21/5: Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 16,41', Long E 17° 27,22'
Today: 57.2 °F ( +14 °C)
21 May 2005
0 km

It is now time to get going. There are so many things to see to when you are going to be away for such a long time. We have moved, cleared, cleaned and rented out the house as well as cleared out and cleaned Catharinas office, arranged for bills to be taken care of, canceling this and that, arranging insurances, getting international drivers licenses, carnet de passage etc. There are so many more things to take care of than you can possibly expect.

We had a small goodbye ceremony in Bergafjärden before we left. To the bitter end we packed and worked on the car - but we did leave in time. After six kilometers we had to turn back. Catharina had forgotten a bag containing bookkeeping and things concerning her business that we should bring to her accountant Anders in Stockholm. Many happy faces met us when got back so soon…. But soon we where out on the highway towards the first stop in Gävle, where we was supposed to have dinner with the family and friends of Catharina.

22/5: Gävle, Sweden
Lat N 67° 29,42', Long E 15° 73,16'
Today: 64.4 °F ( +18 °C)
22 May 2005
220 km

Already after the first night we were really happy that we decided to install a reachable button from the bed for the heater. It was chilly, but it is nice to know that it will get better…

Catharina spent a couple of hours going through important documents with her mother Margaretha, before saying goodbye.

Our friend Cina had invited us to have a goodbye party at her house in Stockholm; a lot of our friends live in Stockholm.

Berts father and mother Kerstin and Arndt called in the morning and said that we always could fly home if we got homesick, and that they were happy to contribute to the fare if that was the case…

23/5: Stockholm, Sweden
Lat N 59° 25,04', Long E 17° 56,73'
Today: 68 °F ( +20 °C)
23 May 2005
430 km

We had breakfast with our godchildren Caroline and Hanna. When we had access to a internet connection decided to do some banking business and to upload the first two days of our trip. Then we went to Djurgården to have lunch at the restaurant where our friend Bertil works as a chef.

It is now time to decide in which direction we should travel - to Estonia by ferry or just head south to sun and the Mediterranean. Hmmm, a hard choice this is...

24/5: Kalmar, Sweden
Lat N 56° 30,64', Long E 16° 10,98'
Today: 66.2 °F ( +19 °C)
24 May 2005
900 km

We decided to pay a visit to Birgitta, the mother of our friends Birger and Björn. She lives on a ship since 15 years, south of Kalmar.

After breakfast we set off for Copenhagen. An hour before Copehagen we sent an SMS to Hanne and Per who bought our catamaran, telling them we were passing through. They had just arrived home after fetching the catamaran from Hudiksvall, Sweden. We parked the car in the harbor, and got connected to the wireless LAN of 11 Mbps!

2/4 2006 Arlanda, Sweden
Lat N 59° 39,10', Long E 17° 55,94'
Today: 14 °F ( -10 °C)
02 Apr 2006
40946 km

When we got of the plane at Arlanda the Swedish winter hit us – biting wind, snow and dark gray clouds. Luckily this will only be for two weeks. After that we will be back in the sun.

It was a complete surprise to everybody. No one knew we was to come home. We called Catharinas dad at 7 AM in the morning from Schiphol in Amsterdam. Surprised, confused and newly awakened he promised to pick us up in two hours at Arlanda.

We went strait to visit Catharinas family in Gävle. It was great meeting everybody again after almost one year. And we loved being served proper Swedish home cooking.

In the evening we continued to our hometown Sundsvall to surprise Berts parents. 30 minutes before arriving there we called to ask them to heat up the griddle - because wanted small pancakes, with whipped cream and raspberry jam when we arrive. The tears of joy flooded!

3/4 2006 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 23,22', Long E 17° 17,06'
Today: 26.6 °F ( -3 °C)
03 Apr 2006
40946 km

Today we have enjoyed the luxury hot water shower and brushing our teeth allowing tap water pour down the throat and eating Swedish home cooking.

Yet another day filled with surprises. We visited Kajsa and Peppe at their workplace. They nearly fainted. After that Bert went to see Peo - the fantastic guy that solves all the problems we are causing updating our website. Peo also arrange with new features and programming of our site.

4/4 2006 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 23,22', Long E 17° 17,06'
Today: 28.4 °F ( -2 °C)
04 Apr 2006
40946 km

Berts mum Kerstin has been kind to take care of our mail and all bills while we have been gone. Today we went through it all to check if everything was alright. In the evening we surprised Annika and Peter in their new house. Annika had her 40:th birthday a while ago and we thought this was a good time for a late congratulations.

