advised we should show Lex’s passport to the customs people, as we were technically entering the EU from a non-EU country. (The next day, customs didn’t actually want to see the pet passport because Norway’s dog rules are so tightly controlled, so we just drove on through after all.)
It was pouring with rain that evening, so we slept in the car and ate a cold dinner, not being able to get the stove out. Then we played the game of “trying to access everything in the boot without getting out of the car,” which is always fun.
At 10pm that evening, while unable to see much of the very wet outside world, we suddenly got a very alarming knock on the window! It was a couple of border patrol guards, who asked to check our IDs (including Lex’s, for once!), and questioned us about whether we were smuggling alcohol, cigarettes or drugs in the car. The questions were fairly routine and after only searching our eyes for any signs of shiftiness (our friends at home know how guilty we can both look particularly when we’re innocent, so this was kinda worrying!), the guards seemed satisfied at their job well done (or perhaps tired of Lex’s barking at them), and drove off. Apparently a lot of Scandinavian countries have increased their border security since the start of the refugee crisis in Europe. It was a rather sobering reminder that a lot of people don’t enjoy our freedom to cross borders.
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