We devoted most of the morning to staring out to sea from the comfort of our little mobile home, Vin. It was nice to just chill and chat whilst the world passed us by. By late morning, guilt set in, so we got dressed and had a walk around the harbour town of Stromsted. The last Swedish resort before Norway was packed with day trippers and groups of Norwegians nipping over the border for a cheaper, cheeky beer or two. A pleasant harbour town with nice bars and restaurants and a good place for a long weekend but not much in terms of historical interest.
Our time in Sweden feels short and sweet, which was partly disrupted by having to source and sort the fridge burner. Sweden feels like a really interesting place to spend time, so glad we have plenty time to visit Sweden on our way back down from North Cape. With a cheerio wave and a sad smile we tootled up to the Norwegian border. The border crossing was certainly different and felt more like a UK airport with green and red lanes stating a simple message…nothing to declare and goods to declare. We ducked under the green signs, slowly meandered around the flashing chicane of barriers and pulled up a universal standard customs booth. With no one around we slowly inched forward, keeping on full alert for a pouncing customs official. But nope, not a customs person to be seen anywhere, so we headed over to the motorway. That was an easy crossing.
Some two hours after leaving Stromsted, we arrived at our first Norwegian town, Fredrikstad. The oldest fortified town in the country located on the Glomma river has lots to offer. We followed the signs and parked up next to the cathedral. Wow that was easy parking, we will have a few more of these, please. Craig went for a little wander whilst I jotted down the GPS numbers and fed the boys. We got out the bikes, plonked the dogs in the basket and set off across the river…or so we thought! Something did not feel quite right. We scratched our head, where’s the bridge gone? We slowly panned our view looking for the small bridge that straddles over to the old town. Then to our shock we spotted the bridge. It was a fair distance away but more shocking it was huge, a massive suspension bridge dominating the sky line. This should come with a vertigo warming. The complete opposite to a quaint little wooden bridge we both had in mind. Neither of us fancied the dare devil bike ride with two giddy pups, so we back tracked. Not only were we on the wrong side of the town (several km away) but the cathedral was closed too..on a Sunday? Hey ho.
We packed up and headed over to the old town. We arrived to find thousands of kids,12,000 to be precise. We had arrived in the middle of Fredrikshad Cup…an annual concert for kids with dozens of performing stars. Oh heck, how do we get out of here? Mobbed by children was not on the bucket list for this year! We eventually got free from the madness and hit the road.
We arrived in Son in the hope we would find a little peace and tranquility after our manic episode in Fredrikshad. And we did. This little marina perched on the coast line is really something quite special. We parked on an elevated car park overlooking the sea and jagged coastline. A short stroll in to the village to find the most relaxing and atmospheric place. Not much in the way of shops but the board walk was lined with chic cafes and bars serving mouth watering meals and chilled drinks. One bar spilled out on to the garden with a local band playing chill out tunes. The whole length of Son was lined with outdoor tables, with young and old people drinking, eating and enjoying the unseasonably warm weather.
We sat in Vin with the most amazing elevated view. Sail boats dotted the water, and red and white ferries scooted back and forth taking passengers between the tiny islands and Oslo. Every view across the water was framed by boat masts, yacht sails and flag poles. As the sun slowly sank behind the tree lined hills the sea gently lapped on to the rocks. Eventually the sunlight faded and the moonlight took over, lighting the ripples and creating a beautiful shimmer across the bay.
Our sleep spot tonight, small elevated car park overlooking the bay of Son. Very quiet and free to park for a maximum of 24 hours.
GPS position N059.518607 E010.682691
Route: Stromsted to Son
Weather, low 8 high 20. Baby blue skies and crisp winds