Let the Great Summer Roadtrip Begin!

Before I begin, let me apologise for taking so long to write about my amazing summer! If you’ve seen my previous post about the new puppy you’ll see what I’ve been doing with all my time since we got back.

In the middle of July we set off on an amazing summer adventure 🙂 The plan was to take four weeks to drive from Sweden through Denmark, Germany, The Netherlands, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and back to Sweden finishing in Gothenburg for the Way Out West festival. We wanted the holiday to be relaxed and not too structured. So we only did basic planning, roughly mapping out a route and seeing how many days we would be able to spend in each spot. We also only booked accommodation for the first few nights. We wanted to see how much we liked each place before deciding how long to stay.

I was feeling very excited, but also apprehensive about travelling this way, especially for a whole month! I’ve never been on holidays for that long before. I’m also the type of person that likes to have everything planned, so I was nervous that something was going to go wrong once we got on the road. “What if we couldn’t find accommodation?” “What if we got half way around and realised we didn’t have enough time to get back?” Etc, etc. So, to ease my nerves, I planned every little detail of the things that did need planning. I packed snacks for the car, made sure we had phone chargers, passports, neck pillows and handy travel apps on our phones.

Most importantly though I had to decide what clothes I was going to pack for a month away, across multiple different countries?! I did some Pinterest searches and blog reading to come up with the best way to pack lightly, but still have enough outfits for every situation. I tried to choose lots of basics and items that matched with a few different things. Then I laid it all out and culled anything that I’d changed my mind about. In the end, I’m pretty happy with my choices. I think I wore almost everything I packed (except my exercise gear!) and I didn’t have to double up on the same outfit too many times.

Packing, Packing, Packing

DAY 1 – Stockholm to Denmark

We left Stockholm and headed towards our first stop in Rødbyhavn, Denmark. The day before we left I booked a B&B nearby and the plan was to spend the night there and catch a ferry across to Germany the next morning. This was one of our longest days in the car, with the trip taking about 8 hours. The most exciting part of the drive was being able to cross an international border in our car, which isn’t something we could ever do from Australia! We were crossing the border between Sweden and Denmark on the Øresund Bridge. Unfortunately it was a really foggy day so we couldn’t see how impressive the bridge actually is.

Oresund Bridge

So far, so good. The drive had gone smoothly and we were all feeling happy about being on holidays. We stopped in a place called Lolland to find some dinner before heading to the B&B. We ate an amazing dinner at Hotel Saxkjøbing which was fancier than we had planned, but well worth it. The menu was mostly local produce and absolutely delicious! Why not start the holiday off in style.

After dinner we went to check into our B&B to get some much needed sleep. This is when things stopped going so smoothly… We arrived at about 9pm and the reception was closed! I tried calling but only got their voicemail. So we waited an hour or so to see if anyone would turn up to show us our room. We weren’t the only ones either, another couple arrived after us who were now in the same situation. This is when I had to decide whether to either panic, cry or laugh it off. I decided just to laugh, because really, what else could I do! With the help of google (so glad we had data!) we found some accomodation in Odense that had 24 hour check in and a room available. We decided to get back in the car (for another 2.5 hours) and head there for the night. From Odense we could actually drive into Germany the next morning in about the same amount of time it would take us to catch the ferry. So we changed our plans 🙂

Day 2 & 3 – Odense, Denmark to Hamburg, Germany

After crawling into bed at 1am the night before we had a slow start to the morning. The drive to Hamburg only took us about 3.5 hours and was nice and easy. We went straight to the airbnb that I had booked and luckily this time it all worked out! It was in a great location and really cute.

We chose Hamburg as a destination because it seemed like a good spot to stop on our way to Amsterdam. I didn’t really know anything about Hamburg before we got there and Germany wasn’t high up on my dream destinations list. I’m so glad now that we decided to stay there, because I loved it! Other than a few recommendations from friends, we didn’t really have any plans, so we just wandered and explored. We spent two days in Hamburg, drinking coffee, eating pretzels, schnitzel and chips and trying the local beers. Then we visited the warehouse district which was really cool, wandered slowly through the beautiful streets and took a boat tour on the Harbour. We also got to take the car on an old car elevator and drive through the Old Elbe Tunnel. Hamburg was a great place to start our summer road trip!

Hamburg Warehouse District
Pretty Hamburg apartments
More pretty apartments
Graffiti door and cafe
Doors and bikes
Amazing summer adventure

After an awesome two days in Hamburg it was time to drive on to Amsterdam. Somewhere I was really looking forward to visiting. It has always been high on my ‘to visit’ list. So after a breakfast of coffee and pretzels on Day 4, we jumped back in the car towards our next destination. Stay tuned for the next part of our adventure!

Cheers, Jess