7/6 2007 Border, Sweden-Norway
Lat N 59° 19,45', Long E 10° 57,28'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
07 Jun 2007
87989 km

Back in Sweden again – in one piece. We made our journey without any big mishaps, only a robbery attempt in the Ukraine and in Russia we had a brake in. It is better than we even dared to hope for.

We stopped in cosy town of Strömstad, to have fresh shrimps at the harbor. Soon we will be leaving the shrimp fishing area, and we better take the opportunity while we can.

In Trollhättan we cleaned our car inside and out. We want our Saab to look nice, when we are going to show it of for all the Saab enthusiasts. Standing there with foam up to our elbows, George from New York shows up. This past year we have had email contact with him regularly. George is also a Toppola owner.

Later when we arrived at the Trollhättan camp site, we found a gang of Toppola owners, delighted that we showed up. Many of them had followed our journey through our website.

8/6 2007 Trollhättan, Sweden
Lat N 58° 17,57', Long E 12° 17,83'
Today: 80.6 °F ( 27 °C)
08 Jun 2007
88239 km

There are a lot of Saab enthusiasts here, and we have never seen this many Saab cars ever. The visitors are not only Swedish and Europeans. We have met quite a few from other parts of the world too, like Australia, USA and Argentina.

The Saab museum is boring, compared to what it is like just walking around at the camp site or in town to watch all renovated and well-trimmed cars. How about this one strange looking thing, a caravan built by Saab.

As every year Saab has an outlet of spare parts at rock bottom prices. We bought a petrol heater, engine preheater, new window and some other stuff.

Before we went to Kinnekulle Ring, we passed by the TV4 local office to send the final pictures for the Sunday morning show.

9/6 2007 Kinnekulle Ring, Sweden
Lat N 58° 32,68', Long E 13° 23,54'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
09 Jun 2007
88336 km

Kinnekulle Ring truned in to a Toppola meeting palce. Five of us where parked there. Nice view isn’t it!

All day today there was Saab racing at Kinnekulle Ring. The first to go was the two-strokes, then the V4:s, and after that the rest of the Saabs. The two-stokes really put the pedal to the medal. With their nice old cars they spin around, went off the track and was close to crash.

All Saab owners could take their car on the Kinnekulle Ring race track, if they wanted too. The only had to make a security check and show the registrations papers. But a Saab with a Toppola on top was not allowed in.

In the afternoon we went to Göteborg to see Gunilla and Patrik.

10/6 2007 Göteborg, Sweden
Lat N 57° 40,67', Long E 11° 58,43'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
10 Jun 2007
88514 km

Today we where on the TV4 Morning show. Already at 8.30 AM we where there. Since the weather was nice they made outdoor broadcasting by the Opera House. After a quick briefing it was time for make up. Lots of make up.

Three minutes before our interview they sent us to our car. A minute later they came running with the microphones they had forgotten to put on us. We where supposed to drive slowly up to the program leader Tilde De Paula, she was to welcome us home to Sweden again after that we were going to take a look at our car. When they showed a multislide presentation on the screen, we had to run up to the interview corner to continue the interview there.

After ten minutes the interview was over with. We were actually not very nervous at all, even though it was a live broad cast. And it was fun experience to be on TV.

While the interview was on TV, the editor-in-chief from GT Newspaper called the TV4 asking for an interview with us too. But before meeting them we visited the famous ship East India Ship Göteborg, that came home from a two year journey to China yesterday.

When we were to board the ship it turned out a friend of ours; Kotte was on duty. She had traveled four long legs of the journey and worked as a seaman. Kotte gave us a guided tour and told us about how it was to live and work aboard the ship. Very interesting! We also got down in the engine room with the head mechanic.

11/6 2007 Stockholm, Sweden
Lat N 59° 20,38', Long E 18° 01,03'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
11 Jun 2007
89015 km

Today we arrived in Gävle, to see Catharinas family . The arrival was celebrated with champagne and strawberries. During the journey Catharina has become an aunt. Today was the first time she met little Kevin.

We also had time for a quick lunch with Anneli , who visited us two times. She traveled with us during two months from Cairo to Delhi, the year after she came to visit us for two weeks in Vietnam.

