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A Journey to Scandinavia Summer of 2017 PDF Printable Version E-mail


A Journey to Scandinavia in the Summer of 2017

Motorhoming via the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden & Finland

Margaret Williamson

Introduction

After travelling in Spain and Portugal in the winter of 2016/17, we returned to England in the spring via France, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. Much of June and into July passed in the East and West Ridings of Yorkshire, before we were able to recommence travelling and the writing of this travel log.

Our overall aim is to reach Greece for the winter, travelling through the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Baltic Republics, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Let's see how it goes!

2017_12.jpg 

JULY 2017

Harwich to the Hook of Holland on the Stena Line Ferry

Hook of Holland Ferry Port to Farm-Camping Hoeve Bouwlust, Maasland, Zuid-Holland – 11 miles

Open 31 March-31 Oct.  www.hoeve-bouwlust.nl  €18.50 inc elec and showers. Excellent free WiFi.  N 51.955585  E 4.287047

The two modern Stena Line ferries linking Harwich with the Hook of Holland claim to be the world's largest passenger ferries, with a choice of day or overnight crossings. Once again we have booked the daytime sailing with an outside cabin through the Camping & Caravanning Club, which gives a good discount and a free upgrade to Flexifare (more than saving our annual membership fee!) Leaving from Harwich avoids the hassle of the drive to and security around the Channel Ports, and you can stock up at the Morrisons store (with larg car park and fuel) shortly before the port.

The ship, busy with holiday traffic in mid July, sails at 9 am. The crossing is smooth, with lunch in the self-service restaurant (M's chicken curry proved a better choice than B's fish & chips), before docking on time at the Hook at 5.15 pm local time (it's still 4.15 pm in the UK). It's still very warm and sunny this side of the North Sea.

The SatNav leads us to a dairy farm/camping a few miles east of the Hook, sited on road N468, that we have pre-booked for 2 nights. It sells delicious ices made with their own cream and milk, as well as eggs and milk by the bottle.

Next day we plan to cycle along the canal into the nearby villages but the sultry weather breaks into heavy rain showers. At least the free camp WiFi works well, so we catch up on-line and write some emails and review the site for ACSI:

"A small popular campsite on a working dairy farm, with great activities for children. Found it a convenient stopover, only 11 miles from the Hook of Holland ferry. Fresh milk for sale, as well as delicious ice cream made on the farm. A pizza van was due on Saturday. We would have stayed longer but the site was fully booked for the weekend. Free showers and WiFi throughout the site, all for a very reasonable camping fee. Next time, we will book ahead!"

We'd like to stay longer and sample the Pizza van that calls on Saturdays but the small site is full for the weekend. A phone call to a favourite (and much larger) site further east at Otterlo confirms our next move.

Maasland to Camping Beek en Hei, Otterlo, Gelderland – 77 miles

Open all year. www.beekenhei.nl. High season rate €23.93 inc 10 amp elec and taxes. (ACSI Card reduction low season.) WiFi €3 one day, €4 for two days, €1.50 per day for three days plus. Showers €0.50.  N 52.09214  E5.77072

Warm and sunny again for the drive along Oostgang (N468) past Schipluiden – a canalside scene of ducks, bicycles and windmill – to join the A4 near Delft. Then A12 past Utrecht to exit 23 (Ede), onto the A30 northwards for exit 2, and the N304 to Otterlo. We turn left before the village for our favourite of several campsites in the area: 'Beek en Hei' meaning brook and heath. I reviewed it for ACSI last year:

"A very well kept campsite tucked away in quiet woodland, just 1 km from the village of Otterlo with its shops and cafes. Extremely friendly helpful staff and good clean facilities. Breads, ices and fresh eggs on sale. Site-wide WiFi at a small cost was very reliable. Excellent base for cycling in the Hoge Veluwe forest, with bike paths in every direction. We came for a couple of nights and stayed 3 weeks!"

It's an extensive site, on each side of a gravel road/bike path in the forest, with separate areas for different campers - tents, families, long-term or short-stay. We find a quiet, privately hedged pitch and settle in with the resident rabbits. Not forgetting the hens, whose eggs we buy.

The WiFi works well and the facilities are good, apart from a meagre 6-amp hook-up which the microwave soon trips! Meanwhile, Barry removes a tiny nail from the soft rear tyre of my bike, ready to take to the Fietspad tomorrow.

