Wednesday March 6th 2002 On the move
It's all about
to begin! The appointment was made that I have to be at Michel and MariŽlle's place in
Boskoop at 11:00 PM. But I'm too early (9:45 PM). At the moment of my arrival I notice
that Raffi and DaniŽlle have arrived as well. Michel and Raffi are packing the car with
Fear Dark stuff. After a lot of measuring it appears that everything fits in (does
Michel's car have such a big boot or doesn't Fear Dark have much for sale?J)
We wait for
Arnoud. He's on time as well. With Michel's car and Arnoud's car we drive to Alphen aan de
Rijn to Jan Paul and Debora's place where the entire group will come together at 11:30 PM.
We are received warmly in a full house with lots of coffee and tea (which is necessary at
this time!). We are now complete. In no specific order:
1. Jan Paul alias JP (Triskall)
3. Raffi (xRTx)
4. DaniŽlle (xDaanx)
5. Michel (Mike)
8. Kim (Soapboxfan)
9. Mark (Shamgar)
11. Prem (Premnath)
12. Andrť (AndreJC)
is relaxed from the start. I don't have the feeling that we need to get used to each
other. The planning was to depart around twelve o'clock but because of the good atmosphere
the initial timing is delayed. As I'm not intending to give a lot of attention to the time
in the next few days, I don't mind.
Just before we
go JP suggests praying with each other for the journey ahead of us, for ourselves and for
everyone who's staying behind in The Netherlands. Personally I think this is the highlight
of this evening.
March 7th 2002
Just before we
take off we exchange each other's mobile phone numbers so we can reach each other on our
way. You'll never know what happens. In column we start in the direction of Sweden,
following the route description MariŽlle made. We have about 1350 kilometres or 14 hours
ahead of us.
the way, did a lot of preparations (which may be stressed here! *Standing ovation*). She
coordinated all business, arranged the house in Sweden, effected a luggage insurance (at
least for me), drew up a balance sheet as it comes to shopping and petrol so we could
divide the costs we eventual made as a group. And, undoubtedly, I forget to mention a
whole lot... And I have been told that Debora did the shopping. Very well, as later on it
would appear that Sweden is an expensive country to stay in.
In Germany we
are overwhelmed with extremely bad weather conditions. Especially near Hamburg it's hard
searching for the stripes on the glimmering road. Strangely enough it's very busy there.
You wouldn't expect so on such an hour. Regardless of everything we manage to get through
without accidents. Being abroad it isn't hard to find each other (be it dark or not) as
only the Dutchmen seem to have yellow number plates. That's an advantage under such
With a pit stop
every two hours we see the light return. I slept this night only for half an hour
approximately. Strangely enough I didn't need more. I like the quietness of the night.
While the world around us is awakening slowly, we reach the frontier between Germany and
Denmark. We have to make a trip on a boat that'll take about fifty minutes. That's good as
it's just time for breakfast.
Denmark is a
country with lots of big and small islands. You can notice that people make use of the
boat often as the passage is well equipped with all sorts of conveniences. Just like at
the McDrive's, you buy a ticket while sitting in the car and then you drive below deck of
the boat. On deck there's an entire shop, restaurant and sitting corner. We brought our
own bread with us (typically Dutchmen...), so we move on to the sitting corner. Some of us
get a bit seasick and they go to the bathroom frequently. I won't mention any names,
because that would be quite nasty... J
Denmark is just
big enough to travel through it for two hours without crossing water or a frontier. And so
it happens.... And after the two hours we reach the same sort of boat for the passage to
Sweden. This trip only takes ten minutes.
Sweden is no
member of the EU. So, no euros, but Kronen. And customs at the border! They don't make a
fuss so we can travel on. This is contrary to what happened last year. Arnoud tells that
they were questioned completely. Only torture wasn't mentioned... ;)
I get an SMS!
Anneke (Extolgirl) asks where we are and she greets everyone. Unfortunately with my Hi
prepay I can't answer her back abroad L
To those who
think we are almost there, sorry... It's still 400 kilometres! The Netherlands could fit
into Sweden eight times, so it's quite a job to travel through it. It's nice to know that
Sweden only has eight million inhabitants. That's half of the population living in The
Netherlands. So, a Swedish man has quite some space!
The landscape is
beautiful. It's a hill country with lots of rocks. I'm being told that they came down
gliding with the snow. As the rocks have huge sizes it must have been a gliding process of
The more north
we go, the more snow we see. We're probably a few weeks late to see an entirely white
countryside as with the rising temperatures the snow is melting away fast. But it doesn't
take away that it's all really beautiful. The houses are quite special too. A lot of
timber has been used which has been painted into different colors. They probably can't ram
well in Sweden as the ground is often frozen hard. In The Netherlands such houses would
rot away in no time because of the moistness.
afternoon we reach our destination: Ljungsbro. This village is about 200 kilometres south
of Stockholm. As far as I know we didn't go wrong once. We have a house for sixteen
people. Four bedrooms with four beds each. Each bedroom has it's own bathroom and
washstand. For the entire house there's only one shower available, so, this will be
fighting! The kitchen and the living room are not big. So, if we had been with sixteen
people, it would have been too small. Looking back I don't feel like we've been in each
other's way. If you wanted to retreat, there was a real beautiful forest in the
After making an
inventory it appears that we have a table for eight persons, two small pans, six cups and
some cutlery. Not quite enough for us... MariŽlle, Debora and JP go hunting for some more
and they return with another table for eight persons, a cast iron frying pan and some more
stuff. JP states that they got all the stuff from the owner, courtesy to his convincing
powers as a man. Who believes that should speak now... J
In the evening
Kim starts cooking. Arnoud and a few others I don't remember exactly help him with it.
It's going to be macaroni with a not specifiable sauce. However, it tastes great. In
advance we pray together to thank for the good journey and the food (why pray for the
food? Doesn't anyone have any confidence in Kim's cooking? J)
We didn't make a
duty timetable. And it appears that no such thing is necessary. Everything goes by
"itself". When someone sees some work to be done, he does it.
After dinner we
make a short trip through the nocturnal forest. There's some snow, so every now and then
you'll have to look out for snowballs flying around (Mark and Raffi...). Then we sit down
in the living room for a while but as everyone is exhausted after the journey we turn in
at 9:00 PM.
One thing, the
room division... this went automatically:
Arnoud and Kim.
and Debora (all by themselves! oh oh
- Michel, MariŽlle, Raffi and DaniŽlle
Mark and I.
Read part II of this Bobfest report, click here!
A whole bunch of photos can be found on
the photo page of Andrť J.C.