Overland from Sweden in a 15 year old Toyota Corolla…home at last

We did it. Just like Bilbo Baggins we made it there and back again. The ferry arrived at 0630 this morning at Harwich and by 0800 the adventure was definitely over as I wandered through Tesco gathering the makings of a truly epic fry-up. With 930 miles on the clock we pulled into the driveway at home and the children hurried off to see if Santa had been in our absence – luckily he had.

Was it worth it? All in all yes I think so, Jenny did a great job and I now regret the £120 I gave to the AA in case she didn’t. Though expensive I love travelling on the ferry; it was a wonderful feeling waking up on one of the top bunks in the cabin in the middle of the night and feeling the ferry shuddering as she pushed through the waves.

Marie and I discussed the merits of driving as we came back through Germany and decided that in the summer it would be a much more pleasant trip than it is in the winter, when you need the extra baggage space that you do not get on the plane.

When I start thinking about the financial aspects I get the shivers. Let’s face it if I had paid Mr O’Leary for the pleasure of being shoehorned into one of his flights we would have had an extra 2 or 3 days in Sweden and would probably have been better off for it. All in all for such a long trip it is probably better to go through Calais and save on the ferry then stop off more often on the drive up and use that as part of the holiday. Or bite the bullet and pay for the 18 hour Harwich to Denmark ferry and enjoy the “cruise” side of the holiday.

So would I do it again? Yes. In Jenny in the winter? Errr no. No disrespect to Jenny but I would want something I could really use on the autobahn to soak up some miles, something with better fuel economy and something with more space inside for the children. Another Toyota? Why not, Jenny did a good job.

And another Jenny adventure in the summer? Well their Swedish uncle is getting married, and don’t tell the children but I was thinking that it might be fun to take the ferry down from Sweden to Poland and loop back through the Czech republic maybe take in the Alps and the Italian lakes – money permitting of course – but Jenny could really do with some stickers for a trip like that!

Facts and figures

7 tanks of fuel

930 miles there 930 miles back (1860 miles)

Approximate timings outbound
Norwich to Harwich – 2 hours
Hook of Holland to Malmo 13 hours (about 1 hour stopped & 1 hour ferry)
Malmo to Soderkoping 7 hours (1 hour stopped) total: 17 hours driving 3 hours resting

Approximate timings inbound
Soderkoping to Malmo 6 hours (about 1/2 hour stopped)
Malmo to Hook of Holland 12.5 hours (about 1.5 hours stopped)
Harwich to Norwich 2 hours total: 17.5 hours driving 3 hours resting

1.5 litres anti freeze about the same screen wash

3 litres hot chocolate

6 cans Red Bull

4 cups coffee

1 pack Murray mints, 1 pack Worthers Originals, many chewy sweets (Haribo and the like) 2 bags mini Twix, 6 apples, 5 bananas, 5 burgers, a pytt y panna (Swedish chopped spuds and sausage), a minute steak meal and oodles of other sundry sweets.

£240 fuel
£500 Harwich to Hook of Holland and back
£70 Oresundsbrun
£140 Putgatan Rodby
£2.40 Autobahn toilets (not the one at a parking area where the toilets where shut and had piles of frozen shit behind it!)


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