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 Post subject: 2012 July 19 Into Sweden
PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:57 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 9:11 pm
Posts: 415
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
We have crossed from Norway into Sweden, headed for Stockholm and whatever else we find on our way. At the border the condition of the roads immediately deteriorated some, but they are still wide and have generous enough shoulders to remain in the “good” category. The E18, the main road between Oslo and Stockholm, varies from 2- to 3- to 4-lane configurations with controlled access. The 3-lane version is interesting: the road will be divided, with two lanes assigned to one direction for about two miles and then to the other direction for another two miles. Faster traffic has a chance to pass once in a while, but at a considerable savings in construction costs compared to a 4-lane road. (And we have noticed faster traffic: we have been passed by more vehicles in one day on the two-lane portion than we were during a week in Norway.)

We have also found fewer campgrounds. The first night we stayed in a very large and very crowded family resort, where we were able to find a Swedish Campground guide in English that has been very helpful. We also picked up a Swedish/English dictionary. We had become quite comfortable with the few Norwegian signs we had figured out, but the Swedish ones are remarkably different. They talk funny, too (Swedes, that is, not the road signs). We had become accustomed to the softly bubbling Norwegian tone, only to hear the Swedish language kind of bouncing along . . . and we understand none of it. Still, it is remarkable how well a mono-lingual American can get along--English is just about everywhere.
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We have also noticed that costs have dropped. We waited until we got into Sweden before buying gas and stocking up on groceries. Gas proved to be $8.11/gallon, compared to Norway’s $9.60+. Everything else also seems to be about 20% cheaper. And a box of cheap wine went from $50 to $19, so we will be enjoying wine again. (Unfortunately, we cannot stock up before returning to Norway: we are permitted to return with only 4 bottles or 1 box of wine.) There is a large shopping center just across the border into Sweden where we stopped and a lot of Norwegians stop just before returning to Norway.

Our only excursion on the way has been a detour of a couple of miles from our second campground to see Picasso’s largest outdoor sculpture. Turns out it was supervised, but not made, by him.
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Big whoop: Susan was more impressed with her first real (i.e., Swedish) IKEA.
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