I was doubting, shall i write this one or no, because summer is not over for us as vikings, but its over for me. After Gudvengen story, and successful coming back home we went to our next trip- Aland islands, Saltvik market. This time- no adventures, please :}
Jurney was smooth, we had some free time, and even took few swims in the sea :} bit of sightseing after the market also left relaxed memories which ill keep over the winter till new adventures.
On this short note ill say bye to you till next year, and dont forget to visit us in Gotland!
Our crew is still traveling and you will have a lot of fun with us!
Lets jump a week before Gudvangen and all road stories, and remember a moment, when we had an actual house. You see, with amount of moving we are doing, concept of house and something that has more than fabric walls, is so transparent, that it almost doesnt exist.
So we are comming to this small and new for us market called Froja thing and the first and quite usual problem we are facing- we are quite big. The spot we had to get was in front of lovely historical house from Gotland. And just by putting our tent there, we would block the whole street. Trying to solve up the issue we are staring at the walls of the house, and the great idea comes to life- why dont We just cover the house with our roof. Measurements are similar, fix is easy….. well it required slight climb up the walls. But being monkeys by nature its not a big deal. So we ocupied a house and there is the result.
This slightly crazy idea really helped us the last day of the market, when due to rain and wind market had to be closed hour earlyer, and we heared about storm just from complaining outside and raindrops coming from windows.
The one down feeling of that was to take roof down. As this time everything was wet. Not without our friends help we managed to finish everything in time and hit the road before getting soaked. This short stay benieth 4 walls reminded of nice feeling having home. One day we will settle down, but for now- hit the road again.
I hadn’t got a time to write recently, so ill go with two stories this time, and will start from the roads.
Roads have quite symbolical meaning in our lives They start and end, same as we do, they take us from place to place, they can be pleasant, can be hard, same as some moments our lives. In viking traders life roads play even bigger value. They are our life.
This trip hadn’t had a proper start, we rushed from one market, slept a bit, and rushed to another. Estimate driving time – 12 hours. With the little rest we had, and the single ounce of energy left we were on our last leg. Rest would come on Gudvangen, with slow and almost week-long festival.
Narrow and twisty Norwegian roads didn’t allow to go fast, but we had time, even if it was bit tight. Few stops for coffee and food on the road and by the dusk we reached the bottom of the mountains. The point we climbed the top was already dark. North nights are not as dark as south ones, but on the top of the mountain you couldn’t see more than car lights light in front of us. And so concentrated on the road we didnt noticed exactly moment when lights got dimmer. Slight rain knocked on our front window and the point i turned wipers, they were working slow motion. ”This is bad” was the thought which almost visibly appeared in the car. Meanwhile outside started to get foggy. And the thicker fog became, the less we saw on the road. Get down from the mountains – that was the only instinct which was left.
Lights from the car almost went off, and Linus had to stick his hand with flashlight out, so road would be visible. Slowly and in tensed silence we left kilometers behind. It wasnt scary. There was just one goal – to get us down from the mountains. Linus hand got stiff from cold outside, and he had to get it inside. That was the point we almost reached serpentine down from the mountains. Night was dying giving its velvet darkness away and visibility became bit better. And as we were rolling downhill, and i was slightly slowing down the car, all front panel went down and reset. At the same moment lights went off. Extremely carefully I started road down from the mountains. Dont ask me how, i will be not able to tell you, but i got us down safely. Grey morning light was a good reward for an effort, and few hours from our destination point made us more optimistic.
Now it was just to drive till Gudvangen, without turning of the car. Biological body imperfections forced us to make a short stop, and knowing what car cant be turned off, we just thought to leave it on, but as soon as I stopped the car, engine shut off. We tried to turn it on, without any visible result. And then again, and again. Nothing. So there we were. At 3 am, middle of now where, with dead car. Just to mention, all communication devices where as well pretty much dead.
Except my old brick phone, which had few numbers on it, and tiny bit of battery. So we tried to stop cars which were passing by. No result. We tried to call somebody to drag us till the place, nobody answered (quite logical, normal people are sleeping at this point). And at the point we gave up, what was few hours later, and thought- we will just try luck later, in daytime, two cars drives into road sideways where we stopped, and offered to help. Our hopes were revived again. After few unlucky tries to charge our accumulator, we decided to push-start a car. Again sidenote- I never done that before. But learning process didn’t took long, and after second try motor made its first roar. Back on the road, so close to destination, we almost can feel it. No stops, that was mutual agreement. Just to make it till our destination. But Gods had other plans.
I missed the turn. Mistake which is fixed quite easily just by turning car around. Unless you have car like ours. Which stopped. Again. Blocking all the road. At least this time firs car which was driving by stopped. Car pushed again, started, and one more effort…..
Didnt last long.
The first uphill tunnel which we entered, was the last one. Heavy car, made few angry roars and completely died. Dragged by its own weight its rolls down the hill, with almost not working brakes, and just by some kind of magic i rolled it into a stop spot in front of tunnel. That was it. We can’t make it on our own.
That was as well the point when Linus went ”Fcuk it, im calling my mum.”
