With the Midsummer Festival in Sweden it's one thing: Of course you want to do something special, enjoy nature and not stay in the city. But what will the weather be like? Many people have “stugor”, that is, weekend houses or boats - we don't have that.
But there are many campsites that can be reached by car from Stockholm. Our friends Ela and Robert had found a campsite in the St: Anna archipelago, directly on the Baltic Sea southeast of Söderköping. The two drove with their Golf Variant to St: Anna and when we (my wife, my daughter, me and the dog) arrived later on Friday evening with the Saab, the tent was almost built.
The place is called Tyrislöt Camping and I was impressed - probably one of the most beautiful campsites I have seen in Sweden so far. We also had one of the best pitches with a sea view. On “Midsommarafton” (Friday before midsummer) we had a barbecue by the sea, but the weather was as predicted, unstable, cool and soon after the meal there was heavy rain that lasted all night. But all that doesn't matter if you can enjoy the sunshine and the fresh smell in the air the morning after!
On Saturday we went on a trip to Söderköping with the Saab - a beautiful medieval town, best known for its location on the Göta Canal. There are many tourists there in the summer who are particularly interested in the “Smultron stables” ice cream parlor; The result is snakes of 50-100 meters in length. Ela and Robert stayed until Monday, but we left on Sunday because my wife had to go to Poland again.
I wanted to keep the Saab in Sweden for a while and so the plan was that we first go to the ferry port in Karlskrona. From there I wanted to return to Solna alone. The ride to Karlskrona via the E22 went smoothly but slower than expected. When we arrived at the ferry terminal, the check-in was waiting for only two passengers and a dog.
After a short farewell I drove further north, 500 km ahead of me. However, I did not take the E22 along the Baltic Sea via Kalmar, but Riksväg 28 via Emmaboda and Kosta, then continue via Hultsfred, Vimmerby and Kisa towards Linköping, where the E4 motorway leads to Stockholm. Riksväg 28 is a special road for me because it often looks like cut through the forest and has no wild fences. The traffic there is relatively low and I have driven this route several times.
During the first 75 km the ride was completely normal. The last few weeks went through my head. On the 8. June we had reached with the Stenalines ferry from Gdynia from Sweden. We traveled with a 9-5 NG and a Saab 96, both apparently on the web to the Saab Festival in Trollhättan. This was also our first destination, and after the morning arrival in Karlskrona we reached the city after a nice lunch break in the city park of Jönköping.
During the festival there was a “bilutställning” behind the museum on Saturday. Our Saab was there too, although without much hope for an award - it got a blue 9-5 NG sedan in our category. We were both excited about Trollhättan, also because of the canals and walks nearby. Then we spent two weeks in Solna and the midsummer weekend came, which came to an end.
I continued on the Riksväg 28 and Eriksmåla was the last village I passed. It went on through the forest. Suddenly a big animal was in front of the car, it jumped from the right out of the forest and looked like a moose. I braked immediately and as strong as I could. It crashed everywhere and I did not see anything through the windscreen. It seemed like everything happened at the same time. The car came to a quick stop, luckily he had not strayed far from the road. The airbags were not triggered and I was unhurt. I got out and looked around.
No other cars in sight, and no animal was seen in the street. A few meters away, I saw a dirt lane on the right and I drove the car there to get it off the road. Then I got out and ran back the street. Soon I saw an animal lying across the street in the ditch, it did not move.
On the street, I picked up a few bits and pieces from the car. Otherwise, I saw nothing else on the road or next to it, except for my skid marks to the right of the road. Then I called the police to report the wildlife accident and describe the damage to the car. Bonnet, bumper, headlight, bonnet, windscreen, windscreen wiper, roof. The next call to "motor canoes" (the Swedish car club) to order a towing vehicle.
Half an hour later a car with yellow light arrived, but not the tow truck. It was a hunter who confirmed that the animal was an elk cow. The tow truck came a while later. The driver drove the Saab himself and we drove together to a Saab workshop in Växjö. The driver and I had a lively conversation - he owned a 9-5 SC himself.
He told me about another wildlife accident that happened on the same day the same day. The driver of a new Audi A6 suddenly saw a moose in front of him and pulled the wheel around. The moose disappeared and the Audi collided with several trees, causing all airbags to be triggered. The car suffered a lot of damage, but thankfully nobody was injured in this accident.
After a night at the hotel in Växjö I went to the workshop of Kronobergs Bilaffär. As was so often the case, I had the cap from the Saab Museum, and Mattias, the master there, became immediately aware. Ah, they still exist, the Saab fans! Yes, indeed, a few are left, I replied jokingly. There were three 9-5 SCs, one 9-3 SC and one 9-5 NG in the large vehicle hangar next door, all in top condition. Unfortunately one could not say that about my Saab. After an initial assessment, Mattias was cautiously optimistic that the insurance would pay for the repair.
He promised to send the insurance company a quote by the end of the week - if possible, he would calculate used spare parts. Not only because of the costs, but also for reasons of sustainability.
What happens after the accident? Part 2 of midsummer weekend will follow tomorrow.