animals all around

we’ve had a very bad night.. the room was so warm that we had to resort to cold wet towels in the midde of the night! there was another big rainstorm and it got a bit better afterwards, so I think we’ve managed the minimum hours of sleep for full functionality. today’s schedule is ruled by opening hours: the zoo only opens at ten and we don’t want to hang around waiting, so first we take the Ecopark trail – see GPS trail on Wikiloc here. it’s a beautiful hike, first along the fjord coast line, then up to a viewpoint and down again over meadows and following creeks through dense forest. it’s wonderfully cool and moist underneath the trees, though the creeks are at best a bit muddy with the occasional puddle. at the end of the trail we visit the rock carvings near the zoo, the 3000 year old carvings are beautiful, but a bit incomprehensible.

we have a quick lunch at the zoo hotel and set off on our quest to find a ventilation fan – we decided in the middle of the night that we could not live another night without. we drive 30 min to Udevalla only to hear in two different large stores that fans are completely sold out and nowhere to be had in the whole neighbourhood. on the upside, we did manage to buy a pair of new hiking sandals for me, which had been on my shopping list for months.

the temp today is much cooler, between 20 and 25° C, so we decide that we can live without a fan and continue with the fun activities. we set off north again to see more rock carvings, I give the museum a call and find out there will be an English speaking tour soon, the GPS seems to think we’ll just make it. we’re getting used to the driving in Sweden: 100 km/h on the high way, 30 to 50 in the town centres and anything from 60 to 80 on the local roads and everybody sticks strictly to the speed limit, it’s kind of relaxing. we’re just in time to join the tour at Vitlycke museum and learn more about by whom/when/how and perhaps why these carvings were made. we see lots of men with weapons (easily distinguishable from the few women by their *ahum* male characteristics), ships and different kinds of animals.

we set out by car to find more rock art but are misled by Google Maps and end up in the wrong place – though we end up on the scenic road to the hotel so we decide to head back to the zoo instead. we have tickets valid for several days, so we have a brief stop in the hotel room to change clothes – again! – and then visit the cats and the wolverines again. the Amur tiger poses on top of the cliff, the leopards are rolling around on the forest floor and one of the wolverines climbs 15 m high in a birch to hide a piece of food as big as his head. the weather this time is sunny but not too warm, the crowds have already left for the day and it’s peaceful and quiet. they chase us out around 7, we have tepid shower – again! – and have dinner at the hotel.

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