From Stockholm we headed south towards Copenhagen. We had to bring forward our arrival there by a day as the only campground in Copenhagen close to the city centre was closing on the Monday morning. It seems that most campgrounds in Denmark as well as Sweden close by early September. We free camped the last couple of nights, once in a car park near the small town of Granna by Lake Vattern. Granna is a pretty town known for its traditional peppermint rock candy. The next day we ended up at Hollviken, not far from Malmö, the Swedish endpoint for the bridge between Sweden and Denmark. The description of the Foteviken Viking village that had been set up there sounded interesting and we weren’t disappointed.
Once again we were at a living museum – but with a difference. It was created using late Viking era technology and everything down to the last detail is totally authentic and handmade with no machinery. Not only that but it is run by a group of people who actually embrace the Viking lifestyle and social structure in their daily lives. So it is far more authentic than people who dress up as knights and take part in staged tournaments a few days a year. They dress in home spun clothes everyday according to the Viking style and include many volunteers. They have a King and his deputy who is also the story teller. We were lucky enough to meet him (his other title is museum curator) – a fascinating guy who also really looks the part. It was a pleasure listening to him. They have specialist tradespeople like a silversmith, weaver each with their own building in which they work. We spoke with one of the volunteers who was grinding wheat and making flat bread on an open fire which was delicious. She said she was the equivalent of a “thrall” or slave in Viking times – in other words she worked for no pay. She loved it. It is only only open for the summer months.
The next day we set off for Copenhagen to meet up with Richard’s nephew and wife and also an old friend who was visiting her son who is doing post graduate study there. The bridge over the strait between the two countries is quite something, especially when it disappears into the ground as a tunnel for the last part before popping up in Copenhagen. It is also eyewateringly expensive- 182 euro for us!!!! It would have been much cheaper to drive up the coast for a couple of hours and take the car ferry.
We have had a great two months in Norway and Sweden – very different countries. But it will be good to have warmer weather as we go south.