Oslo -> Stavanger -> Stockholm -> Helsinki: 2.081 km in 37,50 hours
Part 3 Moss area -> Stockholm: 525 km in 06h17, take the ferry to Turku (Finland), 370 km in 10h07, then drive to Helsinki 168 in 01h51, doable!
After having been woken up by locals dumping their waste at 6 am, it was time to move on. The supermarket and gas station both opened at 7 am, there wasn’t a shower to take here, so the plan was to drive in my comfy PJ’s, boots and woolen vest to Stockholm (all matching colors), catch the ferry to Finland and wash up on board. Evi wasn’t angry anymore, although a bit reluctant to get in the car. Up till Norway we’ve only had short drives, 3 – 4 hours max, these long days lately are not her thing and she made sure I understood that. Kissed her and kissed her some more and off we went. Little did she know this was going to be the longest drive on this whole trip.
Sweden was pleasantly boring. 2 Lane highways, hills instead of mountains, well organized road signs, I basically have nothing to say and again took no pictures. Stepped on the gas a bit cause wanted to be in time for the ferry to Turku. Turku is just above Helsinki, a ferry ticket is euro 40 and only a 1,5 something hour drive, a ticket to Helsinki is 150, logical choice is Turku. It would let me see some of the country as well, I’m told Finland is the land of 1000 lakes, couldn’t wait to get there.
All went well, we made it in time for the ferry. Unfortunately, there were no more tickets left. For some reason I’m not surprised at all. You’re all thinking you need to book a ticket online and yes, that would be a smart thing to do, however, I tried, but you need a credit card to pay and Evi and I don’t have one. Just saying, I do sometimes think ahead. A bit moody for yet another night not moving forward, I bought a ticket for the next morning, departure time 6 am (sounds familiar), be there 1,5 hours before, so decided to sleep at the wharf. Parked my car first in line, no chance of oversleeping (or sleep at all for that matter) because trucks at work all around me, we were all set to go.
Morning came, Evi and I woke up, cars had lined up behind us and I was getting a little bit nervous. The thing was, Evi needed a ticket too, please pay euro 30 for a 13 cm tall dog. No way I was going to do that, I actually didn’t even have 30 left and she fits in my bag, problem solved. Wish I hadn’t parked first in line though because now I couldn’t see how strict cars are checked, if at all. However, I think I was saved by not being a morning person and how that shows on my face. Basically, anyone that knows me avoids me in the morning and probably the woman at the ticket window thought it was wise to do so too. Stupid Evi that’s always so ridiculously happy greeted the woman jumping up and down, wiggling her tail, I just gave her my ticket, trying to smile, failed miserably, but she let us through. Yes, victory so far. We were let on the ferry, my plan that involved staying in the car the whole 10 hours didn’t work, you’re not allowed to, put Evi in a bag, casually walked up the deck, took Evi out, set down and stayed down. It all worked out fine. The head of the engine room played with her, the head of the upper deck played with her, nobody gave a shit and I’d just saved some serious money. Time to wash and blow-dry my hair!
The ferry trip was awesome. I had sat down next to the lounge and in front of the tax free shops and have spent the whole trip watching Fins and Russians getting drunk and more drunk, getting into arguments that almost turned into fights but then they just drank another beer and were friends again. There was a terrible, terrible Finnish cover band playing with an excellent guitarist by the way and next to the cover band was the kids club, so this is the picture:
Very loud music on the left, hysterical kids on the right, dance floor in front of it all with people dancing (read: moving out of control because of alcohol %), children running up and down in between the dancing people, sometimes not in time to step aside so either the dancer or the kid would fall. In case of the dancer: loud swearing, in case of the kid: loud screaming. Parents couldn’t care less, there’s a kidsclub, for the next 10 hours, they’re not their responsibility, they need to drink.
On the other side I had a view on the taxfree shop. The amount of alcohol that was being bought was amazing. People were taking tours between their cabin and the shops with little trolleys stashed with beer, vodka, whisky and so on. This of course gave a whole new scene I could watch when we were called back to our cars upon arriving in Turku. People now had to take tours between their cabin and cars with only half an hour to get the job done, all drunk like hell, including the driver. Kids were put to work, sweaty men and women were trying to coordinate their moves, it didn’t work. Chaos followed, everybody bumped into each other but nobody got angry cause there was a common understanding; get the drinks inside the car as quick as you can. Amazingly, it all worked out fine and 1 second before the ferry hatch opened, the last car door slammed and they all sat in their cars, ready to go home.
I had finally reached Finland, it was still light out, only a short drive left to Helsinki and a thousand lakes to look forward to. How amazing the landscape would be! I saw, to be exact, zero lakes. It turns out the lake area starts about 100 km north of Turku, I was going south. Again, no surprises here😊. The good thing about Finland so far; instead of building roads following a mountain’s shape like in Norway or Sweden, here they just take a piece out of the mountain and make a road. They seriously just chop the thing open. I love Finland!