Malmö (Part Three) & Gothenburg, Sweden
Morning report: reconditioning-man is working on the starter motor, has to find a solenoid, plans to have it done by Friday. Excellent.
We walked along a street not far away that was lined with shops, just for something different to do. We found a library with free internet, so we stayed there until they kicked me off, because apparently there was a booking sheet that I knew nothing about. Then Danny found a shop that sold only alcohol; that was where I lost him. I think he came out about an hour later. Thousands of bottles of alcohol from different regions of the world of various qualities. They displayed many Australian wines geared to the tourist market, with names like "Kangarouge", "Aussie Great White", and "Downunder". Danny limited himself to four beers (surprisingly good for him) and I came out with one bottle of cider.
The water tank in our van was almost empty, so we collected all of our water and drink bottles and started making trips to the park to fill them up from the tap. By the end of the day I think we added 15 litres to the tank (and several kilometres to our legs), which will hold us over for another day or two.
Afternoon report: the mechanic has the fixed starter motor! He said he would try to get the van in this afternoon to put it in place. We were so excited to be possibly out of Malmö tonight that we spoiled ourselves by feasting on croissants. An hour later the mechanic came out and said, "Actually, you need to sleep in your van don't you?" Us: "Yes". Mechanic: "Oh, well, we'll do it first thing tomorrow then". Damn.
We found world news in English on our computer TV and caught up on current affairs for the first time in a while. They focussed a lot on Libya but there was a report on an E. coli outbreak in Europe. Dozens killed, thousands sick, mainly through Germany. We had heard that we shouldn't buy cucumbers in Germany but we didn't realise how serious it was. Glad we managed to avoid that disaster while we were there.
We woke up at 6:30 a.m. to make sure we were ready for the mechanic by 7 a.m. At 7:30 a.m. we still hadn't seen him arrive. We checked the door but it was locked. He arrived at 7:50 a.m. and by 8 a.m. he and two other mechanics (plus Danny) pushed the van into the garage and onto the lift. I was hoping it would be a quick job but we were told to come back in a couple of hours. We strolled around for an hour, bought some groceries then headed back to the garage at 9 a.m., hoping to see the van ready to go. No such luck. Another aimless walk, back at 10 a.m. and there was our van on the street. Nervously we walked inside, hoping for good news and this time we were successful: everything was back up and running. It cost us a fair bit in the end (several hundred euro) but we didn't care. The car was working and we could finally leave Malmö behind.
For the first time in five days we drove the van; I'm not sure I miss the driving part so much but I was excited to get back to our European exploration. We made it to Gothenburg, about three hours north, and set out along the canal to the centre of town. Danny wasn't feeling up to it, so he went back to the van after half an hour. Gothenburg was beautiful; I would have preferred to have been stuck here than Malmö. I ambled through a marketplace, picked up a few free food samples then headed to the Museum of World Culture. The fact that it was free should have told me it probably wasn't worth going to. There was only one main exhibition, which was semi-interesting but otherwise there wasn't much going on. This is where I left Gothenburg and Sweden, and walked back to our perfectly-functioning van to meet Danny and take off for Norway.