At Camping Beek en Hei, Otterlo

Click: magbazpictures.com/cycling-in-the-netherlands

Over a 2-week stay we regularly stroll into Otterlo (1.5 km) to visit its well-stocked hardware shop, Spar supermarket/post office/bakery with free coffee dispenser, and the excellent cycle shop (Geerts Tweewielers) where we buy a new tyre. There is a memorial to the Canadians, British and civilians killed here in April 1945 in the last battle for the liberation of the Netherlands, following Operation Market Garden in September 1944. 

On a few rainy days we have emails to write, the travelog of Spring in Ireland to finish, Radio 4 and the Guardian to keep us in touch with events, and films for entertainment. Local TV showed a lovely film 'Brideflight' set in 1950s New Zealand, following the lives of a group of Dutch women who answered an appeal for immigrant females. We also start watching the 'Boardwalk Empire' series, which is addictive.

One evening there is a free slide show and coffee in the camp Common Room with a very enthusiastic naturalist talking about moths and their caterpillars. Difficult to follow in Dutch but he answers questions in English. After dark a 'moth tent' is erected with lights to attract disappointingly few specimens. Apparently heathland would be better than the forest, where many moths are eaten by bats.     

But the beauty of Otterlo, the reason we are back, is to cycle the Fietspads (cycle paths) that radiate in all directions, fuelled by plentiful coffee and apple cake!

Cycling by Numbers

The Fietspads of the Netherlands form a complete network, with signposts and maps at numbered junctions. They vary in width and surface but provide well-used and safe routes around and between every town and village. See our Guide to Cycling in the Netherlands. We enjoy 6 rides from Otterlo, some new and some old favourites.

  1. Cycling to Kootwijk village & back (30 km): Many cyclists are out on Saturday morning as we ride into Otterlo to buy cheese & ham croissants with free coffee at the Spar before riding north on the path alongside rd N310. After Harskamp we turn along a minor road northeast for 5 km to Kootwijk village. A welcome ice cream break at Restaurant de Brinkhof, and back on a narrow Fietspad through the woods to meet and cross N310, then south on lanes returning to Otterlo.
  2. Cycling to the town of Ede & back (26 km): On a cloudy morning we ride through the forest and across the Ederheide heath on excellent sealed Fietspads, much quieter mid-week. In the modern town of Ede, completely rebuilt after 1945, we sit by the market square outside our favourite 'Lunch Café de Markt' (11 km) as the church clock strikes noon. Lunch is Granny's Pea Soup with ham sandwich for M, a Hawaiian toastie and salad for B, followed by coffee served with a small pot of whipped cream and Advokaat liqueur, as well as the customary biscuit. The café also does wonderful Appelkoeken met Slagroom (apple tart with cream).

We return on a more direct woodland route and circle round by Otterlo's entrance to the Hoge Veluwe National Park before riding back to camp. The Hoge Veluwe, planted as a royal hunting forest and still home to deer and wild boar, is a large fenced private nature reserve with entrance fee to park and museum, art gallery fee, parking fee, coaches of Oriental visitors, horse-drawn carts etc. There is no reduction for simple entry to cycle through the park, even for seniors. Hoge does mean 'high' and it's one of the three highest places in the Netherlands, at 33 m or 109 ft! The prices are certainly steep.

  1. Cycling to Radio Kootwijk & back via Hoenderloo (38 km): On a cool morning with a hint of rain we ride the cycle path alongside N310 to Harskamp. Here we turn off on a dirt track through the sandy woods to the eerie 'Kathedral Radio Kootwijk', a huge 1920s concrete building used as a signal station during WW2, rising high above the open heathland. The restored edifice is now open to visit for €5 but only on Wednesdays, 11 am-3 pm – and today is Thursday. We continue on the Fietspad to Hoenderloo, a smoothly sealed but more strenuous route that crosses hilly open heath and winds through rolling woodland before meeting the road about 1 km before the village.

'Broodhuis Lokaliteit', the bakery café in Hoenderloo, is popular with cyclists who can freely refill water bottles, consult maps or even recharge e-bikes here! We just tuck in to generous servings of blueberry cake with our coffee. We return to Otterlo on a separate path alongside the main road for the final 10 km.

