Across the Baltic Sea

Swedish Sea Side

Click on the photo to go to the album on Facebook

After a couple of days of arranging necessary errands in my hometown, we packed up our bags and the family car. Came Thursday morning, it was time for the drive from Deurne to Gothenburg, Sweden.

Except for a few hours of slow moving traffic in Germany, the first stretch of our European road trip went well. We arrived at my brother’s house around 10.30pm, had a drink, and got to spend the night in a true forest shack!

Sleeping in a shack

Sleeping in a shack :)

Friday turned out to be a calm day. We took advantage of our private ‘hotel room’ and slept in as much as we could. In the afternoon, activities were limited to doing some groceries and driving around the town of Gråbo.

Saturday
Preparations for Jorn’s 30th birthday party. First, Elke lured him out of the house under the pretense of “cleaning up the stables” of her horse Vicas. Then, my mom and I got to baking cupcakes and Dutch apple pie. Meanwhile, Will and my father decorated the house and its surroundings with all sorts of 30 stuff. What stuff? Well, it’s kind of a Dutch habit to celebrate decade birthdays by putting the birthday boy or girl in the center of attention with photos, signs, flags, balloons and whatever else (preferably embarrassing) you can think of. Surprise! Ha, surprise indeed. Especially if you are like my brother and you don’t like to fuss about yourself, and you don’t particularly like birthdays. Or surprises for that matter. But he survived our invasion! ;)

30 Road Sign

30 Road Sign

Jorn's 30th Birthday

Jorn’s 30th Birthday

In the afternoon, we all went sightseeing in Gothenburg. Such a beautiful city. Even prettier than I remembered! We walked from the Stora Theater, through the Trädgårdsföreningen Park, a quick lunch at the Central Train Station, to the Gustav Adolfs Square, the Domkyrkan (Dome Church), and finally the Fish Market. And all that in the brightest sunshine! Lucky, lucky Will :)
And better yet, he got to end this perfect afternoon off with an almost rare steak. Bon appetit!

Trädgårdsföreningen Park

Trädgårdsföreningen Park

Center of Gothenburg

Center of Gothenburg

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Sunday

After breakfast, we trekked out into nature for a couple of hours. We didn’t have to go far to be in the middle of nowhere, as that is basically where my brother lives. Only 20 minutes outside the city, and you find yourself surrounded by hills, trees, and farm lands that stretch for miles and miles. I have to admit, it makes for one heck of a scenic walk! :)

Will: King of the Sheep

Will: King of the Sheep

Lutters Family

Lutters Family

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Back at the house, we quickly got all dressed up and ready for a fancy family photo before starting the celebration of Jorn’s 30th birthday. Complete with home-made cupcakes, apple pie, tomato soup, egg salad, and typical Dutch ‘worstenbroodjes’ (sausage stuffed rolls). Yummy!

Monday
In order to show Will as much as possible in our short visit, we decided it was time to hit Sweden’s countryside and coastline. In the direction of Oslo it is! Here to please. ;) With Will slipping into his role as our guide, the tour started at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rock Carvings in Tanum. Admiring the kid-like drawings from the ancient Scandinavian people in the Bronze Age and the Iron Age had made us quite hungry, so we enjoyed a nice picnic in the forest. Next on the schedule? Driving some 300 kilometers along the west coast, all the way down to Kungshamn, before returning to my brother’s house, where we were welcomed with the finest home-made Italian pasta dishes. Oh, what a bad life.

Tanum Ancient Rock Carvings

Tanum Ancient Rock Carvings

Tuesday
We bid farewell to Gothenburg (bye bye “little” brother!) and began our drive back south. Decided to visit another UNESCO World Heritage Site along our route: Radiostationen Grimeton, which we had spotted on the map the day before. A radio station responsible for some of the earliest wireless transatlantic communication.

Radiostationen Grimeton

Radiostationen Grimeton

Turning Torso Malmö

Turning Torso Malmö

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Once we reached Malmö we headed for the Turning Torso, the highest building in Scandinavia. A quick photo op at the seaside with the bridge to Denmark in the background, then off to Ikea for a proper Swedish shopping and dining experience. Afterwards, we finished the final leg of the drive to Trelleborg, from where we took the ferry to Rostock, Germany. Good night!

Port of Trelleborg

Port of Trelleborg

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