Today we bade farewell to Denmark, and caught the ferry to Sweden. We first drove to Freidrikshavn on the east coast of Jutland, filled up with diesel (fuel is significantly cheaper in Denmark than Sweden we had been told), grabbed a quick coffee, and then made our way to the port. Freidrikshavn is a busy port, operating several ferry routes and a hub for container vessels. There seemed to be tons of lorries in our ferry queue, and we began to doubt there would be room for us, since we were one of the last to be loaded. They actually sent ourselves and the few other camper vans up a completely separate ramp in the end, and onto a higher level on the car deck. Compared with our recent ferry experience coming back from Iceland, the deck was palatial, with room between the vehicles to actually open your car doors. The ferry was full of foot passengers from Sweden, hauling large fold-up trolleys. It turns out that alcohol is significantly cheaper in Denmark, so the thing to do is to catch the ferry across from Sweden and stock up on booze. The queue in the Duty free shop was endless. Each customer was limited to six slabs of 24 cans of lager /beer, and everyone seemed to have purchased their limit, in addition to spirits and wine. Whole families seemed to have come across for the day trip, many with push chairs, which more often than not, had substituted babies for booze!
The ferry trip was uneventful, despite our earlier fears of a rough crossing – the winds this morning on the campsite hit 40 mph, and we had to put down the roof before we had finished packing, worried that the pop-up frame would distort. In anticipation, I took the last of my Stugeron tablets, and apparently snoozed for most of the crossing.
When it was time to disembark, one small saloon car on our deck level was having so much trouble fitting all their cases of lager and beer back onto their vehicle, we feared that there wouldn’t be room for Granny and the baby. The ferry staff shouted at them repeatedly as they struggled to squeeze everything in, and in the end, they let the floor down from the higher level on top of them (not squashing them, thankfully), but trapping them until all the cars from the higher level has driven off, and the roof raised again.
We arrived in Gothenburg early evening. It is a very busy shipping port, and it took a while to negotiate the docks. We have noticed that for the first time in weeks, it starts to get dark in the evenings – a novelty after the near endless daylight in Iceland.
Tomorrow we will explore the city – we are staying a little outside the centre, overlooking the Gota alv river. We are looking forward to seeing what the land of Abba, Ikea and meatballs has to offer! Howard is already practicing his Mamma Mia moves!!