River Wild Van Life in Sweden
Updated: Jan 5
September always has me feeling excited and filled with anticipation for fall and all the holiday goodness on the way. The past few years we've really tried to maximize the fall season and just enjoy the harvest season to it's fullest. These past few weeks have been a bit of a mess ...a glorious mess in many ways, with friends and so much fun, but also lows since I've been dealing with a lot of pain and a week long hospital stay because of it. Friday was a bit of a holy crap moment when pain was back and I had to step on the brakes. Generally I tend to be a full throttle kind of person, so feeling unable to do things really gets to me and this was one of those times when van life came to the rescue. Saturday was gorgeous, crisp air and the sun shining through the yellowing leaves was so good for recouping and resting. But the best would have to be mom and dad taking the kids for a sleepover so David and I could take the van and head out for some much needed alone time.
On the road again and looking for adventure and not quite sure where we were heading we knew we wanted a bit of a drive but not crazy far since we wanted to be back the next day by lunch. We turned to the park4night app and did some research while driving towards Upsala
One of the things I love the most about Bluebird is the giant windows while on the road, it really tends to feel like you have a panoramic view of the landscape unfolding in front of you with endless possibilities ahead while you try to make up your mind. I mean I love to plan, but sometimes not having a plan and just getting out there is half the fun.
Was it alone time? well yeah but we did have a bit of company. Bailey tagged along for the adventure making sure to add a bit of canine craziness to the mix.
She is getting better at road tripping...kinda ...sorta..ok she's spazzy but we love her and she'll get there. After searching a few different places we decided to head for a spot we found on the app right at the entrance of the Färnebofjärdens National Park which was about an hour and a half away at the beginning of the Dal River. lots of winding roads but the location felt perfect with a few other rv's and vans parked as well as access to a composting toilet, which let's face it if you don't have to go in the woods that's a bonus.
Late night star gazing
We tend to be late out, so once again we arrived in pitch black, The coziness of the area was evident though as we drove over the bridge with the roaring river and camp fires blazing in the woods. We settled into the van for a late dinner with jazz music and some wine. Not the best picture because of the lack of lighting. Do I overdo decorating? perhaps but I couldn't help getting a fall wreath at the store on our way out so I might as well hang it.
Got to love our Tupike stove though from Primus , the double burner is perfect for whipping together anything from hotdogs to chili or toast. we got ours at Naturkompaniet and swear by it https://www.naturkompaniet.se/primus-tupike-stove-p350150/
Before heading to bed we went outside to let Bailey do her funky thing and marvel at the starry night. Living so close to the city you really forget how many stars there are when you are only surrounded by nature and darkness.
With fall here I did have some concerns that it would be to cold but I have to say multiple layers and blankets and we were set for an awesome nights sleep. Dealing with chronic pain does put a damper to regular camping because I have a hard time sleeping on the ground lately. But we made sure to not underestimate our need for comfort knowing this and the memory foam mattress in the van is insanely comfy. I really think that the fact that van life allows that freedom even when I'm not feeling great health wise does good for my soul.
Waking up we were curious.
Since we had arrived in darkness we weren't completely sure what awaited us...and oh my goodness.
The sun had recently come up and was still low, the heat from the river had the mist and fog laying low over the water and trees. It was magical, there is no other way to explain it. The roaring of the river along with that stillness early morning brings was just mind blowing. I think we're officially in love.
We had a relaxed morning with coffee and breakfast in Bluebird before heading out for a short walk in the woods. There was a really great 4km loop but I knew that wouldn't be a good idea because of my health issues lately and taking it easy was just fine, the views were gorgeous and there was so much to take in.
We learned that the Färnebofjärden National Park is really special because animals from both the north and south of Sweden as well as a rich plant life all come together there which is really unique.
We will absolutely be back and would recommend this excursion to anyone looking for an amazing nature experience easily accessible and with a huge variety of things to do with everything from canoeing to birdwatching, fishing and hiking.
Until next time, follow your heart.
Look for adventure around every corner.
And appreciate the things that make you smile.