Arriving in Sweden! Country #9May 27, 2017 in Sweden
Today was Day 7 of our big trip to Sweden and there were 403km left to Gothenburg. The sun rose early and the day grew hot quickly. Fortunately the blown air in the van provided relief once we got going.
We skirted around Copenhagen, through the 4km Drogden tunnel under the sea, surfacing at the artificial island of Peberholm before climbing up on to the 7.8km long Øresund Bridge, the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe. Funnily enough it is a lot shorter than the 18km road bridge we took yesterday, but it was still a cool experience, especially when we entered Sweden while still on the bridge! It was one we payed for, the toll being 720DKK or £90!
Sweden is the 9th country we plan to tour. There were a few changes we noticed when driving along the motorway; the different road signs, the many red painted barns and a few red houses sitting on the edge of fields, we even saw a couple of classic wooden windmills.
Denmark's motorway rest areas had been relatively frequent and well layed out with good facilities. It seemed a long time before we came accross one one in Sweden and when we did it was packed. There weren't any van services as there had been in Denmark and there weren't many marked bays, so people made up their own system (to give them credit it was a sensible one). Picnic tables had been provided, but there was a lot of noise from engines and people shouting to make themselves heard. The area looked grimy with litter so we stayed in to eat lunch.
We saw a few IKEAs and there were a lot of McDonalds, KFCs and Burger Kings along the way. We'd been worried about the cost of living in Sweden so were pleased to find a Lidl and to discover that the prices weren't too exorbitant.
There is often a lot to take in when entering a new country and our Lidl shop was our first experience of brushing shoulders with the Swedes. Many seemed taller than we were used to and it was a very quiet atmosphere.
There was beer, but no wine or spirits; these are only sold at government-run shops. All the cans and bottles had deposits included in the price and there were machines where you could return them at the entrance. Alongside the beer, which was all under 3.5%, there were energy drinks, with signs telling us that only those of 15 years or older could by them. The cigarettes in the cabinet by the checkout had a minimum purchase age of 25.
Country specific products included giant circular crispbreads and pitta-like breads packaged up and sold as an ordinary loaf. Something we've not seen in Lidl in any other country was a sweety pic'n'mix counter! It brought back memories of the Woolworths shop at our summer holiday destination in the 1980s and 90s, Stranraer in SW Scotland.
We found home for the night at an elongated car park, quite near the road and some woods in Ängelholm. We'd done 166km but felt shattered.Read more