Road Trip to Sweden pt1

The sounds of the ocean, lighthouses and the seagulls flying around – the sunset – it’s hard not to feel inspired.

It was around 12pm when Kevin showed up at my workplace so we could start our journey. Our first destination was Dover in England and from there we would get a ship to Calais in France – this didn’t take long considering that we’re only 2 hours away from the Port but it was a beautiful start. The white cliffs of Dover are huge and the views breath-taking. I got myself thinking that we have to come back to spend a full day there as the place deserves more time to be explored – I’m planning something for when the weather starts to warm up. 

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We only had around 90 minutes in the ship but it was quite an experience as the sea seemed to be angry and the strong winds coming from the North caught us up in the middle of the journey. I have no problems with the motion but many people do, bathrooms got crowded as I sat by the window to watch the waves while the ship went up and down – it started getting dark soon after that. This has just confirmed that one day Kevin and I are going to get a sail boat, we both love the sea and dream about going out there on our own adventure. The idea of getting a boat and travelling makes me excited and I feel that this is something we will conquer as soon as we can.

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In a blink of an eye we crossed France – it really didn’t take long for us to get to Belgium and then arrive to the Netherlands where we decided to stop to sleep. Our plans were that if we’re going to do a 30-hour trip, we would have to be fully rested for the drive starting at 9am, stop frequently to stretch/eat and to sleep around 10pm. We have stuck to that and it has worked for us, a whole night of sleep made us much more attentive on the road and aware of the beautiful views while it was still bright outside.

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Our longest drive during daylight was in Germany and in Sweden – and I couldn’t be more amazed by the views. Lots of nature around, beautiful houses and windmills – I can’t help but think about the little lives that make that place alive. Someone making coffee in the morning, taking the dog for a walk or their children to school. The old man taking care of his garden and the two friends shaking hands at the bakery. Europe is beautiful – even though I feel that there is no word to describe its beauty – I am in constant awe since I’ve moved here. I feel lucky to live in a place as safe as it could be, with peace, green fields, with different seasons and really tall trees. I specially love the tall trees. 

When we reached Sweden we started seeing snow – as we still had a 10-hour drive ahead we knew it would get cold…and so it did! By the time we reached the North Pole (yes, we were that far North) it was already -27ºC outside. I was thankful for the hot air in our car and for the thousand layers of clothes that we’ve brought with us plus the snacks. We had tons of snacks which I will make a separate post about, with tips of what to bring on a long road trip apart from the ‘nuts’ and ‘water’ that every single site tells you to bring on this kind of journey. 

If I could describe this road trip in three words it would be: Adventurous, exciting and tiring. By the time we were 5 hours away from our destination we’ve started feeling extremely tired and we had to stop a lot to stretch. Each hour seemed to have 120 minutes in it and we couldn’t stand the same Spotify album going on over and over again – you can’t really fill 30 hours of songs without repeating most of them. Well, at least we can’t, Kevin has a really peculiar taste for music so we were picky with the soundtrack. 

Having said that, nothing beats the happiness to be back together with family. We arrived there 1 day earlier than expected (they had no idea we were going with a car) and their surprise was extremely fun to experience. I would surely do this all over again. We were very blessed with a smooth trip, our car was amazing apart from the fact that the water to spray the windows froze and everything else went just as planned. I couldn’t have asked for an easier and happier trip, full of pictures and memories for us to share with our grandchildren (and on my blog!). 

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Have you ever gone on a road trip or plan on going on one? Is there anything that you would like to know more about? Just let me know and I will add it on my Road Trip tips post. 

The post with the big surprise that I’ve been working on will probably go live by the end of next week – so stay tuned! 

Nadine

 

 

A walk at the park + daily ramblings

I write this on a cold Saturday, the sun as a gentleman that he is has let the clouds go first and make the day extremely grey. 

Last weekend we went to see The Crimes of Grindewald with a friend at VUE in Oxford. Even though I now live in Wiltshire I’m just a drive away from Oxfordshire and truth be told I’ve missed living there for the past 2 months since I’ve moved so we get any chance we have to visit her. I can’t complain, VUE is a quite good cinema and I enjoy it every time I go there minus the bathrooms – they remind me of McDonald’s ones – So I get myself sipping my drink slowly so I don’t have to go until I get back home. 

