In the ancestors’ footsteps
For me, Fjällbacka was the purpose for our trip (it was only another stop for the rest of the family), for 2 reasons:
1- To discover the universe of Camilla Lackberg’s books, which I like so much, and whose heroine, Erica Falck, lives in this city.
2- I have always lived in the fantasy of this region, the Bohuslan (literally the country of the Bohu), because I knew that a branch of our family originated from it. Indeed the surname of my Grandmother was Bohu; I think it dates back at least 5 generations, but when I was a little girl it was as if I had Viking ancestors!! So exotic! I had always promised myself “to go there” … So it’s done.
To start our visit we decided to take a boat trip to the middle of the islands of the coast. – You should check it out on Google maps to get a feel for the impressive number of small islands on the Scandinavian coasts. It is incredible!
After dropping the camper van at the entrance of the town, we walked through Fjällbacka to the quay. Although the city is accessible by car, very few cars venture into it, which gives the impression of a pedestrian city – very pleasant as a tourist. After a short walk on the docks, composed of pleasure boat docks and small fisherman’s redwood houses, we boarded the boat. The captain had insisted that the tourist office only charge us half price for the girls… Charming, sir!
Abby started screaming as the boat approached and it got worse when we sat on the deck… We apologized to the other passengers and assured them that once we left, she would calm down. Abby is rather discreet, usually, but she has a powerful… Really powerful voice! Happily, some moments after the departure, well wrapped up in the blankets that the captain had placed at our disposal, she fell asleep.
Leaving the port, we could admire the small village and its prominent rock. When we moved away from the shore we had the impression to see a city model. We could see a gathering of small wooden houses, alternately red, white, yellow and some rare blue, a small bell tower dating from the fifties, and the harbor at simultaneously marina, and a fishing harbour, all in perfect harmony. The captain explained that the rise of the city was quite recent.
When Ingrid Bergman, the famous Swedish-born actress, set up her summer quarters on a small isolated island here about 60 years ago, the town began to gain more notoriety and from a small fisherman’s village, Fjällbacka has become a charming seaside resort, attracting the richest Swedes.
Very soon we went along the first islands. From far away, we imagined them to be small and uninhabited, but in reality, they are almost all large enough to shelter several houses. It is astonishing to approach one, to see on one face only a rock mass and to discover as hidden on the other side, a small verdant meadow by the water, with centenary trees, houses, and some mooring pontoons.
Some days sea lions would be swimming around the islands, but unfortunately, we couldn’t see any today.
Halfway along the route, Abby woke up enchanted. It was funny to see her amazed about the landscape around her. Josephine had become friends with the captain and traveled by his side, near the helm, with a smile on her face and a proud attitude. Nick was also really happy, he went to the bow to take some pictures. Everybody was delighted. A really beautiful moment.
Back on the mainland, after an ice-cream break, we climbed the rock that rose on the quay. After crossing a canyon in the heart of the rock we headed for the top, where we witnessed a splendid panorama dominating the multitude of small islands of the coast. Magnificent.
After that, it was time to go back to the campsite, tired, amazed and peaceful.
Time to slow down
Today we had to make a choice! The initial trip included a visit to Stockholm after Fjällbacka, the problem was that we took more time than expected to reach this point, and now heading for Stockholm would require us to take considerably more time on the road per day…
Decided to not going to Stockholm was really painful, but after reflection, it is a huge and magnificent city, so to only do a flash visit would be a real shame. Nick and I agreed that we would make another trip to Stockholm, and we even mentioned the idea of hiring a Camper van there to join the polar circle… This is how a new journey begins!
So, the program for the day was more chill: rest, picnic, small walk around the campsite, trampoline for girls and laundry for the big ones.
Live fully the adventure
At noon we recalled Josephine and Abby, gone to play on the trampoline, and we headed to the panorama over the campsite for our picnic.
For a long time, we watched the large ants that came to eat the crumbs of our meal. Josephine undertook to make peace between those who were fighting for a chicken crumb … Hilarious!
After that, Nick and Abby went back to the camper van to take a nap, and Joséphine and I went “to have a big nature adventure!”.
I had spotted on google maps that there was a big lake next to the campsite, so I suggest that we leave the marked paths to try to reach this lake by our own path…
We weren’t so far, but progress in nature without following a track was both thrilling and frightening for Josephine. She was really brave. It was really nice to walk with her, show her tree essences, make her observe the signs of animal presence. We had a delightful mother/daughter time. We returned to the campsite enchanted by our expedition.
After 9 days of travel, almost all of the girls’ wardrobe was dirty. So the end of the day was made of a mix of laundry and rest, taking advantage of the last rays of sunshine.