Driving from Sweden to Norway on the E14


The E14 runs from Sundsvall on the coast of Sweden to Trondheim on the west coast of Norway, a total of 448km and we have just driven along this incredible road in our motorhome.

We are on a motorhome trip and visiting Denmark, Sweden and Norway. As we drove west from Sundsvall we made several stops to take in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape around us. We passed huge lakes, several of which were still frozen after a long very cold winter. The ice must have been very thick because the temperature was a warm 20c although the rivers were flooded as the ice was melting.

Flooded river due to melting snow just off the E14 in Sweden.

The Swedish rest stops are excellent on the E14. They have toilets, picnic tables, beautiful views and many have motorhome waste emptying points.

Our motorhome parked near to the facilities on the E14 in Sweden.

There are also several reststops where you can park a motorhome and stay overnight for free, although you may have to put up with road noise from passing traffic on the E14.

The E14 road was very quiet when we drove it in May. At times it seemed like it was just our motorhome on the road and we had all the wonderful scenery to ourselves, and then a huge lorry would appear carrying logs, destined to be turned no doubt into Ikea furniture!

Campsite with our own huge waterfall

Rather than spend a free night on the E14 we decided to head for a campsite about a mile from the main road and this turned out to be a good call as we ended up staying two nights at Ristafallet Camping. With only 30 pitches we were parked up next to one of Sweden’s most picturesque waterfalls. The Ristafallet waterfall is 50 metres wide, 14 metres high and it was in full flow as the winter snow melted. It is an awesome sight. The owner of the campsite told us that there had been nearly 2 metres of snow on the ground only 2 weeks ago but now we were bathed in wonderful warm sunshine, which we hadn’t expected so far north.

We decided to have a rest day at Ristafallet as the weather was a warm and sunny 23c. We did walk along the nearby nature trial along the side of the raging river and waterfall to take more photos but apart from that we got our deckchairs out and relaxed. This part of Sweden could be Alaska or Canada. We even saw logs floating down the river and over the waterfall which was a fascinating sight.

Driving the E14 in our motorhome.

After two nights listening to noise of a huge waterfall at Ristafallet we set off again west on the spectacular E14. The scenery became more dramatic as we got nearer the Norwegian border. Huge forests as far as the eye can see, frozen lakes, raging white water rivers and snow capped mountains for over 100 miles. There are warning signs for elkes and several ski resorts including Åre where the last remaining snow was melting in the 23c heat.

A few miles from the Norwegian border we stopped at the Euro Cash Swedish supermarket and stocked up on some fresh food. The supermarket was in the middle of nowhere and the store was full of Norwegians who had driven across the border to take advantage of cheaper prices.

The Swedish/ Norwegian border was not what I expected. We didn’t need to stop and there was nobody there to check passports so we were left with a 60 mile drive to Trondheim.

The E14 eventually meets Trondheimsfjorden and then through a series of very long tunnels, the longest of which was 3.7km, reaches Norway’s 3rd largest city, Trondheim.

About 40 Norwegian motorhomes at Trondheim and us!

There is a motorhome parking area at Nyhavna with room for 50 motorhomes. It was busy but there were a few spaces left. We paid the overnight cost of 250 NOK (£25) at the machine and walked into Trondheim. Trondheim is a university city with 30,000 students and most seemed to be missing lectures to sunbathe or drink in the many waterfront bars. Trondheim was once the capital of Norway during the Viking age.

Trondheim Norway

After walking around Trondheim in hot weather I said that I needed a beer and it just so happened that we were standing outside a bar. I ordered 2 large beers at a cost of £12.75, about what I expected!

Speed cameras on the E14

There are lots of speed cameras on the E14 in Sweden. There is little warning to slow down and the speed cameras are not easy to see. Speed limits can suddenly reduce from 100km an hour to 70km an hour.

Toll roads in Sweden and Norway

Sweden has no tolls on its motorways. We drove hundreds of miles on good roads without having to pay.

Norway, however, has toll roads and toll tunnels. There are no manned toll booths but a system of cameras is used called AutoPass. I read before driving in Norway that foreign vehicles might not get charged but I didn’t want to take the risk so I registered with Euro Parking Collection (EDC), the official toll collection agency for foreign vehicles, and they will send me an invoice within 3 months.

Old bridge in Trondheim
Trondheim cathedral
First stop in Norway on E14 is a great picnic spot.

 

 

Sweden – perfect for a motorhome trip.

Our motorhome is parked up for the night on the Swedish coast in a sleepy village called Stocka. (N61°53’55”  E17°21’16.3″)

Our motorhome stop at Stocka, Sweden.

To our east is the Gulf of Bothnia, and this place has red coloured wooden houses with verandas overlooking the sea. How lucky are the people who live here!

We have met many very friendly people on this motorhome trip. This morning we met Andy who came to our motorhome to introduce himself and we swapped interesting stories about where we had been and where we were heading. We also were chatting to a biker German man and his new wife, who were eager to chat to us about where they had visited in England.

Driving our motorhome north on the E4 in Sweden.

