Category: Sweden

Swimming in the Baltic

Fulltofta Nature Reserve

There had been lots of opportunities for us to go for a swim but, ashamed to say, we found as many reasons not to bother. At Lundegård, our camping neighbours took their eighteen month old son swimming every day. They gave us advice – don’t toe test the water, use the bathing ladder off the causeway. Off we set dressed in our bathers. The weather was warm but very windy and the waves were crashing into the bathing steps. We stepped down two steps where the waves hit the fat bits; down another step and the waves reached the delicate bits and the next moment we were waist deep in the Baltic Sea. The next wave swamped chest and arms and we were off – it was wonderful, not at all cold and we could have stayed in for ever. The Baltic was very un-salty. We were left with an invigorated feeling that persisted for hours. (Sorry – No photographic evidence).

Fulltofta Nature Reserve

We left Öland and continued our journey south, stopping overnight at a nature reserve at Fulltofta, north of Malmö. There was a clearing in forest close to two lakes and a pond teeming with wildfowl. We were surrounded by mature oaks, some several hundred years old.

Later that evening our little clearing filled with half a dozen other campers, mostly youngsters in small vans or cars and tents. We shared a convivial nightcap with Sara and Marcus, a Swedish couple parked next to us, and picked up a few tips on travelling in Sweden.

The Wildfowl Pond at Fulltofta
The Lake at Fulltofta

Öland

One of the Beaches at Lundegård – that’s not me either!
🔵 Lundegård Camping

We planned to spend a night in the city of Kalmar but we found the official camper stop was already full. We decided to go across the nearby 6 Km long bridge to the island of Öland. The island was 137 Km long but only 16 Km wide and there was only one main road going north to south and it was heaving with slow moving traffic, mainly camper vans. We were in two minds whether to stay with the traffic or turn round and leave the island.

A Swimming Opportunity?

Eventually, after an hour or so moving at snail’s pace we came to Lundegård, a huge camping site with plenty of available space. We found ourselves a lovely quiet spot where we had an electricity supply and excellent wifi. We were content.


At the bottom of the site were a series of sandy beaches and causeways with bathing ladders. We gave the water the toe test and couldn’t decide whether to fetch our swimmers or not – so we didn’t!

Solliden Palace nearby was the summer home of the Swedish monarchs. Many years ago the King of Sweden bought a boat from us and he and his family came to Chichester Marina to take delivery. We gave them coffee and nibbles before Tony escorted them out of Chichester Harbour. I expect they remember us well so it would be rude not to call in and say hello.

Solliden Palace – I expect we will be invited to stay for dinner

Söderköping

The River at Sönderköping

We disembarked from the ferry at Stockholm and were allowed on our way without any further checks – Covid or otherwise. We headed south west along the coast and stopped at the medieval city of Sönderköping (sounds like serder-sherping) alongside the Göta Canal, a 390 Km waterway, part of a series of lakes and rivers connecting the Baltic with the North Sea at Gothenburg.

There was a municipal parking area for camper vans by the canal just a few minutes walk along the towpath from the marina with shops, cafés and restaurants. Leisure boats, both power and sail, travelled in both directions along the canal. Visiting boats were moored up alongside long wooden pontoons.

The weather was warm and sunny (22°) and the towpath was crowded with families, dog walkers and cyclists as well as the boating people. All through the day thirty or more very patient people formed an interminable queue outside the popular ice cream parlour. Later that day we wandered up to the marina to get something to eat. On our way back we lingered on the pontoon to chat to boat owners who were sitting on deck enjoying the evening sunshine – that used to be us!

The whole area had a wonderful holiday atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and, of course, they all spoke excellent English. It took me a few hours to work out why folk seemed so happy and and outgoing until it finally dawned on me that no-one was wearing a face mask and we were experiencing normal human contact.

Camper Van Parking on the Right
View of Passing Boats from the Truck
The Marina at Sönderköping

Ferry to Sweden

The Ferry Route to the Baltic

We had a surprisingly enjoyable overnight ferry trip from Finland to Sweden. The boat was comparatively new and our cabin was well equipped and spotlessly clean.
We had dinner in the main restaurant, which was set high up at the front of the ship, allowing wonderful views of our journey to the Baltic Sea. We sailed through calm waters surrounded by the hundreds of little islands lying off the coast. There were brightly painted wooden cabins on some of the larger islands but most were tiny islets with just enough room for a few fir trees. The evening sun was just setting and gave the glassy water a silvery glow, contrasting dramatically with the dark conifers all around us.

RIP Sue Knight. We will miss you x