Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and on to Norway.
May 16, 2006
We have camped in a special Motorhome car park in a small town called Osten in Lower Saxony.
We are today on the Frisian Islands on the Island of Romo (55dN) which is connected to Denmark by a causeway
I was finally able to buy a Camping Carneg, a card you can leave at the camp office instead of your passport, don't leave home without one!
On up the North Sea coast of Denmark today with massive sand hills between us on the road and the ocean. Almost every house we went past on this almost country road was had a thatched roof (some very old 1850+) then all of a sudden there was none, just normal roofs of tiles. Must be to do with where they can grow the reads for the thatching or some other climatic reason.
Tonight we are camped on the shores (in a rest area) of Nissun Bay at 56.55dN
Every where you drive in this country there are campsites, some very large and they have very many amenities and are often full of caravans, for, it appears, weekend use. I find this interesting as Denmark is the same size as Holland with a third of Holland's population and .12 of our land mass in NZ with about 2mil more people (than NZ).
It is rather nice almost every house and business is flying the Danish national flag, they also have their flags in a long pennant style which looks good at the top of a flagpole.
After England, where caravans anywhere, usually have a wheel clamp, hitch lock and often a lockable post in the drive because of the "English Disease" Theft! It is a complete revelation to drive thro Denmark seeing caravans parked in driveways totally unlocked, I remember 10 years ago commenting on outboard motors being left on boats in harbors. It is a pity we did not get more immigrants from this country, or we did not attempt to change the NZ thinking.
Tonight we are in 3 star campground near Lokken (57.34d N) they have Deluxe sites with water, power, TV and wireless internet, it is fairly full of caravans, not all occupied at the moment.
Satellite TV has gone from 17 stations in UK to three news channels this far north, soon I may have to switch to the European satellite with 350 channels in German etc and two news in English!
We stayed at another campground with wireless internet and good amenities at place called Øster Hurup.
May 23, 2006
May 25, 2006
Today I avoided a ferry crossing and went on a motorway to cross from Funun to Zealand, thinking I was going to save some money, no such luck it cost $NZ82 to cross the bridge!
When I am in to old Soviets I always photograph the Orthodox Churches and their Onion Domes, it is interesting the Luda is fascinated with the construction of the Western Churches and is photographing as many of these as I have of the Russian Orthodox.
Tonight at Strøby Ladeplads.
May 26, 2006
We have stopped for the night in a parking lot near the sea near Gilleleje (56.107dN)
May 27, 2006
We made out way out to the closest campground and I went it to check in, the guy in the shop was busy talking on the telephone and continued doing do for the next 15 minutes…. That I was there, I walked out after this time, emptied the toilet using their amenities, filled up with water and then moved on with a little bit of satisfaction for the waiting with no service.
On to Copenhagen via GPS straight to the campground, no wireless internet, hard to fill up with water, but close to the train so this will do for the next four days.
Count of exotic cars I have seen since being in Denmark 2 E type Jags, 4 Ferrari's and 2 Lamborghini's.
A Danish guy user his card for us for the Metro trip into the city when we bought tickets enough for the rest of our travel here.
We went first thro the Tivoli a entertainment centre built about 1854, it is a type of Disneyland but much older. It was built to give the people of Copenhagen something to do beside rioting, and was a outstanding success.
We then went on three sightseeing tours around the city, it was wet so not much else to do on a wet Sunday, it was interesting and would have been more so if they could have coordinated the commentary with the sights instead of being early or late so you looked around for the sight and nothing! There were eight languages available with four working.
May 29, 2006
May 31, 2006
We drove up the Swedish Baltic coast towards Stockholm on the smallest coast road we could find. We stopped for the night at Ahus (55.54d N) We noted a lot of the beachside parking spots in this area have "No Camping"
We found a motor camp on the edge of the ocean, drove around trying to find the check in spot, nothing to be found, so we chose a nice site and setup for the night. In the morning I thought I'd better tell them I had been here, and pay some money, and that nice site was worth NZ$44, which is expensive.
June 03, 2006
We stopped all looked at a reconstructed Fort dating from 400AD then on down to see the lighthouse on the southern end of the island, was also happen to be a bird sanctuary in their lot of people there with their powerful spot telescopes checking out the birds. Being a bird sanctuary there was no camping in that area so we drove on North about another 10 kilometres, found a shingle road that went by the see in camped there in an isolated spot for the night. We just hope the wind does not get too strong.
Today it was time to leave the island and head on towards Stockholm, when we got out on the main road we found we still about 400 Kms to go, perhaps we had lingered on the island too long. Have looking at the books we bought about the island we discovered that many things we had not seen and it would appear that the island has been lived on since the Stone Age.