We got arranged pulling car, which came quite quickly, and you know what, we stopped just 15 minutes from Voss. Both of us dead tired, but show must go on, so we get a rental car. And at that point Linus tells me that he doesn’t want to die, so im going to sleep, and he will repack the car. I got an hour nap while he repacked full car on his own ( amazingly crazy men :} ) and we got on a road again. With a slight detour called the wrong turn, we reached Gudvangen in 1,5 hours. After 21 hour of traveling that was it, we made it!!!!
We slept for few hours in Karins tent (thank you, darling, for that) And slightly restored we faced the new tricky bit- we have to place a tent at, by this time, quite highly populated market. Our tent is… not big, not small -10 by 5 meters. There were limited quite limited possibilities, time was running out, because we had to return rental car same day. We spotted one of houses yard, where we could fit, but there were no entrance. And being already enough crazy, we decide- we will just make entrance!
Easy fix to house tent were made by Linus, and with slight hectic running around and driving forward and backward to Voss (50 km away) we set up our home.
And there the market starts. Not as calm as we were expecting, but nice and warming. With a lot of friends, fires, songs and amazing atmosphere.
Jurney home were bit more tricky. We had to get rental car again, pack everything in there, then unpack to our, already fixed car, and drive, because its next market on the way, and we are extremely short in time. So little sleep, lots of coffee. Slight freaking up when i drove same road back. Because it was scary, even in daylight.
And the only thing i was thinking was- haw i at all made it through it at night. More coffee, using our last energy, and at just yesterday (more- today), 3 am- we are home. Safe, just few extra grey hair, and ready for new, hopefully more pleasant adventures. As soon as we will get shower and sleep. Because these things make you sweat.
There are markets, and there are Markets. Last two markets can easily be named one of the cosiest markets. Stallarholmen and Treleborgen, located quite far from each other, kept last two weeks in one simple word- cosy. And if i would expect that from Stallarholmen, market which im not first time in, Trelleborgen gave us a nice surprise.
Trip there started with with a train. our car was waiting for us at Foteviken, viking village in south of Sweden. So we packed our small luggages, backpacks, bags, packages and so on, and Onwards!!!!
Trip well relatively smooth, we got lost only for short a times and minimum casualties. It took not long, not short- about 10 hours, and the point we reached our car we were quite happy.
With few extra circles around trelleborg, we got to our destination. This time we had a big tent to put up which was first time for me this year, so we took our time with figuring out, how does that thing works at all.
Some time later..
We managed to put it up!!!!
And exhausted went to sleep. Next day was promising to be long and full of work. :}
Rigging up went quite well, we even found time to help other latecommers to rig their tents. Weather was hot, and we made a decision, next day, ater workday finishes to go swimming. Whats said, must be done, and the fact, that temperature quite dropped day after couldnt stop us.
Boys checked the water first, and after making sure its definitely not toxic, but maybe slightly cold, tried to convince ladies to get in. My *for english speakers- its a name which is pronounced [Mui’]* needed quite a strong convincing, but after several minutes even she dipped into cold water cuddly arms.
During next day’s merchant workshop which had all of us running around like smiling suns, we managed to get a hold of two tickets to the evenings festivities. Said and done, we arrive with cutlery and empty stomachs and enjoyed the last hours of sun with fantastic conversations and singing. The food was alright and the drinks were a plenty, so much so that a sport was created from the overflow.
wich minion now proudly holds the record for.
With evenings cosy and fun and days hectic we relaxed and were expecting to have smooth pack-up. But no, Gods of Trading have good sence of humour, and after having half car packed in, we discovered that:
After panicking for a bit, and being stupid with decisions, we manage to find temporary fix, which, as we thought, will hold till nearest workshop. And you know what- there was nothing wrong with the tyre. So road again, and lets believe that our next market will keep as cosy as previous ones :}
Had you seen an orc family, or a casually walking Sauron between pirates? I had. Because thats Spectaculum- one of the more than usual strange, crazy, and what to say- quite spectacular market.
After spending few extra days in a small Danish paradise, we jumped in our car, and went to a far land for us- Germany. Spending night in a small camping nearby, i had only one problem- fow to explain size of my historical tent. Almost convinced lady that its one of our smaller tents (she wasnt speaking english, so i had to convince her in german (and lets admit it, in german I speak not more than a penguin)) But it went all god, exept bit expensive, and we (me and my small bro) were entartaining camping people by trying to put up tent very fast, in the rain. Next morning 9 am, was setup date for getting my tent spot.
Next morning was not as smooth as it was expected. We had to sait for a tentspot for extreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeemly long time, and wind and rain didnt helped at all. But with good amount of coffee and good companioship of other our freezing neighbours, we were patient enough to wait for it. It was quite different from markets i had been, to the point they had their own money, which some of them were so heavy, you could kill somebody, if u accidently would throw it. Weather was almost nice to us and our tent, possibly tired from flying away on previous market, or just because tones of ropes, which were holding it, didnt even moved in a wind.
And when market actually started, i was really amazed by 2 things:
1: people are tottaly ignoring storm weather and comming half naked
2: Amount of people doing that.