  1. Cycling the perimeter of the Hoge Veluwe National Park (48 km): Armed with a packed lunch, we complete a wide circle anticlockwise round the edge of the Park. Going east from Otterlo, then south alongside N310, east on N311 and north on a separate path alongside the A50 via Terle, we come to Groenendal (20 km) and sit under the trees to eat our sandwiches. On through Woeste Hoeve before turning west to an applecake break in Hoenderloo, then the final 10 km to Otterlo. The varied ride follows paths on tarmac, as well as gravel paths through forest and moorland.
  2. Cycling to Lunteren & back via Ede (40 km): We ride some paths that are new to us, west from Otterlo via Roekel to Lunteren on a mixture of tracks through woodland and alongside roads. In Lunteren (20 km) we eat our sandwiches in the park by the splendid new library, which has toilets, an art exhibition and a small coffee bar. Then we turn south to Ede, where Tuesday is market day, filling the square (and our favourite café). Enjoying ices from the Italian ice parlour, we watch the crowd, with music playing and a performer blowing giant bubbles! Return to Otterlo by the most direct route, the path alongside N304. 

AUGUST 2017

INTO GERMANY

Otterlo to Camping Aschenbeck, Wildeshausen, Niedersachsen – 160 miles

Open all year. www.aschenbeck-camping.de. €19 inc 16 amp elec. WiFi €3 per day, €8 per week. Showers €0.80.  N 52.93400  E8.40200

As July slips into August our peace is invaded, with daily activities for the children and grandchildren on site. We phone 4 other sites around Otterlo but all are full! This is a popular holiday area with the Dutch, away from the windmills and canals of the tourist trail, and the weather is fine and sunny.

It's only 11 miles northeast on N304 to join the A1 bound for Germany. We cross the broad River Ijssel near Deventer before reaching the border (61 miles). There is a large service area on the Dutch side but no checks or delays, and no Autobahn tolls if under 7 tons. Continuing east on the German A30 to exit 14 at 101 miles, we turn north on A1 towards Bremen, stopping for lunch on the Dammer Berge services (which even has a small church!)

On to exit 60 at 156 miles, then follow the SatNav to a campsite to the north of the A1. The last half-mile is single-track road, thankfully not busy. My ACSI review:

"A simple campsite, mainly statics, down 0.5 km of single-track road on the edge of a wooded nature park. There are two areas for tourers, plus a field for tents by 3 small lakes. The site restaurant has closed down but the owners were serving meals in a marquee from 6 pm: pizzas, burgers, sausages etc. Enjoyed huge portions of Schnitzel with tasty roast potatoes. WiFi available for payment. Shower tokens cost 0.80 Euros."

We only stay one night, breaking the journey, but will long remember the generous Schnitzel! If we'd seen the portion size we'd have ordered one plate between us. The unreliable free WiFi of 6 years ago has been replaced by a pay-online system, which we don't try.

Wildeshausen to Camping Lübeck-Schönböcken, Lübeck, Schleswig-Holstein – 130 miles

Open 1 March-11 Dec. www.camping-luebeck.de. €24 inc 6 amp elec. Free WiFi. Showers €0.50.  N 53.86943  E10.63086

Only 5 miles from Camp Aschenbeck to Lidl on the Wildeshausen Ring Road (south of the A1), with plenty of parking space. Restocked, we join the Hamburg-bound A1, busy with trucks from all over Europe on this fine Monday morning. Some road works and lane closures cause delays, while we listen to two CDs found at Lidl – Cat Stevens and Johnny Cash!

Crossing the wide River Weser near Bremen, we remember cycling along the Weser Radweg to the river's source in Hann-Münden. At 92 miles we cross the Elbe, with more memories of taking the now defunct (and much missed) ferry from Harwich to Hamburg and cycling alongside that mighty river.

The A1 continues to Lübeck, where we take exit 23, cross the motorway and turn right on Steinrader Damm to find the convenient campsite. It's very busy but we settle into a place at the far end and find that our TV doesn't work here. Barry eventually discovers that some German cities have changed to a higher definition system, which would require a set-top box or a new television! At least we have BBC Radio 4, thanks to the WiFi, and are able to work online, including an ACSI review:

"Second visit to this busy campsite, convenient for the motorway and the city. Pitches are crowded too close together and the site is by a noisy road. Easy cycle ride, less than 5 miles, along bike paths into the picturesque centre of Lübeck. WiFi is now free throughout the site. The facilities are barely adequate when busy. Queue for showers, costing 0.50 Euros."

Tomorrow we'll cycle into the city (or you can take a bus).

