9th July 2016. Stockholm, Sweden.

It was lovely weather when we woke up and we cycled down to the ferry ‘Pick Up Point’ to find out what time the ferry arrived.

It was time tabled to arrive at 13.30 (apparently it would only come to the jetty if you raised the semaphore flag) and leave the city at 18.00 which was rather a short day, but when we discovered it would cost us £20 each return on the ferry we decided to explore the local area instead.

Fortunately we discovered we were right beside a nature reserve so we followed the cycle paths through it.

Five minutes  into the ride we came across a coffee shop, which necessitated an unscheduled stop.  It was situated in a beautiful old wooden house with a tower and it overlooked the lake.  They had some very nice cakes and we heard an English accent for the first time in a month, it was an English man who was visiting his Swedish friend (I gleaned that information because I was eavesdropping).

As we continued our ride a Swedish lady saw me looking at one of the nature boards and she called me over to tell me about the area we were in, I thought that was really lovely of her.

Not long after we’d spoken to her we came across a little bay where we sat for ages watching boats motoring past, there are a lot of speed freaks on the water in Sweden.

We had a nice surprise as we cycled back to the van via a much quicker route, we saw a young deer in a field.  We watched him for ages but he ran off when some people eventually walked past.

Our timing for our day out was perfect, we had a nice relaxed morning, it was baking hot but we were cycling through the forest most of the time.

The downside of the cycle ride was that there are far too many steep hills in this part of the country for my liking so there was quite a bit of walking and bike pushing on the ‘ride’!

When we got back to the van we took the washing up to the laundry that Darren had fortuitously stumbled upon on the campsite the previous evening.  Sod’s Law meant it was after I’d hand washed a load of small items and pegged them out, but I’m so glad I was able to do all the clothing and bedding in the end without the worry of drying it all.

The laundry was really great, the campsite charged 100 Kr (about £9 for the use of the machines and 100 Kr deposit for the key.  That enabled me to use the washing machine and the dryer as many times as I needed for 3 hours and, as if that wasn’t already fantastic enough, the campsite had made things even more convenient by having a timer on both machines so we knew when they’d finish. It was so nice not to have to keep popping back to check.

While the first wash was doing we went up to the coffee shop for lunch which we ate on the terrace overlooking the lake (we had a beautifully presented open sandwich and a cup of coffee but it cost 240Kr which is almost £24!).

The weather held out all day until we went to sit in the wi-fi tent so that Darren could do some work and I could write some more of the blog at that moment  the heavens opened and it poured with rain.

In the evening after dinner I went down to the lake to take some photos while Darren carried on working.

I sat on a rock taking photos of the boats and the sunset for ages when suddenly I saw a thin leafy branch moving quickly towards me through the water.  I was rather surprised because I didn’t think a lake could have such a strong current and then I noticed a brown furry head at the front of the branch, the branch was being towed by a beaver!

I took a photo but it wasn’t very good because it was so rushed.

I stayed for ages hoping he’d come back, eventually Darren came and found me.  We stood chatting and looking out at the water when I heard a ‘plop’ as something dived into the water and went over to investigate, it was the beaver swimming back towards us.  We were very excited and I got a nice photo as he swam past.

We stayed a little while longer in case he came back (mossies were gathering) and got very excited when we thought we could hear him coming out from behind a tree, only to be bitterly disappointed when the photo I took was of a canoe going past!


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