Well, our journey through Sweden was interesting. The roads were easy to drive and the stop over places in their Restplatz were great and trouble free with all facilities needed for wild camping ie drinking water. Great! The forests are endless and the road view does not differ very much until you go off the main roads into the villages. But we were on a mission to get to Rovaniemi and we did not deviate from the road on the way there. In fact, if you blinked you might have missed the road sign saying Finland as we crossed the border from Sweden. We camped on the banks of the Kemioki River in our second campsite of the trip. Great location but very expensive!!
The houses in Sweden were just how I imagined them. Predominantly red but also a pale yellow. The space here is wonderful. The lakes and trees amazing. As we entered Sweden I saw an elk in the wild. My second viewing. The first time I saw an elk was in Finland whilst on the train between Rovaniemi and Tampere. Apparently, I am very lucky as a friend who lives in Finland has never seen one in the wild.
My next page for my art journal is forming in my head. Something to do with elks. I just need a bit more time to get it down on paper. It is such a busy life travelling!!
We are now heading south wards in Finland and as we head towards Midsummer’s day the temperature near Jyvaskyla is 3C and there is snow in the rain! However, remembering back to the frosts of Sweden, the colours are subtly different than here in Finland and the forest floor is bare compared to the flora in Finland. I think the canopy is denser in Sweden.
We are currently at a campsite in Ranua, where there is a wonderful zoo with the animals mostly indigenous to Finland. It is a great place where we have had walks, wandering through the zoo and had time to get out the BBQ for our vegetarian feasts. However, my journal is still way behind us!! Too much travel and not enough painting. But, I completed another four pages today. I use my digital photos and ephemera picked up along the way. It is a great process to go through even a few days behind as we can relive the journey even whilst we are still on it!
Well, I have never seen the midnight sun before but last night we managed to see it. The sun never sets in Rovaniemi for over a whole month. I thought there might be dusk, but no, it just stays complete daylight for 24 hours. Amazing!
But, today it is only 7C and windy and wet. So unless it cheers up we will not be seeing the midnight sun tonight. Went for a run this morning in a loop over the bridges and along the Kemioki river. John was worried I would be suffering from hypothermia when I got back as I didn’t put a jumper on. I was fine but I could have done with some gloves as my hands were cold. I just had to run faster to keep warm. We are tempted to come South!!!! We have resorted to having the heating on!!!!
Found a great campsite easily in Denmark where we spent a pleasant evening as the sunshine came out for us after a rainy day. Our view was overlooking one of the toll bridges we were to cross on our way to Sweden. The campsite was quiet and we ate popcorn from the microwave (very decadent) and sipped wine. The next day, after a quick Skype chat to my daughter in Australia we headed off over the bridges. Very spectacular. I hope to do a painting of one soon.
I hope you like these two pages from my art journal. Please leave a comment.
Well, although we are now sat by the edge of the Kemijoke River in Rovaniemi, my art journal is still behind us. So, the pictures here show an impression of Vegesack in Germany where we stayed in a Stellplatz by the river and had a lovely time walking backwards and forwards along the river’s edge. The weather was warm and sunny, almost too hot!
From here we drove to another stellplatz in Germany and went onward and upward into Denmark. Bridges are a feature of our travels so far as we cross various countries and rivers/seas to get to our final destination of the Arctic Circle.
Well, despite now being in Sweden, my art journal is still back in the UK. We have certainly been covering the miles /kilometres – 1500 miles so far which has put paid to hours of drawing and painting. However, I have all my ideas lined up and allocated to pages in my journal. Nevertheless, here are two of my pages. Not sure if they are totally finished yet!! Can never stop adding a few embellishments😄
On our way up to Harwich we stopped off at the National Trust’s Flatford Mill to see where Constable had been inspired over 200 years ago. A lovely place and a great sense of peace. Then off to Harwich for the overnight crossing to Hoek Van Holland in Holland. A brilliant crossing as we had splashed out on a Captain’s Class cabin. Very nice.
In the morning we seemed to fly through Holland into Germany and onto a town on the edge of the Weser, Vegesack. We came here before in January 2013 when the temperature was -15C and the water in our motorhome was frozen the whole time! We only went there to visit one of our children Aidan, whose super yacht was in dry dock for upgrading. What a difference the time of year makes and we had glorious warm sunshine. After some walks into the town along the Weser and a run in the morning we were off again traveling to the North of Germany.
We found a little Stellplatz in a village next to a park where we could walk and go for a run in the morning. Lovely weather but woke up to torrential rain in the morning so decided to drive up into Denmark staying just south of Nyborg at a campsite. Gorgeous spot over looking the sea and the bridges we are crossing tomorrow to work our way towards Sweden.
The art journal is coming along but no finished pages yet. All works in progress so I will post those when they are in a better place!