At Camping Lübeck-Schönböcken – Cycling 16 km into and around Lübeck

Next afternoon with a helpful map from Reception we ride along Schönböckener Strasse and Fackenburger Allee (on safe dual-use cyclepath/pavements) until turning left over the Puppenbrücke bridge. Near the historic salt warehouses, we cross the Holstenbrücke over the Trave River, entering the Altstadt (Old Town) by the Gothic Brick towers of the 15thC Holstentor gate, the symbol of the city. This medieval capital of the Hanseatic League lies on a small island, surrounded by the river and the Trave Canal. By the 17thC Lübeck was extremely wealthy and important, with rich merchants trading especially in salt. Today it's a UNESCO World Heritage site. http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/272

We find the central market place, with its magnificent Rathaus and soaring spires of the Petrikirche attracting the tourist cameras, then ride to the waterside at the Hansahafen harbour. What a contrast between the shops and cafes in the centre, thronged with groups, and the emptiness of the quaint side streets and cobbled lanes round the edges!

A clockwise circuit of the island's 5-mile perimeter takes us along An der Untertrave to the Burgtor bridge and tower, then via Kanal Strasse to the Huxtertor bridge, where we descend steps to a canal-side foot/cyclepath. Here we pause over coffee and raspberry cheesecake, sitting in the sunshine outside a little restaurant by the canal, waving to the passing barges, pleasure boats and kayakers. The path takes us on to Mühlendamm (site of an old mill near the Cathedral), where we join the riverside and follow An der Obertrave back to the Holstentor gate. After seeing the wooden sailing ships, we return to camp before it starts to rain.     

FERRY ACROSS TO DENMARK

Note: DKK (Danish Krone) approx 8 = £1

Lübeck to Maribo So (Lake) Camping, Maribo, Lolland – 56 German miles to Puttgarden for Scandlines Ferry to Rodbyhavn, plus 13 Danish miles to Maribo

Open 31 March-22 Oct. www.maribo-camping.dk. DKK 246 inc 10 amp elec and show*ers. Excellent free site-wide WiFi.  N 54.77260  E11.49463

Warm and sunny as we drive 2 miles to join the A1, junction 22, to face an immediate Stau (traffic jam – Germany's favourite spread) as one half of the motorway is closed. Five minutes later we're moving again, with a much longer hold-up for traffic coming into Lübeck. The motorway ends at 43 miles, when we continue on E47/rd 207, across a bridge to Fehmarn island and on to Puttgarden at 56 miles for the Scandlines ferry to Rodbyhavn in Denmark.

We arrive in time for the 12.15 pm sailing (ferries leave every 30 minutes for the 45-minute crossing). Booking ahead would have saved €9, but paying at check-in I am given a discount for the Camping Key Europe card – even though mine expired at the end of 2016 – and save more than €9! Only later do we learn of a 'Sweden Combi-Ticket' - including either the ferry to Helsingor or the Oresund Link Bridge to Malmo - which can be booked online: www.scandlines.com. If there is a next time, we will know!

From Rodbyhavn the E47, a 4-lane motorway, takes us straight to Maribo (exit 48). Entering the town, there is plenty of space to park at Lidl or Aldi by the roundabout, with a convenient bank ATM nearby for Danish currency. Then it's less than a mile to the busy campsite set among Bangshave Woods on the side of Sonderso Lake, next to an Open Air Museum.

The newly installed site-wide fibre broadband is good and fast, but otherwise the camp is disappointing and overpriced. My ACSI review:

“Since my visit and review 6 years ago, there is now free WiFi internet but the camping fee has risen substantially.

Convenient stopover for taking the ferry to/from Germany. It's an easy walk into town or cycle ride round the lake (24 km).

There are many permanent caravans and a lot of the touring pitches were out of use due to soft ground and mud (in August, high season). We drove round the whole site 3 times before finding a suitable place. It needs investment in some hard-standing for motorhomes.”

We settle in a corner with a view of the lake and stroll down to feed the ducks, coots and a lone moorhen with chicks.

At Maribo Lake Camping – Cycling 24 km around the town and Sonderso Lake

Another warm day, though cloudy and sultry. Cycling into the town centre, we find a food and craft market in full swing. One stall has 'English Fish & Chips', though at DKK 80 (£10) each for a small helping we are not tempted! We ride on, clockwise round Sonderso Lake, following a signed bike route for much of the way: a splendid ride, on which we see barely a soul and no other cyclists.

The route takes us through Maribo, then along quiet lanes past the kayak club, golf club and youth hostel. With the water rarely in view, we pass the modern St Birgitta Convent, on the site of its medieval forebear, and the old Engestofte Kirke.

