Wednesday, 28 August 2013


I never expected to visit Stockholm and therefore I had no pre-conceived ideas about the place. What I found was a lovely, quiet, quaint city built on what appeared to be dozens of little islands giving the place an air of openness.

We stayed on the water in the very friendly 'Red boat' At £70 a night it wasn't bad for a capital city and they let me park the bike onshore for free.

We had two full days in Stockholm and visited.....

The City Hall, famous for being the place where the annual Nobel Prize banquet is held

Tracy walking down the steps to receive her Nobel prize - in Physics apparently!

The Swedish Parliament building

A civilised way to hold a debate.

where we learnt that 45% of Swedish MPs are women (in the UK it's only 22%) and, interestingly (at least I found it interesting but I teach Politics so I suppose I should) in Sweden MPs sit alphabetically by constituency, not in party groups.

We also popped into the Nobelmuseet (Nobel Museum) which told us about the weird life of Mr Alfred Nobel as well detailed info. on the six awards and their recipients.

Next day, I thought we were going to go to the ABBA Museum – after all it was Tracy's birthday, but it cost £20 (her decision, not mine) so we just went around the shop

and then had our photos taken


Deeply disturbing

and then we went to the quite astonishing Vasa Museum.

You may well have heard of the 'Mary Rose' if you're from the UK but have you heard of the Vasa? No, me neither.  In 1628, 25 minutes into her maiden voyage, the 69m long, 48m tall warship capsized in Stockholm harbour.  She lay at the bottom, in cold brackish water, covered in mud for 333 years. When she was raised in 1961 and painstakingly restored, she was 98% intact.


We then stumbled into the Stockholm Fringe festival and witnessed some street art...

From Stockholm we moved west to Gothenburg via Orebro and its castle

and some Viking rock art

and a lovely campsite by a lake – very Sweden

Typical Sweden

by now, five weeks into the trip we were very much 'in the groove' of travelling - pitching camp every night, breakfasting at petrol stations.

Breakfast at a petrol station. Only £5!

and comfortable in our travelling lifestyle. But all good they say and it wasn't long before we were on a boat from Gothenburg to Denmark.

We headed north in Denmark to Skagen. I might not have made it to the most northerly point in Europe but I made it to the most northerly point in Denmark.

Camping for our last night our tent looked in need of a rest! Two of the poles had broken and it was just as well we hadn't seen rain in over a week.

New tent on the Christmas shopping list

That beard - it's growing on me!

On our last day, on the way to Esbjerg, we stopped at Silkeborg to see 'Tollund Man'. Believed to have been murdered/sacrificed in 300BC, this leathery body, complete with the rope still around his neck, was found in a peat bog in the 1950s.

At the harbour we met a group of English bikers heading home after an 'Ariel Bike rally' in Denmark.

1956 Ariel

The following morning we arrived back in the UK. It felt strange to be riding on the left hand side again and as we made our way home I wondered what a Scandinavian would make of riding in the UK… The roads are very busy…there are a lot of pubs everywhere… petrol is cheap… other bikers nod at you a lot…

And that, as they say, is that. I'll post again in a few days with some final thoughts and stats of the trip. And I will post details of my book – when it will be out – as soon as I know.

Thanks for reading. I’m off to do some washing…

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