Going North 2018 – day 5

This morning I got up before the wake-up call and had breakfast with a view. The announcement to go to the vehicles surprised me a bit so I was the last to exit the ship from my deck (everybody else seemed to know). It was before 8 a.m. and 24 degrees with high humidity welcomed me. I started to sweat immediately. I took a while before I had passed the control and I turned north. I know the motorway E4 well from past Scandinavian rallies. Lots of forest. I switched on the radio so the ride got less unexciting. Before Jönköping, I remembered a bonus location I had visited at moonlight: Taberg. As it is close to the motorway, I decided to do a little detour. It is a small mountain overlooking the forest. It is particular as it stands out of the plain for it is a rock that contains a lot of magnetite, together with titanium and vanadium. The high concentrations of the latter lead to its discovery in the ore.

View from the Taberg

After a few minutes I arrived in Jönköping at the hotel that I had booked. It will be the rally hotel of the European Tour and I had booked a night for today. However, I had to change my plans as I have an appointment for a tyre change the next morning north of Stockholm. The booking is non-refundable, but so be it. At least I can leave some luggage until the rally in two weeks: I dismounted the auxiliary fuel tank and put it in a large bag, together with some other stuff I don’t need until the rally.

Remove the fuel tank….

…and continue with only one bag.

It got really hot now and I decided to have some lunch snack inside a petrol station, they had an airco!

I opened all the openings in my gear to get some fresh air while riding. On my way to Stockholm, I had temperatures between 31 and 33 degrees. Along the Vättern Lake, many birch trees had brown leaves. In July! And the heat wave is only starting….

For the off-road lovers….

I saw an exit sign to Trosa and I remembered that I had passed by there during my first trip to Scandinavia in 1993. As I lacked the knowledge that I have now, a damaged valve rocker made me cancel my route through the Baltic States to St. Petersburg. I took the ferry from Gdansk to Sweden to have it repaired in Stockholm. Trosa is a cute little town with one channel with many boats. A kind of mini-mini-mini-Amsterdam , so to say.

Saab, indestructible.


It was only one more hour to Stockholm. I arrived at the elegant hotel I had booked with a huge reduction….just to find out that my reservation was for the day before (!)….


Well, this set a new record. Three hotel bookings for one night. Well done.

As it was still early, I visited the Gamla Stan (Old Town) and walked around a bit. Horrified by the masses of tourists, I looked for the quiet streets that have much more charm.


They told me I’m still not on the list…

If this reminds you of matutinal passing of water, you’re probably male and over sixty!

Very, very narrow.

Evening in Stockholm. Feels like Italy.

I returned to the hotel and finally had a shower, more than needed. I had dinner in the highly acclaimed hotel restaurant with a view on the like lake. Unfortunately, the food’s quality was rather disappointing. Any good quality Belgian restaurant makes this look like amateurs. But you don’t go to Scandinavia only for the food, do you? 😉

Tomorrow morning I have the tyre change and then a long ride to Luleå.

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