It was fun, and amazing to be part of it. and deffenetelly unforgettable experiece, half bacause apparently i can speak german, because quite little amount of people speak english. And qite a lot of unwriten, or written in german rules, which i had to follow without knowing it, made it quite interesting asa first time market. So just small note to myself- i need to learn german.
Unfortunetelly stage was quite far, so i couldnt hear music during daytime, but party for market participants was quite amazing!
So ya, Spectaculum was quite spectacular, nice, we made new friends, but what to say, im really glad to be back home in Sweden. Markets now are homebased and the only thing i can say now is….
So, my next destination Denmark. Hadn’t been there in a while, market was new – sounds promising. On the road again!!
Unexpected adventures started when my navigation, instead of getting me to Copenhagen, got me to Helsingborg, and told that i have to take a ferry. To all my arguments, that want to take a bridge, it reacted one way- it stopped working. So im there, in the middle of Helsingborg, I have to pick two people, and I have no idea where to drive. Id say that amazing start. After cookie brake, i remembered, that i am strong an independent women, can actually read, and looked for the signs down to Malmo. Hour and a bit and i crossed the bridge!
and yess, my car window needs slight cleaning :}
Getting to Kopenhagen was easy part. Now the funny part- getting through the city and finding place where i have to pick up people. 40 minutes and few hysteria later i managed to park my car next to central station, grabbed Markus and Max,and some food before that, and we went on the road. Getting to the Esrum kloster (that’s the market place) was not easier, we missed roads couple of time. Without navigation it was quite tricky, but in the end we got there. First night went without any adventures, we put up our tent and went to sleep. Next day we were going to rig it up, so we needed all energy we could get.
In the night wind became stronger, and sides of our tent were flapping like wings of huge bird, but that was more annoying than alarming. Nest day was mostly sunny, bits of rain, wind appeared just occasionally and we just sometimes had to hold our tent, so it would not fly away (and believe me, it tried its best). We were working on our setup and day seemed fine until whooosh, one, not even strongest, gasp of wind lifted our tent and turned tentroof all way to the other side! And then the wind was gone. Like nothing happened. We got stunned for the moment. Then, like still dreaming we started to look what can be fixed, and actually fixing it.
Two hours later, we fixed tent and in the evening everything was ready for an upcomming festival. And it was sunny, even hot, like nothing happened at all.
Now, looking forward to Germany, Spectaculum market, i quite hope that it will be calmer and easier :}
Hamar met us with changing weather, nights which never get dark, new challenges, and interesting news- the King and the Queen of Norway were going to visit!! Everybody was quite excited to meet him. Waiting for that even, we didn’t seen how time flew by.
Changing rain and sun added a bit of spice for the market, but after Tonsberg we at least had the possibility to warm up. Music, performers, people- market was in its fullest! :}
And then – Sunday, was the day. A lot of excited people, next to the gates, everybody is happy, and even weather became stable for a bit (and even slightly warmer). And here, the King and Queen arrives!
I had only seen them for a short while, cause works never ends, but it was impressive :}
On the way back after festival we stopped in Oseberg ship museum, and it was amazing!!! Filled with history and new inspirations we went home.
Also managed to get between two storms on the road from Oslo to Sweden :} And now, sipping tea on a sofa at home I’m gladly remembering this Norway trip, and getting ready to conquer the next countries!
Skipping Oslo medieval market (quite lovely one, but im to lazy to write) ill tell you about my most recent Tonsberg market. Loveliest place with amazing sunsets and view. top of the mountain, atmospheric and nice…… that how i remembered it from last year…
I came there earlyer and spent few days in Tonsberg. It was sunny and hot, an seemed like it will be perfect weather.And the point we put tents up it was exactly like that. In the evening it got bit colder and there were few drops, but even that didnt rang an alarming bell.
Next morning started with slight rain. and then more, and more, and more… and….. welcome to our mud kingdom!!
Despite bad weather mood was never bad. The bar tent and lovely people were around and party never stopped. A lot of beer (after work hours of course) and music lead this festival, and amazing bands were playing.
Now, after finally getting hot shower and warmth of the bed, and ready to head up to my next destination – Hammar, I can honestly sum up, that im happy to be there, and experience everything what happened. See you in Hammar!
So, i am back. After long winter, hectic packing, some flight issues and timing issues, i am back here and already on the road :}
First market this year we did together with Tone and it was Runerikets dag.
It was lovely because of two reasons: quite lovely weather, and even more lovely neighbours.
Yes, you saw it quite correctly, that’s a graveyard. This market took place next to the Vallentuna kyrka, and even bit strange neighborhood wasn’t bothering. Warm weather convinced us also to open swimming season in the Valentunasjon. Water was bit dirty and bit cold, but that never stopped us.
Packing down was light and full of joy. Summer finally came to our premisses and kept us in cheerful mood.
Journey home was slightly complicated and looooooooong, but we made it in one go :}
Now I am getting ready for 3 weeks in Norway, and i will see you in Oslo middelalderfestival, Tønsberg middelalderfestival and Hamar Middelalderfestival.