The days are long here and the light woke me at 4.30am. After breakfast we drove north up the E4 to our overnight motorhome stop, a distance of 180 miles. The landscape was fairly flat but with lots of huge lakes and millions of trees. Many of the picnic stops along the way look out over lakes and make a wonderful place to stop. Totally different to the picnic stops you might find on the M1!

Our motorhome parked at a picnic stop in Sweden.

The motorhome life is proving to be just as we had hoped on this trip. It’s the option to stop in remote places with views that no hotel can offer that is so appealing: not that there are any hotels near here.

Sweden is very laid back. The person responsible for collecting the £10 fee for the motorhome stopover is a lovely lady called Marianne. Her English was very good and she told us that she had been living in this place for 50 years and the community was once well known for ships coming into the harbour to fill up with timber from the nearby mill. A house just along the road was selling fresh fish and there is an honesty box to pay. This place is a world away from the traffic congested cities we are used to in England.

Tomorrow we head further north heading in a few days time for Trondheim in Norway.

A selfie at one of the many picnic stops on the E4.

 

Over the Öresund Bridge to Malmö and Stockholm

The Öresund Bridge connects Copenhagen in Denmark to Malmö in Sweden. The bridge is an incredible feat of engineering and this morning we drove on the bridge in our motorhome, after leaving the wonderful city of Copenhagen.

Öresund Bridge

The bridge is a combination of a tunnel, an artificial island and a bridge with a total length of 18km. The Öresund Bridge itself is over 5 miles long and is the longest connected road and rail bridge in Europe. At its highest point the road is 57 metres above the sea.

Our motorhome is just over 7 metres long so it falls into a higher toll category and a higher cost. The cost to travel across the Öresund  Bridge for our motorhome was 100 Euro, making the trip an expensive one!

The Swedish city of Malmö has family connections so we wanted to stop the night and spend a day in the city. We found a peaceful place to park for the night at the marina (£16) and had fantastic views across the sea to Copenhagen. The number 7 bus runs every 10 minutes to the centre of Malmö. We had been told that you can only pay with a credit card and not cash but when we presented a card to the bus driver he said his machine didn’t work and we could ride for free!

Malmo, Sweden

Malmö is Sweden’s third largest city, although the city originally belonged to Denmark until 1658. Apparently, over 100 languages are spoken in Malmö and Thai food is just as popular as meatballs! We found Malmö to be a charming cosmopolitan city with historical buildings and fascinating architecture. Malmö is also home to Scandinavia’s tallest building the Turning Torso.

Waking to blue sky and after emptying our waste and putting water in our fresh water tank we set off north on the E6 and E4 to drive the 612km to Stockholm. Not wanting to drive for 7 hours we stopped  halfway at a lovely free overnight spot on the shores of Sweden’s  Lake Vattern. It’s always a good feeling when we find a free place to park up for the night. We found the place on the Camper Contact app. which I think is fantastic and well worth the £4.99 cost. We had a walk down to the waters edge, beautiful scenery with traditional red painted wooden houses along the shore. We had a stunning sunset and all this for free.

Next day we set off again to complete the remaining journey to Stockholm. The E4 motorway to Stockholm winds its way through lots of dense forests and past crystal clear lakes. There are plenty of picnic places and service areas on the way. The picnic stops are often next to a lake and they have toilets and information boards making them a great place to stop for lunch. They are perfect for motorhomes because we can just turn the gas on and boil a kettle or get something out of the fridge for lunch.

Stockholm, of course, is Sweden’s capital city with a population of about 1.3 million. It’s known as the Venice of the North because it is built over 14 islands and water dominates the landscape. We arrived at Bredangs camping, which we had picked out as a good place to stay, and it turned out to be a good choice. It’s a 10 minute walk to the nearest T-Bana metro station and cost 44 Swedish Krona (£3.70) to get to Stockholm centre. We got off the metro at Gamla Stan, which is the old town of Stockholm and walked to the waterfront to buy a ticket for the Hop On/Hop Off boat trip. At a cost of 220 Swedish Krona (£18.50) it was well worth the money.

Meatballs for lunch in Stockholm

After our boat trip we decided to see if we could find somewhere for lunch and we found a nice restaurant in the old town, which turned out to be Russian, but the meatballs were good, as was the price at a very reasonable £11 person including drinks. Our impression of Stockholm being reasonably priced was shattered, however, when we later had a coffee and a piece of cake each and the bill came to £22 which for a Yorkshireman was hard to tolerate. No prices were visible in the cafe and I should have known better! It’s a good job we will have plenty of free overnight stops, for which Sweden and Norway are well known for, to make up for the exorbitant prices in Stockholm.

Stockholm old town
Traditional Swedish roast Sunday lunch

Despite the high prices, we really enjoyed our visit to Stockholm and the warm sunny weather was a bonus. Stockholmers were making the most of the good weather and were sunbathing and walking in the many green spaces and along the waterfront where there are lots of boats and plenty of people watching to be done.

Cafe culture in Stockholm
Hotel ship in Stockholm harbour
Traditional mens toilet in Stockholm
Guard outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm