The Foteviken Museum was officially closed for the season, but we decided to stop anyway. The area was rumored to have a campground, including the desirable amenities of electricity and running water. With any luck, there would be a shower also. I’d rather be lucky than good.
We arrived near midnight, and, after unsuccessfully trying to find anyone with information about the place, decided to just camp for the night and worry about paying later. One of my favorite quotes goes something like: I’d rather ask for forgiveness than permission, and, considering the late hour and exhausted mental state of everyone involved, seemed appropriate.
Although I’ve been urban exploring a few times, I’ve not yet had the opportunity — or boldness — to sleep in a drainage pipe, underground tunnel, or other such, similar confined space. Although I imagine it would be a lot like what happened by the lake this cold night in Höllviken, and what will likely happen each night for the next three weeks.
I’d chosen a sleeping spot in the camper, on the uppermost bed, far to the front of the van. The curvature of the roof, combined with the limited personal space afforded to one in such an adventure travel situation, left me with my nose nearly touching the roof, and with barely enough space to even turn around. Was this what Asian tube hotels were like, I thought to myself. It wasn’t particularly uncomfortable, just unusual. But I’m sure I would grow to like it, and, if past experiences are any indicator, I would likely look back on this and other aspects of this trip with great fondness.
The camper’s electrical system was functioning normally, but there was some confusion as how to engage the heating system. In the end, we just bundled up, and went without. As the night progressed, the temperature slowly dropped, but never really got dangerous. Seeing how we were a van full of furries, on our way to two different conventions, we had an abundance of warm fuzzy things to sleep with.
The sharp, wavering wind noise — a perfect match to the stereotypical sound effect used in scary movies — provided a cover over the otherwise silent stillness of this remote part of Sweden. Lost in thought, I did not fall asleep until almost 3am, but when it finally came, it proved restful and cozy.
The morning came, breakfast was prepared and consumed, and information was obtained. Yes, it turned out, there was a shower here. Excellent.
My skin disease, plaque psoriasis, mandates the highest of hygiene standards. Daily showers are extremely important to me, and missing one causes a chain reaction of side effects that trigger depression and other mood swings. The specifics are worthy of their own blog post at some point, but suffice to say I was very glad to hear that a shower was available to me.
In the basement of a nearby building, hidden near a cage of laundry machines, and behind an intimidating mechanical combination lock, three shower stalls were found, perfectly clean and brightly lit.
The dog was walked, the humans were showered, and both were fed. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, we had, at hand, the start of a new day — so full of opportunity.
Our group, two of us in our everyday costumes, wandered around the museum grounds, seeing what could be seen of a locked building surrounded by a few Viking replicas and other curiosities. Photos were taken, legs were stretched, moods were elevated. It was a beautiful place, right next to a large majestic lake. In the distance can be seen flocks of geese playing lazily in the sun, and hundreds of windmills silently harvesting energy from thin air.
This place alone, for a few days, could a vacation make. But for us, this was just the beginning — a pit stop on an epic road trip. While we would have loved to have stayed longer, more adventure awaits. So, we drove off into the picturesque blue-skied expanse of open roads and endless greenery.
Next stop: Gothenburg.