The road to Abisko (Part I)

We decided to drive to our Arctic fieldsite, – partly because we were taking a lot of equipment, and having a car there gives us some flexibility, and partly because I love a road trip, and opportunities to drive the length of Sweden don’t come around everyday. So equipped with a mixtape (or a Spotify playlist in today’s currency), a car full of equipment and some Yorkshire tea bags, we hit the road. The first stage of the journey was the quick drive from Sheffield to Hull, to catch the overnight ferry (read: party boat) to Rotterdam. We had a compact but comfortable cabin, a nice meal and sat back to enjoy the views.

The ferry set sail at around 9 pm, and after a pleasant crossing, we found ourselves in arriving in Rotterdam first thing in the morning, ready for a dash across mainland Europe to our next ferry crossing from Kiel, in Northern Germany, to Gothenburg. All in all the drive took about 8 hours, with multiple coffee and pastry stops along the way. It was all highways, so it wasn’t the most scenic route, but it did what it needed to do, and got us to Kiel in time to catch the ferry to Sweden.

The Kiel-Gothenburg ferry was slightly smaller, and a touch more refined than the Hull-Rotterdam offering, although really both were very nice. After a long drive, we happily tucked into the Seafood/veggie options and beer on offer, and counted our blessings.

We had a lovely glimpse of the Swedish coast and rocky islands as we sailed into Gothenburg, for around 9 am the following morning. It’s a really lovely way to arrive into a city, – I think I’m beginning to get hooked on boat travel. First impressions of Sweden as we began our road trip north was just how quiet it was on the roads, after the busy pace of mainland Europe.

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