Imagine yourself getting into your car at home. You start driving as usual. Then out of nowhere, you’re in the middle of the busy streets of Tokyo.
That’s what it felt like for us driving through Stockholm in our camper van.
Growing up in the countryside, mainly relying on public transport, driving through large cities feels quit unfamiliar. Especially when your vehicle is large, and functions as your home!
As we entered Stockholm for the first time to visit a friend near the city center, people drove along us on all sides, all clearly in a hurry. We had driven through Gothenburg quite a few times, so we thought that we were prepared. Compared to Stockholm though, driving in Gothenburg is a piece of cake!
One thing we noticed, besides the impatience of the fellow road users, is that nobody seemed to be aware of the fact that cars have direction indicators. You know, those orange lights on the side that flash to show where you’re going? Nobody used them. And that wasn’t just the case in Stockholm, we’ve noticed it everywhere in Sweden. Those things can be quite handy for your fellow road users you know!
Tunnels, tunnels, and roadwork
We have a navigation app on our phone that tells us where to go, but in Stockholm we suddenly entered a tunnel, and then another one. Well, as you might have guessed, our phone lost its signal and the app frooze.
As we missed our first exit off the highway, the drama started. After we exited the tunnel Marijke luckily got the navigation back up and running. It was great for a second or two. And then there was roadwork.
With about 5 exits within 100 meters, we tried to find the correct exit this time around, whilst struggling to understand all the traffic signs. We had to turn right, and tried to do so, but the road turned out to be blocked. With no way to turn around, there we went again, into those damn tunnels. And of course, the navigation app gave up once more!
Eventually, a 15 minute drive into the city turned into 90 minutes of sightseeing (without the seeing part, that is)! But hey, at least we are allowed to park in Stockholm with our camper van.
Excuse the rant. Besides our driving experiences both in Stockholm and Gothenburg, Swedish people have been really friendly and very helpful to say the least! We definitely love it here so far.