Neil LewisSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by Neil Lewis
I am pleased to say that the fact you're reading this means that the first part of our nerve-wracking maiden motorhome holiday went well.
I'd left home in Norfolk with everything crossed, as my wife and I, accompanied by our faithful hound, had decided that our first foray into motorcaravanning would be a road trip to visit family in Norway. We packed the new (to us) Bailey Approach 625 SE and hit the road, pitching first in Belgium then in Germany, which is where you join us for part two.
We left Campingplatz am Stadtwaldsee in Bremen and joined the E22 which would take us to Hamburg. The journey started well, but the traffic was horrendous from Hamburg to Flensburg, just before the German/Danish border. Roadworks caused long tailbacks and the narrow lanes left little room each side of the Bailey.
It was a long old slog, but we made it into Denmark and eventually arrived at Sorø Camping in Denmark (about 50 miles west of Copenhagen), at about 6pm after a couple of stops along the way. We took on some fresh water, but I couldn't use the hose as the water attachments were a different size. I made a mental note to carry some small gauge nozzle attachments in the Bailey. We hooked up to the electricity feed at a pitch that overlooked a lake, made dinner, walked the dog and were ready for bed.
After another comfortable night’s sleep, we prepared to leave and I emptied the waste water tank over the drain. This seemed to take an age, but I was impatient to get on the road towards Copenhagen. We had intended to cross the Øresund Bridge, which connects Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmö in Sweden, but I incorrectly programmed the sat-nav. Of course, I could pretend that the joy of motorcaravanning is you can change your mind and go your own way, but it was my fault! Well, we bought our 'van for adventure...
We ended up at a small port to the north of Copenhagen called Helsingør, which had a regular ferry service to Helsingborg in Sweden. We parked behind a large Norwegian motorhome, were loaded onto the ferry and the crossing took a mere 10 minutes – and we avoided a long drive around Malmö (purely by chance!). Customs were out in force when we drove off the ferry. We had to declare that we had our dog in the motorhome and his passport was checked, but with that done, it was time to explore Sweden.
We headed out on the E6 which runs along the west coast of Sweden into Norway. First we had to negotiate Gothenburg which has a congestion charge arrangement. I had intended to avoid that part of the road, but I think I may have driven through it. No doubt there will be a bill on the doormat when we get home! The roads were very busy and our arrival at the city clashed with rush hour. This was the most difficult part of the journey with the Bailey so far. The traffic, combined with the many small roundabouts, narrow lanes and our size, made for cautious manoeuvring.
Once out the city, it was time to think where we might stop for the night, as we'd not made any plans or booked ahead. We ended up at Stenungsunds Camping, close to the sea, run by a lovely young couple with a young family. They were in the process of building up the business, so this is a site I expect will improve with time, but I'd definitely stay there again because the owners were so friendly. And so long as we had electricity and water, living in the Bailey was easy.
The following day, we left the campsite at about 9am, bound for the Norwegian border, about a 200-mile drive away. It was time to stretch the Bailey's legs. Next stop: Norway!