Uppsala, Sweden

Leaving Stockholm we drove towards Uppsala, stopping at Drottingham Palace on the way. It was a beautiful building, set right on the water, but unfortunately the rain put a dampener on things (as it did for the entire day). We left after only a few minutes.

Uppsala was a tiny city, where there was almost no traffic and it was extremely easy to find a car park. We walked past Scandinavia's largest cathedral (which looked like any other cathedral) and visited the Museum Gustavianum, which we soon discovered was a university museum that exhibited a bit of everything. There was an old anatomy lab with anatomical specimens (including alien-like human and animal foetuses), findings from Viking burial grounds, plus antique scientific equipment. It was semi-interesting but we wouldn't be in a hurry to go back.

 

Once we finished with the museum we walked back to the car along the river and headed to Gamla Uppsala (old town), a few kilometres north. The appeal of the old town was the Viking burial grounds that we could walk around for free, plus a museum containing findings of the mounds. When we arrived all we could see were a few hills in a paddock that could have been anything. We didn't bother with the museum.

After we had finished exploring Uppsala, we started the big drive (another one) to Finland. Garmin told us it was 1100 km, 12.5 hours, to our next destination. It was hard to get motivated by these figures. The scenery didn't help, just trees and the occasional river. The most interesting part of the drive came about an hour before we stopped for the night, when we heard a grating sound coming from our car. We pulled over and discovered our exhaust pipe trailing along the ground. Danny picked up the loose end and the whole thing broke off in his hand. We just threw the broken pipe in the back of the van and kept going. Our only other stops were at petrol stations, trying to use up our Swedish currency. We even ate dinner at a petrol station (a good-as-can-be-expected curry pasta soup).

 

We made it just over halfway before deciding to stop, the monotony of only driving on the one road the entire time fuelling our exhaustion. The night was spent in a roadside turn-off with several other campers and trucks. There were also free toilets, which was a bonus. The downside was the swarm of mosquitoes that buzzed around our ears all night. 

We haven't seen nighttime for several weeks now and I think it is starting to affect our sleep. Our minds don't start to shut down until we have put all the blinds up and it still takes an hour or two to fall asleep after that. Even though the sun set hours ago, we can see the lingering daylight through the gaps in the blinds. Tonight I didn't get to sleep until after 2 a.m., which was not ideal given the amount of driving we need to do tomorrow.

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