We stayed up late watching Eurovision last night and it was an amazing coincidence to be in Sweden when Sweden won The downside was that as a result we had somehow managed to be awake for 22 hours in a 24 hour period. Ouch! It was fascinating to stay up though and see what time it started to get dark in this part of the world (about half ten!). Due to a slight blind/curtain malfunction, Tim is able to attest that it was daylight again before 5am too.
Our plan for today was to have a relaxing time exploring the surroundings of Ljungskile. We checked out of our accommodation by 09.30 and set off along a little footpath into the forest behind the hostel.
It was like no forest we had ever been in before; the trees were enormous and there wasn't a single other soul around. We tried not to think about the episode of Wallander we'd seen where someone met a sticky end in a similar-looking forest!
The ground was quite boggy in places - it looked like it had been raining recently - and at one point there was a special walkway over what looked like a swamp.
We walked for about half an hour until we almost got to the top of the hill.
Unfortunately once we were nearly at the summit we came across a bit of the path which was just too wet and muddy to be crossed, so we had to turn around and head back down again. It was a lovely walk though, and the weather was quite sunny and warm under the protection of the trees. We only appreciated quite how much protection the trees had given us once we had walked back down into the village; the wind was absolutely ferocious!
We decided to walk along the edge of the coast in the opposite direction to the one we had gone in yesterday. It was rather cold in the wind but we had some lovely views out across the water and came across the Ljungskile church with its distinctive green roof.
After about an hour we turned round and walked back into the town in order to warm up and get some lunch. Eating options in Ljungskile really are limited to two pizzerias, so we decided to try out the one we hadn't been to yesterday. It turned out to be superior to yesterdays, in that it served wine and the pizza bases were slightly nicer Both places have very extensive pizza menus, although I found it bizarre to see that banana seems to be a popular pizza topping in Sweden - yuk!! The prices were more reasonable than I had been expecting and we ended up paying 330 SEK (about £25) for two meals, two glasses of wine and two coffees. Sweden definitely seems to be more affordable than Norway. Although it isn't any easier to obtain alcohol and Ljungskile is too small to have its own government-run off licence.
We popped into the local Co-op after lunch to pick up some supplies for breakfast tomorrow, before setting off on the coastal path around the fjord towards Ulvesund where we were staying for our second night. When were originally looking at accommodation in Ljungskile, we found a beautiful little house in Ulvesund that we really wanted to stay in, but it was only available for the Sunday night, hence we decided to stay in a different place each night.
The walk was about 5km and the path was beautiful, taking us through another forest and down onto a beach before finally emerging onto the main road into the village. We soon spotted the familiar sight of the Ljungskile church, now on the opposite side of the water.
It took us a little while to find the holiday home once we arrived in Ulvesund, but eventually we located it.
When we got inside we weren't disappointed
We relaxed for a while before going out for an evening stroll. Our intention was just to walk down towards the water and enjoy the view, but when we got to the shoreline we spotted a bridge across to the island of Ulvön.
We couldn't resist walking across and exploring.
There are some holiday cottages on the island but we didn't see another single person in the hour or so that we walked around the perimeter of the island. It was amazing
As we crossed the bridge back towards the mainland it was just starting to spot with rain, so we headed back to the holiday house for an evening of coffee, chocolate and Wallander.