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The move – part 3 (Sweden & Finland)

5 May 2012

In my previous two blog posts, I’ve been writing about my move from the Isle of Man to Åland, Finland. You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. This is part 3 and the final installment of the series:

Leaving Skåne

Skåne. Just like Denmark, only Swedish.

After having eaten breakfast at the hotel (Mmm, boiled eggs and Swedish caviar on rye bread!), I hit the road again. Skåne looked just like Denmark: flat and full of flowering fields, which was pretty and all but it didn’t really feel like the Sweden I knew. (Yes, I’m prejudiced. But I grew up further north, where we had proper forests and hills. And moose.)

Once out on the motorway from Lund, I looked at the satnav: I was due to turn right in.. Crikey: 140 miles! Now I was in Sweden for sure! I’d better step on it if I was going to make the ferry to Finland later that night.

Passing through Småland and Östergötland

Raining with a vengeance.

After a few hours I entered Småland and the landscape changed and became more like the Sweden I remembered. Downside: the motorway just kept going on and on, which got tired pretty quick. All I ever saw was trees, trees and more trees. Then a petrol station and then more trees. At least I was making good progress. I’d covered those pesky 140 miles and was now heading north. My next turn was in.. Oh. 215 miles. (Sigh..)

Suddenly the sky turned dark grey and each car I passed sprayed my windscreen with grubby brown road water. I had to turn off and pull into a petrol station to rinse off the windows and fill up the washer fluid. I looked up at the sky again; it seemed like it would start to rain soon. And as I pulled out of the petrol station (Right hand traffic! Right hand traffic!), it did. With a vengeance.

I could just about do with a rum and coffee.
Oh. That’s right. It’s in Swedish: ‘Room – Café’. Damn.

(This is probably the time to apologise for the poor quality pictures in this blog post. I only had my phone camera to hand, and was operating it single-handed whilst driving. Also, I had promised Fiancée not to die in a horrible traffic accident, so I couldn’t really focus properly on taking pictures.)

Entering Östergötland was not particularly dramatic. Rather, it was more of the same. I was reminded of that traveling by car in Sweden invariably gets rather tedious.

Södermanland and Uppland

A few hours later I had passed Norrköping (without even catching a glimpse of the city, as is the Swedish way) and was in Södermanland. In another hour I’d be in Stockholm, my birthplace. But just north of Norrköping I passed Scandinavia’s largest wildlife park: Kolmårdens djurpark. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to stop, so I could only wave at the road sign and drive on. :(

Finally! The last ferry of the trip!

As I approached Stockholm the traffic got busier. I was to pick up my mum’s husband in Mörby, just north of the city, on the way to the ferry to Åland in about 30 minutes, but it took more than an hour to go around Stockholm (including another asshattery by my satnav: it got me to turn off and tried to get me to board yet another ferry just south of Stockholm. What’s with this satnav and its bloody ferries?!). In the end I did manage to meet up with my mum’s husband which meant that on the final leg of the journey I had some company.

After a quick stop at a superstore to pick up some groceries, we arrived at the harbour in Grisslehamn with time to spare.

Åland, Finland

Does Lydia the dog look accusing to you?
‘How could you leave me for 6 long weeks?’

The ferry trip to Åland was quick and painless (less than 2 hours), and I enjoyed a tasty dinner. They even had free wi-fi onboard, so I could get up to speed with my Twitter, Facebook and blogger friends.

Just before midnight, we landed in Berghamn, Åland and I was finally reunited with my family and Assar the cat – and even Lydia the dog! I’d arrived.

And this concludes my move from Isle of Man to Åland, Finland. It was both exhausting and exciting, and I’m now looking forward to begin the next phase of my life.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 8 May 2012 20:43

    So many things!

    First, you could have died, taking those photos! Tsk, tsk, you!

    Second, WILDLIFE PARK! Is it so far away? Can you ever go back to visit it? I request a visit to the wildlife park someday! With photos! So I can vicariously come along!

    Third, your GPS is clearly in cahoots with the ferries. It’s cahootery!

    Fourth, aw, look at Lydia’s little adorable accusing face!

    I’m so glad you’re there safely. Thank you for taking us all along for the ride! What an adventure!

    • 9 May 2012 04:39

      Thank you, glad you liked it!

      I couldn’t really have died taking the photos, I was always focusing on the traffic first, taking photos second (hence the blurriness).

      The wildlife park is not close, but not far far away either. About 2 hours boat trip and then 3 hours by car. We will take Baby girl there some day for sure! (Oh! And I still need to upload the footage I’ve got on us patting the lemurs in the Isle of Man! Please remind me if I forget.)

      Re GPS: Sadly, I can only blame myself. I had it set on avoiding any toll roads and preferring ferries instead. Stupid!

      Isn’t she just the cutest? And less accusing now, a few days later.

      It WAS an adventure, and I thoroughly enjoyed it – although I wouldn’t want to do it again any time soon!

  2. 9 May 2012 04:33

    All’s well that ends well. I am happy that everyone is safe and sound.

  3. 10 May 2012 01:02

    I’m with Amy. I would have had to make a detour for the wildlife park. And I’d say Lydia the dog looks more forlorn than accusing. Enjoy the next phase!

    • 10 May 2012 16:18

      Good! I can live with forlorn.

      I really wanted to stop at the wildlife park, but I didn’t have the time. :( Next time, though..

      Thanks, I think I will! :)

  4. 10 May 2012 14:14

    “I only had my phone camera to hand, and was operating it single-handed whilst driving.” :O and :O

    • 10 May 2012 16:19

      I’ll have you know that in Scandinavia it’s not against the law to operate a mobile phone whilst driving. And I was super-careful!

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  1. Moving from Isle of Man to Finland – epilogue « heinakroon.com

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