Well it is a beautiful fine day… summer is here, well today, in total we have driven about 355 km round Island so in spite of missing a lot we also saw a lot.
We stopped the night in a town called Gamleby (57.88dN) about 255 kilometres from Stockholm.
Let me at this point give up some statistics of Sweden. It has approximately 9 million population, most of the population is in the southern part of the country with the northern part extremely sparsely populated. It is 1.69 the size of New Zealand, 10 times the size of Denmark and Holland, whilst Denmark has 128 people per square kilometer and Holland has 382 Sweden has 20 and of course New Zealand has 14.
Sweden only has 9% of its land that is arable where as New Zealand has 50% of its area suitable for farming and another 25% suitable for forests. Of course there is also the vast difference in the climate.
Today is Sweden's National Day and it is a holiday for the majority of the population with most of the small shops closed, of course department stores etc were open for business. Stockholm was packed with people and there was a lot of entertainment and a few parades but the sightseeing was out of business for the day because some of the streets with closed off and the rest were crowded. We therefore went on a boat tour around all of the island's that make up the Stockholm area.
I should make a comment at this time that I been totally dismayed at the lack of high heels being worn throughout the country's that I have so far visited. This I hope will change when we reach Estonia, more news on this later.
We hear a lot about the very attractive blondes from Sweden, but they must live in another part of Sweden, and whilst there been quite a number of young attractive girls, say 18 and younger Sweden will not make it to Ivan's list of countries of attractive women.
June 07, 2006
Stockholm has about 750,000 population and has very many beautiful areas with some other fashionable areas with beautiful houses and apartments, costing, I would, imagine a healthy sum.
That evening the LPG cylinder that I had purchased in England ran out of gas after being used for 22 days.
We started heading south towards Helsingborg through the centre of Sweden, we were backtracking, one could say, to greet Peter Cejnar on his arrival in Sweden. We tried to find a LPG filling station on the way but in Sweden they are a little like the hens teeth! We stopped the night at the camp site about half way towards Helsingborg at Jönköping, the camp site was one that had wireless Internet, if you used your laptop in the reception area. I downloaded all of my e-mails but I had a major problem sending my e-mails, either something to do with the setup of the Xtra account all the wireless network setup.
I was able to download the address of the LPG filling stations in Sweden so at least that is progress.
It was sort of reassuring to go past boat Harbours full of runabouts all with their outboard motors still fited…….. we were however given a reality check later when we were told about German motorhome's wild camping above Helsingborg on the first night in Sweden being robbed at night while were sleeping they still have plenty of cash in the van.
On to Helsingborg, and hopefully a LPG filling station as the first when we visited was closed on a Saturday. At uneventful drive and when we arrived at the city and the filling station we had our first experience at using the LPG filling system, it was not smooth, but now at least we know how to use this type of station.
We then went on to the suburb of the city where we were to find Peter, he received a considerable surprise in seeing us even though he was aware that we may try. He had, had a enjoyable time first stop in England, only losing his tickets, and in the 10 hours he spent in Sweden, most of which he spent sleeping, he lost the mouse for his computer, so everything is going well for him and up to and beyond expectations.
We moved on North and were going to camp near the sea shore, but the area we chose camping outside camping parks was forbidden, so tonight we are at Marias camping in Mellbystrand.
It was interesting observing that whilst almost every home in Denmark had at least one Danish flag flying, perhaps only one in five, or less, were flying flags in Sweden.
Back on the road towards Oslo, this time I managed to get off motorways by studying the map carefully and drawing and a route that sort of zigzagged up the coast. Very interesting going through the little town's seeing the activity that made up everyday life.
Eventually it was time to start looking for a motor camp, we thought we had found one out on the edge of a peninsula but it did not look very inviting so we went back up the road couple of kilometres and parked in the edge of a forest for the night. (58.43dN)
Back on the zigzagged road towards Oslo, today the route took us to a ferry crossing, we arrived just as the ferry was pulling in which was good, then we had to wait for the rest of the traffic to fill up the ferry, the interesting thing was that was not charge to use the ferry, perhaps the authorities have worked out that to do this was substantially cheaper than building and maintaining a bridge.
Was interesting when we reached the Norwegian border will wait straight through without having to show passports. But Norway is not in the EEC, and whilst we were in a German registered motor home we could have been traveling under any passport, in fact Luda was travelling under Russian passport.
