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It was beginning of May 2002 when I drove from Germany through Denmark over the Belt- and Öresundbridge to Malmö in Sweden. From there I drove to the rock-carvings of Tanumshede and on to the lakes Vänern and Vättern. After that I drove along small roads through inner Sweden up to Lapland. From Gällivare I went to the south again to Finland. From Oulu I drove through inner Finland to Turku, where I took a night-ferry (9 hours) to Stockholm in Sweden. Then I did a side trip to the island Öland before I drove again over the bridges back to Denmark and then to Germany.

I didn't miss the cities Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki by mistake. I simply don't like cities, because there are more than enough traffic-jams in Germany, so I don't need to see them in other countries and the risk of getting your luggage stolen is much higher in a city than in a village.

Recommended map: Sweden sheet 1-6 von Kümmerly+Frey, scale 1:250.000 or 1:400.000

                                Finland sheet 1-3 von Kümmerly+Frey, scale 1:400.000

Guide book:  Lonely Planet Sweden and Lonely Planet Finland or Lonely Planet Scandinavian Europe

General information

The best time in year to go to Sweden and Finland is from late May to early September, because this are normally the warmest month. From October to April there is winter, at least in the northern parts of this countries, with ice and snow. If you go early in the year you could have bad luck (like I had) and get a little snow in the north, but you've got the advantage that there are still no mosquitoes, not even next to the lakes.

Road conditions: The E-roads are often built as motorways and they are as boring as motorways. The other roads are in good conditions and they are not seldom better than in Germany. Only very small roads are gravel-/mud-roads (depends on the weather) and they are often dead-end-roads (up to 50km long).

Getting fuel: This is not a problem, not if you've got a credit card (best Visa). At many fuel-stations there is no desk were you have to pay, but there are automats which will (hopefully) accept your card or sometimes they also accept notes/bills. The prices are about 1,15 Euro per liter in Sweden and 1,07 Euro in Finland (may 2002).

Tanumshede At Tanumshede you can see lots of rock-carvings on different places. They are right next to the road and you don't need to pay entrance fee.
side roads are not paved Small side roads are not paved but at dry weather they are easily drivable, but be aware: The Swedish people drive on these roads like they were at a rally, this means in turns they need the whole road.
no turns If you are looking for the "turn-paradise" don't go to Sweden, better don't go to Scandinavia at all.
geographic midpoint of Sweden This photo was made at the geographic midpoint of Sweden, it shows a about 120° view.