Cycling South Koster Island, Sweden
It was a rough morning, to say the least. After several days in the bustling city of Gothenburg, struggling to adjust to the time difference and 18+ hours of daylight, we loaded our gear into the Volvo V60 we’d been loaned for the week and made our way 2 hours north to the town of Strömstad. There, we’d take the 45-minute ferry to South Koster Island, part of an archipelago located 10 km off the west coast of Sweden.
We got to Strömstad with 30 minutes to spare, which left us completely unprepared for the comedy of errors that ensued. First, we had to stop to ask for directions on where to park for the ferry. After finding the parking lot and unloading our luggage, I realized I couldn’t read the Swedish words on the machine where you have to pay. I eventually tracked down a kindly Swedish man, who told me that you couldn’t park in that lot for more than 24 hours at a time. We were scheduled to be on South Koster for two days.
So we loaded everything back into the car, drove all the way around the town (a challenge, considering its many one-way streets), and parked in a different lot. Time was getting tight, so I rushed to the machine to pay. It was broken. Fortunately another kind Swede came by as I was starting to freak out, certain that we’d miss the boat and, as a result, the activities we had scheduled once we arrived. Sensing my urgency, he quickly called the company that managed the parking lot and found out that they were letting people park there for free until the machine was fixed in mid-June.
By this point we had 10 minutes left to walk 1/2-mile, with heavy luggage and backpacks in tow, and figure out where to buy tickets. We sprinted most of the way, huffing and puffing, and were among the last people to make it on board, a mere 15 seconds before the departure horn blew. Fortunately, we were able to buy tickets on the ship…