When Rob rented a car for the Norway fieldwork it had 2102 miles on the counter. We raised that to around 9000. Tromsø is about 3500 km from Plymouth, and looking for good marshes all around the Lofoten- Vesterålen coastline added the rest. I only did about 4000 km of these, but it was quite enough. Until that time my longest road trip, wholly or partly driven myself, was to Wales! So this was quite unprecedented. We left Friday at noon, and arrived Wednesday around 3PM. In between that we crossed 5 countries, and encountered everything from deserted Lappish roads to traffic jams on the German Autobahn, and from bright sunshine to violent downpour. We may not have been very fresh when we started, but we were definitely absolutely worn out and tired of driving at the end. I won’t describe every single hour. But some morsels I’ll serve:
Day one, ~ 1PM: departure from Tromsø
Day one, ~ 2PM: Margot carefully driving a moaning and groaning Rob through a dramatic landscape.
Day one, ~ 2.30PM: we cross the border to Finland.
Day one, ~ 3PM: Rob has recovered and takes over the wheel
Day one, ~5 PM: Rob is sitting in the back of a Finnish police van, receiving his first speeding ticket ever. Luckily the breath test did not disclose anything illegal!
Day one, ~7PM: we stop at a beautifully located camping, pitch the tents, and have a beer in the sunshine on the bank of a dramatic Lappish river
Day two, 9AM: on the move again
Day two, 9.30: more reindeer than cars on the road
Day two, ~11AM: Margot discovers cruise control
Day two, ~12AM: the border to Sweden, get onto the E4
Day two, ~12AM: Margot always thought she liked boring music, but Rob pulls out his CD collection and shows her she ain’t heard nothing yet
Day two, ~5PM: we find another beautiful camping, pitch the tents, and have a beer on the grass
Day two, ~8PM: we go searching for the Secret Swamp Swede. In vain.
Day three, ~11AM: the car behind us desperately signals us off the road. I am worried; that must be an emergency! It turns out to be a scam to talk money out of us through a pathetic sob story. Bastards.
Day three, ~1PM: we reach civilization; it’s now deer instead of reindeer that prance around near the road.
Day three, ~3PM: Rob shows he even detects cars containing bimbo’s driving past when asleep
Day three, ~5PM: we reach Uppsala
Day three, ~6PM: we have pitched the tents on the town’s camping ground, and head into town.
Day three, ~6.30PM: we decide to dine in town
Day three, ~10.30PM: Margot surprisingly wins a drinking game, and we call it a day
Day four, 9AM: for the first time, I don’t wake up spontaneously, and Rob has to wake me up
Day four, ~10AM: we leave Uppsala. No perfect husbands detected.
Day four, ~5PM: we leave the E4!
Day four, 6PM: we reach the ferry terminal in Malmø
Day four, 7PM: we find a skate-and-climb park on a derelict industrial terrain
Day four, 9PM: we board the ferry
Day five, 7AM: on the road again
Day five, 7.20AM: start of hours of road works and crap weather
Day five, ~11AM: a motorcycle is lying on the road in two pieces, with the prostrate shape of the biker beside it. Poor sod!
Day five, 2PM: we’re in the Netherlands, and I hear on the news that we may have a government! Not one I am particularly pleased with, though...
Day five, 6.15PM: we manage to get onto the delayed 6PM ferry, instead of the booked 8PM one!
Day five, 9PM: we are received into the warm embrace of Rob’s parental houseDay six, 9.30AM: Rob’s mother offers us all the victuals in the house to take with us for lunch
Day six, ~3.15PM: we reach Plymouth University
Day six, ~3.30PM: I get invited to an evening of G&T the next day! A good start of normal life.
Day six, ~5PM: Home!
Day six, ~6PM: back at university to skype my mum. And Roelof.
Day six, ~8PM: back home, and now for real. Time to blog, eat, unpack, and get back to normal!
Day fivehundredtwentythree: still not have been inside a car since day six! But that’s wishful thinking...