What Happened Next?

We left Shetland with mixed feelings. Our sabbatical had come to an end and, even though we often kicked around the thought of a continuation, life’s “realities” had chiseled on our decision and the smartest thing to do was to return to Sweden…for now.

As we stood on Hrossey’s deck, we passed Lerwick and Gulberwick with heavy hearts. Next day, the drive from Aberdeen to Newcastle was uneventful, except we were confronted with inconsequential and sometimes total absence of road directions and signs with the drive around Edinburgh. We came to Newcastle and got on board the ferry to Amsterdam without any mishaps or problems.

HollandFerryPhoto: Saturday morning sunrise. Soon landing in Amsterdam

Well in Holland, our road map was giving confusing signals. Getting back on track, we hit several stretches of road maintenance (C’mon, on a Saturday??), long lines, waiting and time ticking…traffic accident on the autobahn to Kiel…long line, waiting and time wasted…

From all this, we consequently missed our ferry from Kiel to Gothenburg! Shucks! Crap! So, using the small rural roads of northern Germany, we followed an alternative route from Puttgarden, Germany and caught the ferry to Denmark. It was now nighttime. Drove through Denmark. Crossed the Öresund Bridge to Sweden and Malmö. Now on familiar turf, we were so tired that we found a scheduled castle area, dragged ourselves and sleeping bags to an elm tree and feel asleep under its branches.. It was 2 a.m. and we had been on the road for 20 hours.

OstrichFarm01Photo: Small rest at an ostrich farm outside of Stockholm

After a few hours of sleep, we drove to Växjö and stayed with an old friend, getting some R & R that Sunday. Monday morning, we continued to Nynäshamn, just south of Stockholm. I had a job interview for a teaching position next morning. Tuesday noon, after the interview, we drove to Umeå and stayed one night with our oldest son. Wednesday, August 5, we finally arrived in Jokkmokk dead tired. We had been on the go with Jeppe, who never let us down, for 6 days. What a road-trip, heh?

ArrivalHomePhoto: Circle complete. Arrival home!

Thursday evening I got a call from the school in Nynäshamn wanting me to work for them. I spent Friday & Saturday helping Brita get the essential furniture back in the house (beds, for example) Sunday afternoon, I threw essentials into the jeep and drove to Umeå, stayed with our son again, and was in Stockholm on Monday. Arrived back in Nynäshamn Tuesday morning and looked for a flat, got a flat and started to work Wednesday morning at the school.

Mentally, I’m still in Shetland. I’m missing our friends, the sea and Shetland’s peaceful respect and celebration for life. But, being up to my ears with a new challenge in education and not having the time to dwell on these thoughts, I’m not sure what topic(s) will dominate this blog. Possibly, comparative thoughts about both Shetland and Sweden? When things have settled and fall better into place, we’ll see… but, for sure, we will return to Shetland!