The a lot of roadwork's on the way into Oslo, also some new roads which made the GPS not quite as sharp as it should be, we passed several signs to a motor camp whilst we heading towards the one closest to the city, we found out later that had wireless Internet and when we went to which overlooked the whole city had no Internet, no organized parking, and was in fact the most casual site would be on this trip. We are now at 59.89dN… the same latitude as St Petersburg and we are experiencing the "White Nights" that that city is famous for at this time of the year, this of course will be more extreme as we go further north.
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
We went into the city today by a bus, and went on tour called the Oslo experience, it started off by boat, and then graduated to a bus, which took us round a range of museums before doing a mini-tour of the city near the end of the tour. Walking back to catch the bus we of course discovered a direct route which was considerably shorter than the indirect route we used that morning.
On our way past they camp store we bought two half litre cans of beer, and I think I've discovered the way to stop the teenage bingeing in New Zealand, tax the alcohol the same way as they do in Norway which would make a can of beer $NZ7.81 a can.
However on the tour we were shown a large cruise liner that travelled from Oslo to Copenhagen every day, an onboard they have duty-free alcohol and the Norwegians travel on this boat, binge up, sleepover in Denmark, binge up on the way back and I assume this gives them the intake they need for a few more days.
Norwegians are basically Lutherans, however over the recent years there have been a great number of Moslems coming to the Oslo area, so much so that they now have 25 mosques in and around the city, the city that has a population of about 800,000
We collected a book on camping in Norway and in it showed the camp sites with wireless Internet so I placed those camp sites on our proposed route to the North Cape, it is interesting to note that they seem to go in groups, you'll find four camp sites close to each other and they all have wireless Internet so this service is spreading fast.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Today we visited the Akershus fort, a fortification built in the 17th century, we concentrated our sightseeing on the resistance Museum, a well presented series of photographs, newspaper clippings, actual copies of some of the communications and everything else that was involved during the Nazi occupation and the very large section of the population that participated in some way in the resistance to the occupation.
After this we went on to the Nobel peace centre, this is the location where the people meet to decide who is to be awarded the peace prize each year. This is Norway is part in the five different Nobel awards that are awarded each year as part of the trust set up on the death of Alfred Bernhard Nobel in 1896. That year he left $US9 million accumulated (loosely speaking) from his invention of dynamite.
The New Zealand dollar does not go very far in this country.
This is vastly different to doing my own driving, and staying in motor camp's which are usually outside the city's.
To actually see a country I believe my former method of travel is vastly superior and I'll be interested to gauge my reaction after the trip across Russia to see if it still remains the same.
The real advantage of the motor home is of course only having to unpack your suitcase once, and cooking your own meals majority of the time and of course you never have to worry about where you will be sleeping at night and what the bed will be like.
Thursday June 15, 2006
We left Oslo this morning and started heading south, we will not be at this latitude North again until we reach Bergen. After about 20 to 50 kilometres we started driving into the mountains into the Telemark region where we saw lots of lakes and fast flowing rivers. We are camping tonight on the remains of an old road, the victim of a road straightening exercise.
Currently it is 8:41 p.m. and the sun is still bright and warm and will not set behind the mountains until 9:45 p.m.
There is certainly a lot of campgrounds throughout Scandinavia, not uncommon to find one on an average every 10 kilometres sometimes much less.
Today it was on from the mountains towards the city through the Telemark area in one part of the road that was very interesting was a major number of massive S turns taking you to the top of a high hill. Most of the day were driving past lakes on the left or the right-hand side.
Today it was a short drive to the coast and we proceeded to Kristiansand by the motorway, to the motor camp which according to be camping book had wireless Internet, are either we are at the wrong camp or something else had happened since the publication of the book.
Nevertheless we reach planned the travel via the computer and headed off around the coast after filling up our water tank before leaving. We then proceeded to look for somewhere to wild camp and really found nothing that was suitable by 6:30 p.m. so checked into the next motor camp, as I said before there is a motor camp every five to 10 kilometres.
The motor camp was basically fall of permanent caravans, caravans that appear to be left there all year, they have electricity, water, wastewater all connected, most have large awnings or have a large wooden room sort of semidetached to the caravan. These are a common sight all throughout Europe and I think they must be European version of the Kiwi bach.
It is certainly spectacular driving through Norway with the large solid granite mountains towering up on each side of the road and driving a large percentage of the time beside lakes, rivers or inlets. It is very easy to see why this statistic of 3% of the land is suitable for farming is true because I don't even believe now you could farm mountain goats. They certainly do have large forests everywhere in a vibrant timber industry.
finally arrived at our destination for today at town called
Stavanger, we went to the motor camp that was publicised
as having wireless Internet and again the information
was incorrect but at least we could connect our computer
to the network and catch up with all the spam e-mail that
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