22 June 2018
Today was just a long old day of driving – nine hours in all – to make as much progress as possible towards Bergen, as we need to be there by 25th June for our flight home. As such, there’s not much to report. We shared the driving as we were both exhausted from just a few hours sleep last night.
We left Rovaniemi just before 10:00, and Ian did the first stretch of 130 miles – a quarter of our total distance – and taking us in Sweden.
Sweden is also quite beautiful but feels less spacious than Finland. Most of the forests were fenced off with wire and posts, probably due to winter snowfall, but somehow it made everything feel more controlled. There are loads of speed cameras and the roads are often divided by barriers to prevent overtaking. The terrain is hilly and forest-filled although we drove for a long time along the coastline, it was hidden behind the trees, and we saw it only occasionally as we crossed bridges over little inlets. It was grey and cloudy and rained for much of the journey. Nevertheless it is a beautiful country!
I took over at the petrol station where I stupidly knocked over a coffee I’d just bought 🙄. I felt okay (despite my clumsiness suggesting otherwise), so drove another 150 miles before handing back to POI, who had found a second wind and drove the rest of the way. Cornelia slept for about three hours (which she needed given her disrupted sleep last night) and woke up with about an hour left of the journey. She made a washing line for her Gang by hooking string in between her toes and hanging them on it! Then we listened to more Heidi, discussing all the things that were going on.
By the time we arrived, Ian and I were both flagging (although I’d dozed for a short time in the afternoon), and were glad to get to our apartment. It was a funny place – very old and tired-looking, and quite dirty, although the note that was left for us on the table stated that we would need to clean the apartment or be charged 200SKR. There was also a charge for bedding and towels (!) so we used our own. It’s the first time we’ve been told we have to pay extra for such things!
I cooked us a quick supper and as we all needed a bit of fresh air, we went for a walk into the town in search of an ATM (we had to leave payment on the table in cash). The town was most peculiar – it was completely deserted like a ghost town! We quickly figured out that it was a bank holiday for the Swedes due to Midsummer Night, but nonetheless it was odd that no one was out and about – all quite eerie. Thud thud thud, and a small group of teenage boys came around the corner, bouncing a basketball. Apart from two teenage girls and one man hanging out outside the closed supermarket, that was it. We found the ATM, then walked back home to get Cornelia to bed. Or, more accurately, to the sofa, which I had lined with her duvet and blanket. She took a while to settle, eventually asking me to in and cuddle her (which I was happy to do, although I was in danger of falling asleep myself!).
I did a bit of work updating her scrapbook, then it was time for us to sleep too.