Day 156 Kungshamm to Stromsted, Sweden.

Last night was another very windy night. Fortunately we had the sense to move Oscar so that his back was to the prevailing wind, so protecting the pop-up to some degree. It still meant for a noisy night, with the topper flapping away, but at least it felt more secure than the previous night, when the van had rocked and jostled for much of there night.

By 3am the wind was starting to subside, and this morning we awoke to a sunny day, if still a little blustery.

After breakfast, we headed northwards, following the pretty coastal route to Stromsted. First stop was a picturesque little harbour at Hamburgsund, and a quick visit to the supermarket for some bread and essentials. Across the other side of the harbour was the island of Hamburgo, and we watched the tiny chain car ferry make it’s two minute journey across to the island and back. One wondered why they didn’t build a bridge, but this method of transport was certainly more exciting. It reminded us of the chain ferry that runs between Dartmouth and Kingswear on the River Dart in Devon.

Next on our route was a return visit to Fjallbacka, where had visited yesterday. We returned to the lovely cafe where we had enjoyed lunch in the rain. Today, however, we were able to sit outside in the sunshine for our coffee, and watch the world go by in the harbour. This is such a charming place, well off the main tourist route, but clearly a weekend destination for Swedes, since it was decidedly busier today. There was also a rally of classic sports cars starting to gather in the car park, everyone taking great pride in their gleaming chunks of metal.

We eventually dragged ourselves away and headed onwards. We passed back through Grebbestad again, looking decidedly better in the sunshine today, but also much busier. It must teem in the high season, since all along the harbourside were masses of restaurants. The fishing boats were back in harbour today, and the fish market already closed, the lobster and shrimp catch well on it’s way by now local eateries.

After a quick wander, we headed on to Stromsted, along the coast. All along this part of the Swedish coastline are large dome-shaped rocky outcrops with flat tops. Brightly painted houses are nestled in at the bases of these rocks, and frequent inlets and tiny harbours litter the coast. Inland, the countryside is incredibly green, with fields mainly growing grass for hay or pasture. The grass is left especially long at the road margins, presumably to maintain a habitat for wildlife, but looked especially fine today swaying in the breeze. Sweden is a very tidy country. Every property looks well kept, and gardens carefully tendered. The Swedes, themselves, are very stylish, even when dressed casually, and are wonderfully polite and helpful. To our shame, they also exclusively speak English as a second language.

On our way to our next campsite, approaching Stromsted, we passed a ghastly looking amusement park called Daftland. I did quip to Howard that maybe it was meant for him, having made some spectacularly bad navigating errors just moments before. Life is generally simpler if he drives, and I navigate, but when we reverse roles, I must say that neither of us are at our best! I am slowly getting used to driving the van on just the wing mirrors (we now have so much ‘stuff’ in the back that the rearview mirror has long since become redundant), but felt happiest driving it in northern Iceland, where the roads bore a strong resemblance to those around where we live in Scotland.

The seaside town of Stromsted is bustling with people and the harbour full of pleasure boats. I must admit to preferring little working harbours, and we didn’t linger long before heading to our campsite.

We have managed to bag a brilliant pitch, looking out over the water, perched high above the inlet. It is a huge site, but from where we are parked, we can only see two other vans, since we are looking towards the view. I imagine it will get busy this weekend with families, but just now it is very pleasant indeed. Our only complaint is that we can smell the mouth-watering smell of our neighbours barbecue, and we had just planned omelette for tea. So we may end up changing our menu plan – somehow, omelette had lost it’s appeal. Time to re-consider over a Hendricks, me thinks!

Still having problems with downloading photos from the cloud – will post as soon as they appear.

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