Start: Strömstad, Sweden
Finish: Halden, Norway
Today I hit another milestone; I crossed the Swedish/Norwegian border and am now walking in my last country for this trip.
The day got started with a good breakfast at the hotel in Tanumshede followed by a 30 minute bus ride back to Strömstad where I stopped walking yesterday. Today was cloudy and winds gusting to 40 mph. Fortunately for me, the wind was at my back. The terrain today was very hilly so I spent the going up and down rolling hills on backroads.
As I neared the border between Sweden and Norway, but still on the Swedish side, there were several retailers selling tobacco and alcohol. The stores looked very crowded with shoppers, so there must be some advantage for people from Norway to come into Sweden to shop.
Once I reached the border, the two countries were separated by a deep gorge and an inlet from the sea. The bridge was clearly marked half way across with a sign and lines painted on the pavement designating the border. The old border checkpoint stations are still in place, but are abandoned now due to the open borders.
Once I crossed into Norway, it was about two miles downhill to my hotel. Unfortunately, the symbol on Google Maps for the hotel is not in the right location so I walked an extra mile trying to find the place. I finally saw a truck driver walking toward a restaurant and asked him if he knew where the missing hotel was located. He did and I finally found it.
Sweden was a beautiful country. It’s shoreline on the North Sea is rocky and there are hundreds of islands and inlets that form the coast. Also, I didn’t meet a single person in Sweden who didn’t speak English. And just like Denmark, cash is almost nonexistent in Sweden. I talked to one gentleman who said he hadn’t spent any cash in three years. No matter how small the purchase, Swedes use a card. I’m assuming Norway will be the same way and since I’m only spending five days here, I don’t plan to get any of their currency.
So tomorrow I set out on my brief walk through southern Norway. It’s about 80 miles from here to the finish line in Oslo. I have five days to get there. I’m still one day ahead. If the weather forecast stays good, I plan to take a 23 mile day that’s in my walking plan next Monday and split it into two shorter days. Then I’ll arrive in Oslo right on time next Wednesday, 4 Sept.
That’s it for today. Have a great three day weekend everybody! JB.
PS: I posted a new video. Click on the video tab to watch it.