Tuesday 20th June
Last night we’d gone to sleep in the car amidst pouring rain. I’d run across the car park for a middle-of-the-night wee in the freezing rain, and when we woke up we were pleased to note it was still pouring with rain. Without leaving the car, we reached into the boot and pulled out some tortilla wraps, a banana, jam, honey, peanut butter and blueberries, which we smushed together to form a zesty breakfast burrito. It wasn’t half bad either.
Having succeeded in avoiding getting out the car that morning, we started our long drive into Sweden. Morgan has various friends in Sweden who he’d asked what’s good to do around here. They’d all heartedly recommended Gothenburg and Stockholm in the south, and they all seemed a bit perplexed by the fact we weren’t going south at all – just sticking to the barren north instead.
“The north is great for sking in winter!” multiple people declared happily. “But, umm, I don’t know what you can do up there in summer…”
Well, we went to the north anyway, and sure enough people seem to love skiing so much here that they do it in summer too! “Road skiing”, as we termed it, looked just like actual skiing except for much less fun and much more hard work.
Despite everyone’s warnings, we were barely over the border before we found something cool to do in North Sweden (that wasn’t road skiing!) Turns out, Sweden’s largest waterfall was right by our route, named Tännforsen. On seeing the signs for it, we decided we had to visit it, but with really low expectations.
“We’ve seem some pretty cool waterfalls in Norway so far, and for all we know Sweden has terrible waterfalls! This might just be the best of a bad bunch…”
I tried hard to create a pessimistic mood in the car as we drove to the waterfall.
Turns out, I needn’t have bothered because Tännforsen is actually really cool. Green water thunders through a channel in the rocks, creating a huge splash as it lands in the lake below. Sweden have thoughtfully designed 2 viewing areas, a “you might get wet” area and a “dry and safe area”. Ahh, Scandinavia, you do anticipate our every need.
Another cool thing about Sweden is that they believe a monster lives in the giant lake at the end of the waterfall. This story is not unlike that of the Scottish Loch Ness monster, except the Swedish monster is rumoured to have the body of a serpent and the head of a dog! Say whattt? Unfortunately, we didn’t see any sign of the fabled dog hybrid water creature thing, so we are not in a position to verify if the legend is true or not.
For lunch, we decided to make eggs on our camping stove for the first time. I make eggs a lot at home and had not anticipated any issues with this. Then, 3 things happened all at once:
The eggs immediately burnt onto our camping pan
It started raining
The yolk broke in my fried egg and the delicious yellow goo mixed in with all the burnt bits now in the pan.
It was a rather upsetting situation. Whilst Morgan was holding an umbrella over me and I was frantically scrapping smashed egg onto a wet plate, a man came up to us.
“You can come inside if you want,” he said, indicating the building behind him.
Then he disappeared back inside, out of the rain. Morgan and I looked at each other. We had absolutely no idea what was in that building. It was large and slightly institutional looking. I guessed it was a school, Morgan guessed a hotel. As the rain continued to splatter our sorry egg sandwiches, we decided to go for it, and edged open the door.
We were both half right. A couple of children playing on a tricycle skidded past us as we pushed open the door, revealing a wide open foyer with big windows overlooking the nearby lake and forest. The guy who had invited us in made us drinks then sat and chatted to us. Turns out, his family have owned this place for 7 generations. It used to be a BnB but had recently been converted into a safe place to home and help refugees. We were profoundly grateful they had opened their doors to two more wet and soggy wanderers.
In the afternoon, we visited the 3rd biggest lake in Sweden and Morgan complained that it wasn’t big enough.
In the evening we treated ourselves to a stay at a real campsite with showers and everything. Camp Viking is run by a really lovely Belgian couple, living out their personal dream in the wilds of Sweden. The camp site is on yet anther beautiful lake, and we sat out on the dock late at night, enjoying a little whisky as the hues and shadows of the sky changed tone amidst the perpetual daylight.
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