Day 155 Kungsmann, Gotland, Sweden.

Last night proved incredibly windy. If we had known when we went to bed, we would have parked in the opposite direction, to protect the pop-up. But by 3am, it was too late to start moving the van. Howard, delighted with his new pillow, slept peacefully, whilst I lay awake, listening to every creak, groan and flap of the van. Howard’s new pillow didn’t help my sleep either. It is a long pillow, longer than the usual size, intended I guess as a bolster. The result of this, is that it sneaks into my half of the bed, meaning that half my head has two pillows, and the other half has one. As you can imagine, not the most comfortable of arrangements. I tried to counter my pillow-less half with a cushion from downstairs, to try to balance my head, so to speak. This only partially helped, and with the increasing wind, my sleep was definitely fitful.

By the morning, the wind had eased a little, and I fell into a deep sleep. The result of this was that we were very late getting up. By the time we eventually emerged, two of our neighbours had packed up and gone. After showering, we didn’t finish breakfast til close to eleven – disgraceful!

We eventually got ourselves together, and headed out for the day. Having missed the check-out time, we decided to stay put on this campsite for another night, but to visit a couple of fishing villages recommended to us by the receptionist in Gothenburg. Neither of these were flagged up in our Rough Guide – but she had assured us that they were both worth a visit on our journey northwards.

Our first port of call was a gorgeous little fishing village on the coast called Fjallbacka. It was indeed worth a visit – I suspect one of those places that the Swedes keep to themselves. We had a quick wander around the harbour, and then opted for a late lunch in one of the pleasant waterside cafes. We made a good choice – the food was delicious, and we were well satiated. By the time we came out of the cafe, the weather was taking a turn for the worse. Grey clouds were looming, and the wind was picking up again. Walking back to Oscar we spotted a shop that sold cushion covers in the design of nautical flags, one of which looked just like the Saltire. We couldn’t resist buying it for the van, although as Howard  said, this could be the straw that breaks the camels back! Space in Oscar is growing increasingly tight, especially since Howard acquired his monster pillow!

We continued on to the other place we had been told to visit – Grebbestad, which happened also to be the home town of my hairdresser. Once more, this was a lovely fishing village, famed for receiving the bulk of the Norwegian lobster catch. It had a charming working fishing harbour, and pretty waterside houses. The only problem was that by now the wind was ferocious, and it had started to rain. I’m quite sure on a good day, Grebbestad would look delightful, but after a quick skirt around, we decided to count our losses, and return to Oscar.

We drove back to our campsite in Kungshamm, as the weather got wilder and wilder. By the time we returned, it was raining stair-rods, and we both got drenched putting on the external topper to protect the roof.

There was nothing to it, but to batten down the hatches, have a drink or two, and have our tea. Having eaten well at lunchtime, we settled for cheese and biscuits, and a rather lovely Croatian wine from Peljesac.

As I type, the wind and rain are still lashing outside. My meteorological office from Newport (the photo girls!) have assured me that the weather will improve tomorrow, so will we keep our fingers crossed for tonight, and hope that we don’t blow away.


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