I’ve also been looking forward Christmas a lot. The past two years we’ve spent in England we had lovely friends that invited us to spend the Holidays with them but it’s never the same as family. This year we’ll spend it with Kevin’s family in Sweden for the first time. Not only that but we will go on a (veeeeeeery long) road trip from Wiltshire to Skellefteå so needless to say we’ll be driving through France/Germany/Denmark and some other countries in between. I’m still a bit nervous about the length of the trip and how we’re going to do that as I’m normally the one to just get a plane because it’s quicker and easier but Kevin tends to differ. He loves the idea of ‘adventure’ even though it means he will have to drive for 30 hours one way.  

I still get the shivers when I think about the amount of time it will take but I’m trying to enjoy the idea of something I wouldn’t do if I wasn’t married to him – something that I know I probably won’t regret in the end.  

I am trying not to be negative and look on the bright side: I’ll be able to share the experience. Not only on the blog but to my children and grandchildren. It’s a nice thing to do when we haven’t gotten children or pets yet, just the two of us. I plan on sharing everything – from snacks we’re bringing with us to the whole Christmas experience in Sweden on several posts and maybe even a video of the trip. So stay tuned for that – I’m bringing the camera everywhere! 

We’ll spend two weeks there and then we’re coming back with Kevin’s “little” brother (he’s taller than Kevin so not THAT little) with us so he can spend a week going around England as this will be the first time he’s left Sweden. 

For now we’re trying to have laid back weekends until we go (just a bit more than 20 days left) so we don’t pack ourselves up with things to do and dread leaving on the 21st of December after work. So when going to Church last Sunday we’ve discovered that they have a big lake surrounded by forest (as big of a forest as you can have here in the UK, but well) and we’ve decided to go for a nice walk today. 

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England is truly a beautiful land. There are not many woods around here but the great planes are great indeed – Every season compliments the landscape in a way. I can’t decide my favourite but it looks amazing when Autumn while it’s still okay to be out for more than one hour and not freeze.

We weren’t that lucky as we went a bit late for red and orange trees and now it’s more like a brownish colour on the ground with naked trees all around. We still spotted some wildlife as they tend to hide when it gets colder.

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 It was a really pleasant walk – I’ve sat in a closed office all week, I just needed some time outside spotting cute little things along the way. I’ve also spotted thousands of dogs, and I was crazy to target them with my camera lens but thought the owners might find it a bit weird – or not – if you are a dog lover you probably are able to understand another dog lover. Maybe next time I’ll ask for some shots.

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Have you watched The Crimes of Grindewald movie? What did you think about it?

Do you have any road trip tips? Have you ever had one? I’d love to hear good stories about a trip you’ve done so I can feel calmer about driving across so many countries at once!

I wish you all a very lovely week ahead.

-Nadine

Avebury Sunday!

I’ve put my brand new yellow jacket on, got our gloves/scarves out of the “winter storage box” and braved the cold to go to the Neolitic Hange in Avebury, Southwest England. I can’t complain much as the sun was out pretty much the whole day so it would help to unfreeze my nose everytime I wasn’t under a shadow.

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We’ve arrived there a bit before midday and saw a lot of dogs playing around, which made me like the place even more. The parking is really cheap (it cost us £4 for the whole day) and the place is really close to the Henge circle – the prime reason for us to visit this Prehistoric site.

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The largest megalithic stone circle in the world is impressive when you start thinking to yourself how on earth they were able to move those huge rocks together at that time.

I find it extremely interesting to be where thousands of people were through the centuries. What were they doing there? How was that space used?

We don’t have children but I would definetely recommend it for people who are lloking for an outdoor space to spend the day. They don’t have playgrounds but I’ve seen several children playing together with sticks and jumping benches.

I didn’t get to experience their big cafe as it was closed for repairs – but I couldn’t lose the chance to try their scones! The atmosphere of the whole place is like sitting on your sofa with a blanket and a hot drink on a cold day. Things there are rustic and homemade – I wasn’t let down.

The prices are above avarage but it’s understandable when it’s used for keeping the place going. We paid £2.30 for a tall filtered coffee and £5.50 for a cream tea and a scone with jam and clotted cream. I won’t even get into the discussion about which one goes first but you can see how I do it in the picture (sorry Devon!).

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They also have a couple of little shops with local products that help to improve the experience when visiting the place – so much to choose from!

So if you are around Wiltshire and want to have an enjoyable outdoor experience, Avebury is surely the place to go.

Spending Sunday out in nature helps me to prepare myself for a whole week working in an office.

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What do you normally do on Sundays? Do you like to get out of the house or do you prefer to stay in and rest?

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Have you ever been to Avebury?

Nadine