19th August 2016. Fjällbacka, Sweden.

The shopping centre did well out of us today.  We hate shopping but because we were on the shopping centre doorstep and we needed to go in to buy some groceries at COOP we thought we’d have a mooch round the centre as it wasn’t too large.  I’d only brought one t-shirt with me on this trip and have needed a couple more but every time we’ve been in a city we’ve done the sightseeing bit and then been all ‘citied out’ and left!  This time we went past a shop that looked perfect.  I found some t-shirts relatively quickly AND they were in the sale (bonus!)

It was great not having to negotiate our way through crowds of people in the shopping centre, looking at the size of the two car parks they must get loads of people shopping here but not on a Friday morning apparently.  We stocked up on food, which was relatively painless, packed it away in the van and drove to Fjällbacka.

We’d tried to park in the town car park but our van was too long but luckily we found a huge car park on the edge of town which was empty except for a car towing a caravan.  We parked next to the shiny Tetra Pak factory, we weren’t expecting that.

We cycled into the town along the cycle path not really knowing what to expect.

It turned out to be an absolutely gorgeous town.

The colourful wooden houses along the water’s edge looked so vibrant.  As we stood on a rocky mound and looked over the roofs of a row of little huts we could see lines of bright blue boats bobbing around in the harbour.

It was difficult to drag ourselves away from that view but we wanted to explore the area so we cycled further along the road passing lots of pretty houses, one of which had been built out of wood in the shape of a boat.

We reached a bay at the end of the road and cycled back towards the town where we left our bikes at the bottom of a cliff, Kungsklyftan.  We were a little worried about leaving them there as, once again, we’d forgotten our padlock but we wanted to walk through the chasm which had three boulders stuck over the path.  It was a strange sensation walking beneath them.  We were pleased to find our bikes were still where we’d left them when we returned.

We cycled around the rest of the town and were just leaving as a coach load of tourists arrived, perfect timing.

Our next stopover was at Marstrand so we drove down there.

We found the ställplats which looked like it was full to bursting but someone kindly pointed to a marked out space, the last one left.  We could see why it was the last space left because the view of the sea was partially covered by a huge dog rose bush, nevertheless it did look pretty because it was covered in red rose hips.

Out of the side window we could see a family of swans leaving the bay and swimming out to sea.

It was still very sunny so we took some coffee and the ubiquitous bar of chocolate and walked down to the rocks where I dipped my feet in the cool water.  We had been watching shrimps as they paraded along the water’s edge beside the rock we were sitting on.  There were loads of them and every so often they would ping out of the water and plop back in again.

Eventually one inquisitive shrimp came over and started examining my feet, this was obviously the ‘all go’ signal to the other shrimp and soon I had a number of them tickling my feet.  I was rather concerned when Darren pointed out a crab heading my way and slowly took my feet out of the water to give the shrimp a chance to swim away.  As interesting as the crab and his mates turned out to be I didn’t really want to have him hanging off my toe.  We spent a long time watching the creatures appear in the sea, we were there so long that we even saw a water snail slide along a couple of inches!

We eventually walked back to the van and swapped the coffee paraphernalia for beer and nuts and went to the other rocky peninsular to the left of the van and watched the sun setting over the bay.

We saw herons flying in to roost and a cormorant fishing.  As we started walking back to the van the family of swans swam back into the bay.

There was a noisy party going on in the ställplats so rather than waste our time trying to get to sleep we watched another couple of episodes of Vikings until it had quietened down outside.

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