SCANDINAVIA: Fishing under the Midnight Sun

Short and sweet:  My friend Kevin and I decided to do a 10-day whirlwind tour of the Scandinavian peninsula. I come up to Northern Sweden often to fish for grayling and char with my buddy Roger, so Kevin decided to come along this year and see a new part of the world.

Our flight from Boston connected through Iceland, and the view of the island as we touched down and took off from Reykjavak was very enticing. Mountians, volcanoes, ice fields, rivers, rocky coastline…we haven’t even arrived in Sweden, and we’ve already made plans to return to explore Iceland for a couple of weeks next year!

A few hours later, and the plane landed in Stockholm. After collecting our bags, a quick detour to the “Rest and Fly” shop for some showers and a change of clothes (the best $10 you’ll ever spend!) and we hopped the shuttle to the Hertz car rental counter. Being a Gold Card member means they could add Kevin to the list of approved drivers for free, surprise, and they also gave us a brand new, diesel, Volvo V40. We loaded up our gear, and being a smaller family car it was just a bit too cramped for us. So I asked if it was possible to switch to something larger, and the kind lady gave us (for the same price) a brand new Volvo V60XC, which is a much larger vehicle set up for cross country drives, also with less than 1000km on it. We’re just giddy with this car, with its dashboard like the space shuttle and great features! We’re still figuring out what it does…one cool surprise is the excellent onboard GPS. Another is the Cruise Control that sets a following distance behind the car in front…it will even bring you to a complete stop at a red light, then accelerate up to cruising speed if the car in front slows down and speeds up.

Our itinerary is unfolding as we go, but the plan has become to drive from Stockholm, across southern Sweden and up into Norway, arriving on the coast near Trondheim. Then up the coast as far as we can go in 3-4 days, and then across north central Sweden to the little town of Byske to meet up with Roger and my friends there for Kevin’s birthday and Midsummer’s Night. Then we’ll head back down to Stockholm in time for our return flight on the 23rd.

Last night, driving late into the evening under the blazing sun which never sets, we got as far as Kongsvinger, a small town NE of Oslo before we rented a small room for the evening. Still jet lagged and not wanting to fight the sleep as we drove through what promises to be fantastic scenery, we dropped $200US (wow) on a small but cozy room in a little hotel on the roadside. With his sunshades on and me being so tired, we were both out in a heartbeat.

Today is day two…we’re off to load up our magic carpet and do what promises to be a fantastic drive up through the mountains of Norway. Hopefully I’ll have the time to take some photos today.

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