Half way round, towards the eastern end of the lake, the cycle/footpath leaves the road and runs through lofty mature woodland. Just before the short bridge separating Sonderso from the smaller lake Hejredeso there is a bird hide and picnic tables, next to a pumping station. We take a break to watch the coots, ducks, swans and gulls, then cross the bridge and turn west on a gravel path through the woods before joining a long straight lane along a former railway line, back to Maribo. We take a lakeside short cut, turning north on the narrow track up the west side of Sonderso, through Maribo Nature Reserve and past the Frilands (Open Air) Museum, next to the campsite.

Maribo to Heino's Camping, Tappernoje, South Zealand – 42 miles

Open all year. www.heinoscamping.dk. DKK 130 inc 10 amp elec. Token needed for showers. 'Free WiFi' didn't work. Cash only (DKK or Euros).  N 55.16568  E11.98195

Next morning, drizzling with rain, we leave Maribo's overpriced site (where one camper has a stall selling Tupperware!). A quick stop at Lidl by the roundabout, then onto the E47 towards Copenhagen. After 14 miles a tunnel takes us from Lolland (Denmark's southernmost island) onto Falster, then crosses to Zealand over a bridge. There are no tolls on the motorway or on these short links. 

We leave E47 at exit 40 and continue north on rd 151 (the old north-south road) to the small agricultural village of Tappernoje, with a campsite we know signed on the right. It's a quiet farm site - home to chickens, turkeys, rabbits and bees - with level grassy hedged pitches, a few cabins and simple facilities (no washing machine here). Heino, the friendly old owner who lives on site, calls round in the evening for the money and to round up his hens. He proudly gives us the password for the new site WiFi, though we get no signal at all! 

We do get Danish TV, showing Cate Blanchett's portrayal of Elizabeth I (with subtitles)

INTO SWEDEN

Note: SEK (Swedish Krona) approx 10 = £1

Tappernoje to Vinslovs Camping, Vinslov, Skane – 142 miles

Open all year. www.vinslovscamping.se. SEK 200 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. No internet.  N 56.10988  E13.91245

Vinslov to Ojaby Camping, Vaxjo, Smaland – 77 miles

Open all year. www.campingkartan.se/053513/Ojaby_Camping. SEK 250 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free use of washing macine & drier. No internet.  N 56.899723  E14.739704

Vaxjo to Hattebadens Camping, Tranas, Smaland – 99 miles

Open all year. www.hattecamping.se. SEK 270 (high season) inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. ACSI Card €17 from 23 Aug. WiFi SEK 10/1 hour; SEK 25/1 day.  N 58.03548  E15.0309

Tranas to Liens Camping, Riddarhyttan, Vastmanland – 150 miles

Open all year. www.lienscamping.se. SEK 230 inc 10 amp elec and cooking facilities. Showers SEK 5. Free WiFi on pitches near Reception.  N 59.80877  E15.53401

Riddarhyttan to Vastanviksbadets Camping, Leksand, Dalarna – 97 miles

Open 29 April-17 Sept. www.vastanviksbadetscamping.se. ACSI Card €17/SEK 170 (from 17 Aug) inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. WiFi available to pay online.  N 60.73061  E14.95221

Leksand to Ljusdals Camping, Ljusdal, Gavleborg – 134 miles

Open all year. www.ljusdalscamping.se. ACSI Card €19/SEK 185 (from 20 Aug) inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Excellent free WiFi site-wide.  N 61.83894  E16.04059

Ljusdal to Camp Viking, Gallo, Jamtland – 116 miles

Open all year. www.campviking.se. SEK 250 inc 10 amp elec, non-private showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi zone in reception/bar.  N 62.917989  E15.251596

Gallo to Camp Route 45, Hammerdal, Jamtland – 70 miles

Open all year. www.camproute45.com. SEK 220 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi throughout.  N 63.57500  E15.34333

Hammerdal to Kolgardens Camping, Vilhelmina, Vasterbotten, Lapland – 103 miles

Open all year. www.kolgarden.se/camping/. SEK 250 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi throughout.  N 64.64998  E16.59240

SEPTEMBER 2017

Vilhelmina to Slagnas Camping, Slagnas, Norrbotten, Lapland – 104 miles

Open all year. www.slagnascamping.com. SEK 230 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi throughout.  N 65.58458  E18.17284

