Overland from Sweden in a 15 year old Toyota Corolla…part one

Following on from our five part series following the progress of a 15 year old Toyota Corolla called “Jenny” travelling overland from the UK to Sweden; it’s now time for the return trip!

Ay ay we are off again! The holiday in Sweden has flown by. I have gained about half a stone in meatballs, Christmas ham, sausages, cheese and bread. All my good intentions went out the window. No walking in the -20 wintry landscapes. Ten laps of the garden on cross country skiis (that makes a full 250 metres!) Only two saunas with the obligatory streaking into the garden to roll into the snow, fortunately no one on the road at the time otherwise there would have been some very surprised Swedes.

Apart from a trip into town on day 2 Jenny has sat in the front garden slowly leaking antifreeze. She started fine this morning and after loading up all was looking shipshape. To be honest we had looked for some cheap flights as the thought of the return trip seriously outweighed anyone’s love for Jenny (by quite some distance) but £400 was just too rich for me so we were on the road again. The emergency rations and water all had to be thawed out as I had left them in the boot of the car not thinking that they would freeze (doh!), but a night in the sauna sorted them out.

Our goodbyes were made at around 11am on Tuesday the 28th and we were off with Marie as our extra passenger. The roads were all in much better condition on the way out. There were a couple of snow blowers collecting piles of snow left by the snow ploughs – all through the week trucks have been collecting snow in Soderkoping and dumping it in great heaps outside of town, the same was happening in the towns on our route south.

We followed the same route as on the way up, rather dull but the eastern route south on the E22 was supposed to be in poor condition so rather than risk a more exciting blog we hit the road at 80 mph and have arrived outside Malmo 2 hours quicker than we did going the opposite direction.

The only excitement was stopping for some Swedish grub at a service station and paying 40 quid for it, £20 would have been more appropriate. The plan is to be on the road by 8am tomorrow. Depending on where we are after Hamburg we will decide whether to go for the Hook of Holland or Calais.

Calais will work out about £150 cheaper and could see us home by midnight tomorrow, Hook of Holland is more expensive and slower, arrival estimated at 0900 on the 30th although it would be a lot more civilized.

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