Ingrid Bergman’s Retreat 6 Comments

Passing boat

Passing boat

Peering out the bedroom window at the sail boats headed out of the Gullmaren fjord and entering the deep blue North Sea. It looked cold but inviting with the morning sun twinkling on the gentle waves and luring the boats in to no mans land. This is what wild camping is all about.

By the time we were ready the sun had gone in to hiding and it felt awfully cold without the little rays to keep you warm. With the jumpers back out the cupboard we wrapped up and headed over to the village of Dingle. Today we need to find a vet, as Mac n Tosh need to have a worming tablet administered by a vet and their passport signed and stamped before we enter Norway. Sort of good timing because their monthly worming tablet is due anyway. As young pups they are eat everything and anything they can, so we feel that monthly worming is best for their health. Their rabies jab is up to date, so no need for nasty needles just a tablet wrapped in yummy dog food.

The nurses at Dingle vet centre were brilliant and like most Swedes spoke excellent English. No need for an appointment just straight in followed by a bit of admin, a weight check and then paw licking tablet. All things considering the charge of £21 per dog wasn’t too bad.2016-05-13 at 16-08-53-Fjallbacka

Back in Vin and we scooted over to the coastal village of Fjallbacka or if you are Craig, flapjack. He could not remember the name of the village but he said the word looked like flapjack and then name stuck. It was bitter cold, so no soon had we climbed out of Vin when we were back inside for a few more layers. A hop, skip and a jump to get us warmed up and on to the harbour front. The only two folk in the ghost village, it felt awfully strange walking amongst the narrow alleys and wooden houses. In summer this picture postcard village with pastel houses set in the rocks and boats bobbing in the harbour is buzzing but not today. The nearest thing to a friendly face, the bust of Ingrid Bergman staring out to sea to one of her favourite island retreat. We braved the elements but the noise of Craig’s chattering teeth and the whimpering of Mac drove us back to Vin much sooner than planned.

After a nice cuppa to warm us up and a bite to eat, the sun peered from behind the clouds and whoosh, we were out the door as quick as a flash. We walked over to the other side of the village and climbed up the Indiana Jones staircase to the top of Kungsklyfta. Once on top of the huge rock we had the most amazing view of the surrounding archipelago. With a pepper pot of 200 skerrets, islets and islands the view from high above was stunning. Some islands with half a dozen houses snuggled together in a bay whilst others just sheer granite rocks reaching up to the sky. The odd little island with nothing but one little shed and a boat. A labyrinth of narrow water ways and passages idea for tootling around in a boat.

Great tapas bar sign

Great tapas bar sign

The car park at Fjallbacka was rather open and exposed, so we opted to move a few kilometres down the road. On route we had a look at Tandumsstrand but it wasn’t for us. A purpose made holiday village full of Swedish well to do. A little further down the coast, the village Grebbestad was much better. Only small but full of character and rustic charm. We headed to the top of the bay and noticed loads of Norwegian motorhomes. On further inspection it was clear they were filling up with beer, wine and spirits. We had a walk in to the supermarket and the off license store, it was packed with Norwegians. Craig had 44 Swedish coins in his pocket and the weight was dragging him down, so we decided to spend the coins (not that we need anything). We grabbed a couple bottles of water, orange juice and then wandered around the shop looking for something for 9 krone. It took for blinking ever but in the end we found a loaf and tootled over to the till. The check out girl clearly did not to rush and after an hour of looking at snuff tins and japp bars it was our turn to pay. We handed the girl all our change, which she shoved in a coin counter. Slowly one by one it counted the coins but as it neared the end, it slowed down. We both watched the counter with anticipation…did we have enough or would we have to break in to a crispy, clean note? A tense moment and Craig nearly lost it (blaming me of course for the oversight) before it finally clicked over to 44. Yeah, we did it. We got rid of all our change. The celebration was all too much and we departed the shop and a swig of water.

We fancied staying on the harbour but the more we looked at Grebbestad the more it did not appeal. It felt like a border town with lots of strays and unsavoury characters hanging around. With that we moved to the outskirts of town just behind the church. A large car park with half a dozen motorhomes tucked in the corner, that will do us nicely. In Sweden, Finland and Norway they have an unwritten law “allemanstratten” which translates to “the rights of all men” but often used in the context “the right of public access”. This means you can park where you want and explore what you want as long as you respect your environment. A great law that makes the Nordic countries and ideal place for exploring.

Our sleep spot tonight, a rather large dusty piece of spare land surrounded by fir trees. We have a few Norwegian neighbours to keep us company.

GPS position N058.268970 E011.424364

Route: Lysekil to Grebbestad

Weather, low 14 high 20. With the sun in hiding and the north sea breeze it certainly feels a lot colder.

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