Slagnäs to Skabram Camping, Jokkmokk, Norrbotten, Lapland – 130 miles

Open all year. www.skabram.se. SEK 200 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi.  N 66.60500  E19.76200

Jokkmokk to Gällivare Camping, Gällivare, Norrbotten, Lapland – 61 miles

Open 15 May-24 Sept (cabins all year). www.gellivarecamping.com.  SEK 230 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi.  Free use of washer and drier (book at Reception).  N 67.1290  E20.6776

Gällivare to Pajala Camping, Pajala, Norrbotten, Lapland – 91 miles

Open all year. www.pajalacamping.se.  SEK 270 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi (but out of order).  N 67.20381  E23.4084

INTO FINLAND

Note: Finland's currency is the Euro; currently €1.08 = £1

Pajala to Harriniva Camping/Hotel/Arctic Sledge Dog Centre, Muonio, Finnish Lapland – 95 miles

Camping open 25 May-24 Sept. www.harriniva.fi.  €25 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi at and around Reception.  N 67.934407  E23.656090

Muonio to Camping Nilimella, Sodankyla, Lapland – 107 miles

Open 1 June-30 Sept. www.nilimella.fi/en/camping.  Late season offer: €20 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. (Normally €27 with Camping Key Europe card; €29 without.) Free WiFi near Reception.  N 67.4163889  E26.6075000

Sodankyla to Camping Kuukiuru, Vuostimo, Lapland – 49 miles

Open all year. www.kuukiuru.fi/eng/.  €20 inc 16 amp elec, shower and good free WiFi. €18 for 2nd and 3rd day, then €15.  N 66.98122  E27.53299

Vuostimo to Lomakeskus (Holiday Centre) Himmerki, Posio, Lapland – 100 miles (alt 865 ft)

Open all year. www.himmerki.com.  €21 (inc €3 discount for CKE Card) with 16 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Every 4th night free. Free WiFi only at Reception/Restaurant. N 66.080586  E28.284026

Posio to Camping Hossan Lumo, Hossa, Karelia – 84 miles (alt 730 ft)

Cabins open all year, Camping services June-31 Oct. www.hossanlumo.fi.  €24 (inc €1 discount for Camping Card International) with 16 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi on pitches near Reception. N 65.44293  E29.55108 

Hossa to Camping Ristijärven Pirtti, Ristijarvi, Eastern Finland – 105 miles

Open all year. www.ristijarvenpirtti.fi.  €27 inc 10 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi on pitches near Reception. N 64.48979  E28.18267

Ristijarvi to Hyvärilä Holiday & Youth Centre, Nurmes, Karelia – 97 miles

Campsite open 22 May-17 Sept: €26, less €2 discount and every 3rd night free with CKE). www.hyvarila.fi/en.  Motorhome parking available rest of year: €15 inc 10 amp elec, use of WC/showers in hotel and free WiFi. (3rd night reduced to €6.) N 63.5327778  E 29.1983333

Nurmes to Ilomantsi, Karelia – 120 miles

Free car park by lake, next to Orthodox Parish Church of Prophet Elijah. No facilities. N 62.68069 E 30.91942

Ilomantsi to Ruokkeen Lomakylä (Ruokkee Holiday Village), Kesälahti, Karelia – 94 miles

Open all year. www.ruokkeenlomakyla.fi.  €25.50 inc €2 discount for CKE Card, with 16 amp elec, excellent showers and cooking facilities in new service house. Free WiFi throughout. N 61.9052778  E 29.6838889

Kesälahti to Camping Huhtiniemi, Lappeenranta, Karelia – 97 miles

Open12 May-1 Oct. www.huhtiniemi.com.  €25 inc €4 discount for CKE Card, with16 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi near services building. N 61.0513889  E 28.1361111

Lappeenranta to Camping Messilä, Hollola, Nr Lahti, South Finland – 98 miles

Open all year. www.campingmessila.fi.  €31 inc €2 discount for CKE Card, with16 amp elec, showers and cooking facilities. Free WiFi near reception/restaurant. N 61.0180556  E 25.5627778

OCTOBER 2017

Lahti to Tallink-Silja Ferry Terminal, West Harbour, Helsinki – 79 miles (sea level!)

The harbour is poorly signed 'Västra Hamnen'. The terminal check-in is at N 60.148626  E 24.913754. Timetable and Bookings on www.tallinksilja.com/en/web/int/tallink-shuttle-tallinn-tips

(continued at: Through the Baltics to Greece Autumn 2017)