Yesterday marked the fourth day of our electrifying road trip. We left the bustling city of Stockholm and journeyed further north towards the serene landscapes of Umea.
Our route took us along the E4, a highway that offered us incredible views of the Swedish countryside. We passed by vast forests, sparkling lakes, and quaint villages that highlighted Sweden’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. At this point in the journey, this major north-south road takes on the feel of a drive in the country, with single carriageway sections forming part of the route along the eastern coast of Sweden and driving through, rather than around, some towns and villages.
Car charge and usage data
With low traffic levels and good weather for most of the day, we managed to maintain 3.9 miles per kWh. This seems really good considering the regular speed changes to match the road conditions.
There were three charging stops on our journey.
Story of the day
After a quick go at shuffleboard, one of the games in the lobby (which celebrates gamers) we did our morning walk. Four laps around the outside of the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm. Like many northern extremities, the arena itself has its own microclimate, with the sun beaming down on one side and a strong wind tunnel effect on the other.
The breakfast buffet was stunning: there were at least five tables of food which included meats, bread, fresh fruit and so much more. They even had “Kaviar”, a squeezy tube of paste. We piled our plates with all sorts of different foods and got our drinks. Then, off to driving.
It was less than an hour before we reached the first car charging stop. We also needed to stock up on some more supplies so it was convenient too. As part of the retail park there was a hypermarket where we bought what we needed. This included more fruit, more water and one of those flat (sort of half-height) Snickers bars. That last item was really tasty and it had smooth peanut butter inside. We also ate a few grapes (for balance!) before leaving the charger and driving again.
This drive was a long one; almost three hours were spent on the road. But we still had a long journey to go before we get to our northernmost stop in Norway. The car’s tech spent much of this part of the day routing us to a very busy charging location in one of the major cities but it, like us, had noticed that it was full and that the wait was getting longer, so it automatically routed us to a less busy one instead. This was also the location where we got our lunch for the day.
We went to a place called Max for lunch – a big fast food diner chain. The team agreed on the thing to have which was a parmesan chicken burger and a mango and passionfruit smoothie. A quick food review: the chicken had a little bit of a kick to it but tasted amazing and tender. And the smoothie was incredible. It was a perfect balance of flavours.
This was one of the points in the day where we noticed the weather. 62 degrees north, 25 degrees hot. A sunny day for a nice long outdoor drive.
After the thirty minute lunch break, we drove yet again. Although this time there was something that we hadn’t yet encountered Sweden. It was a toll bridge. And a stunning one at that – Sundsvall. There are not many road tolls in this country but this is one of them – and it’s easy to set up an account to pay online. The Norwegian toll tag that we have doesn’t cover us here.
By the way, there is a congestion charge in Stockholm itself, but for some reason it doesn’t operate for most of July, so there was no need to deal with another website or app for that.
Immediately after the Sundsvall bridge, we reached our third charge of the day, which was a little slow but it was only a quick stop anyway. After we struggled to find our way out of the car park, we went out on the road and prepared for another three hour long drive.
This long drive wasn’t the worst thing in the world, though. We had some good music on: a playlist made by one of the team members. We had some much needed singing and dancing after a long day so far. As well as this, we were on a more narrow road as we were getting closer to the top of mainland Europe.
We eventually arrived at the hotel and breathed a sigh of relief. Another day of travelling was done. Well, not quite. Being in a city centre (the wonderful city of Umea) it took us quite a while to find the right car park – the one the hotel recommends – and get parked and find the pedestrian exit, but we eventually managed it. The hotel was nice. There was a stunning view out of the window of the city buildings and the mountains in the background.
We went down to have dinner in the restaurant, it was absolutely packed. Although the concept of weekdays and weekends doesn’t seem as relevant on a trip like this, it was Saturday night and so there was plenty of nightlife, helped by a football crowd being in town. After dinner, we went on a short walk down to the river and, thanks to being over 63 degrees north in summer, we were in plenty of time for the sunset just before 10pm.