When we were in Gävle the local newspaper made an interview with us too. Speaking of media, they have gone completely crazy; everyone seems to want an interview with us. We have six more interviews booked for the next three days. We have not really done something that special. We have just traveled the world, had a good time and drinking beer. But we guess, we have lived a dream for many people.

12/6 2007 Gävle, Sweden
Lat N 60° 40,22', Long E 17° 08,78'
Today: 82.4 °F ( 28 °C)
12 Jun 2007
89225 km

Finally home again after two years on the road. But what a commotion it was. Berts mother Kerstin threw us an arrival party.

One of the local morning papers in Sundsvall asked to be there when we arrived at lunchtime. They wanted to make the”arrival home” thing in their article. After that the local TV news Mittnytt came, later the other local morning paper Dagbladet and finally a radio live broadcast interview in the national radio channel P1.

When all this was over with, we spent the rest of the day with our friends and family. Dead tired we arrived at home at our empty house late in the evening. After some hours we found our beds, sheets, pillows etcetera and finally could go to sleep.

13/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
13 Jun 2007
89709 km

The local radio station P4, wanted an interview with us down in the harbor. The reporter Tulla-Maja compared our beautiful car with an elevator. How dare she! We invited her for coffee inside the car, since the rain was pouring down outside.

Back home again it was time to start unpack all our stuff and furniture to move in to our empty house again. Most of our things were stored in the attic. Luckily Berts mother Kerstin came to give us a hand.

14/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 64.4 °F ( 18 °C)
14 Jun 2007
89709 km

At 9 AM we were invited as guests in the morning show at the local tv channel TV4, for a ten minute interview. It is kin of strange that we don’t feel very nervous at all. We have really had our share of media training this past week.

In the afternoon Catharina had a job interview to go to. Already when we were in Siberia we started thinking about what to do when we got home, and actually applied for a few jobs.

15/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
15 Jun 2007
89709 km

Bert work mates had a party today. We joined them later in the evening and took a dip in the wood heated tub. Of course we took the Saab to the party and spent the night there.

We also got time to make some big time shopping for food and supplies; since we didn’t even have salt at home.

16/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
16 Jun 2007
89709 km

We have realized that we have not really landed yet. Every day lots of things happen that we need to take care of. We haven’t had a single moment of relaxing.

Today we where invited for a wedding, when Bert cousin Mikael married Sara . Also toady the Saab came with us, it is just great to stay over at the party.

17/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 66.2 °F ( 19 °C)
17 Jun 2007
89709 km

Our friend Ecke at the AA-association, helped us to replace the exhaust pipe system. It turned out that we didn’t need to replace the catalyst. Isn’t that unbelievable! The catalyst ought to be stone dead by now, thinking about all the dirty and shitty petrol we have used during the trip.

Arriving home a photographer from the national newspaper Aftonbladet arrived to take pictures for tomorrow’s interview.

In the evening Bert went to take a look at the truck he is going to drive next week. They where short of drivers and he is going to take some extra shifts before his job for the summer starts the week after that.

18/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 59 °F ( 15 °C)
18 Jun 2007
89709 km

This morning a journalist came up all the way from Stockholm to make story on us. It is going to be published in the Sunday newspaper.

In the afternoon we had to go to get our Saab reregistered as a truck or a camper at the vehicle test center. Since we had taken out the back seat and the seat belts and remodeled it a bit it is not a five seat car anymore. Bert checked the rules and realized the best thing was to turn it in to a truck.

After that it was time for the annual car check up. The guy that made the reregistration for us arranged that we could do it at once. The only thing they said about the car was that we needed to fix hand brake on the right back wheel and that down left linkage needed to be replaced. How is that possible? A car, taken so much beating on shitty roads for two years just goes through like that? What a car!

We now have one month to fix the problems and come back and show them our car again.

19/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
19 Jun 2007
89709 km

In the afternoon Catharina got invited as the summer guest of the day in radio P4. It turned out as a 45 minute long interview about the trip, life and big adventures.

Bert on the other hand made his first working day in years as a truck driver. It was unusual to drive such a big truck after driving the Saab. But it was a ten hour shift, and very soon he got the hang of it.

20/6 2007 Sundsvall, Sweden
Lat N 62° 18,53', Long E 17° 21,63'
Today: 68 °F ( 20 °C)
20 Jun 2007
89709 km

The day started with an live broadcast interview for national radio P3 at 07.25 AM.