Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sweden, part 4. Storlien and Home.

We needed gas, and it was 14.40 sek in Åre. How much was that compared to kroner? We weren't exactly sure, but it looked like a lot. Turns out that the exchange rate is a bit better than we expected and the gas here is slightly cheaper than what we paid in Norway this morning. On returning to Norway, we found that while we were gone those few hours, the price of fuel rose from 12.85 to 13.65, nearly a whole crown! We leave the country for a few hours and everything goes to hell.

Back through the black zone, the rain drizzling. On a dry day, this road would be fun to drive. Our last stop is the strip mall at Storlien. It's kind of a weird place. Trolls and Frog Princes were being held as prisoners behind chicken wire. Look at how cute they are. Don't be fooled! These "cute" trolls will chew off your arms and legs if they get mad.

We asked the checkout guy where we could buy alcohol. "Åre is the closest place, but you can buy it here if you call and order it one day ahead. I'm afraid it's Sweden, and we're weird in Sweden," he explained with a maniacal grin. He then shut down his register, the only one open, and took us across the store to the special orders window where he gave us a catalog and chatted with us. It didn't seem to matter that there were four people waiting in line for him back at the register.

We leave Sweden and the rain stops at once. Meråker is still beautiful -- what a contrast! -- and we see two moose standing by the side of the road. Moose! Moose are exciting.

When we get home, Pam cooks bacon right away, doesn't even take her coat off. We have yummy food for a lot of days. And some really big crackers.

Sweden was just as were told: a very nice drive through Norway but terribly dull from the border until Åre, and although you can save a little on groceries (and quite a lot on meat), it will cost you in gas. We're glad we went!

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