It took us a few months to make up our minds about where to go on vacation for the summer of 2020. The pandemic really made it hard to make any plans well in advance. Our planning had several options and the route for our road trip had not yet been decided when we headed north from Stockholm. By this time we only knew on our first stop for our northern road trip, Sundsvall.
A Start of the Northern Road Trip
We left Stockholm early on a Tuesday morning in mid-June and headed north. I was going to drive the whole trip, so Susann and Little A made themselves comfortable in the back seat. Well, you all probably know the co-relation between kids, road trips and car sickness. Let’s just say that our first stop occurred already after 15 minutes.
Luckily we were able to pass both Uppsala and Gävle before we made a lunch stop in Hagsta, about halfway to Sundsvall. What else to say, the rest of the drive was really uneventful and we arrived in at the camping outside of Sundsvall around 1 pm. One thing is for sure, the road between Stockholm and Sundsvall mostly offers you a view of trees and embankments.
First Camp Sundsvall
It didn’t take long before the tent was up and the beds were made. We had a square with electricity at First Camp Sundsvall. The tent area was as far away from the facilities as you could get within the camping. It was also on the most uneven ground. For us sleeping in tents, instead of caravans or RVs, it wasn’t the most convenient location. This made First Camp Sundsvall the worst camping location during our whole trip. This is not a place we can recommend, but it had its positive sides. We had less than 50 meters to the beach and playground.
Little A was really happy with both the beach and the playground. All parents can probably relate to our problem, how do you tell your kid that the playground is unavailable when they are able to see it from the tent?
The camping is located a few kilometres south of Sundsvall in village of Fläsian. A short walk to neighbouring Bredsand meant access to a small grocery store, for any other comfort a car was necessary.
Waking up the first morning in the tent Susann was more than happy that we had brought her coffee maker. We had one day to explore Sundsvall and to decide where to head next. Fortunately, a colleague of mine gave us some great tips and we could discover one of our favourites for the day, Norra Berget.
On both the northern and the southern side of Sundsvall, there is a mountain. Actually, you should probably call them hills. The southern hill, Södra Berget, is quite close to the camping. It was a short drive to the top where there is a centre for outdoor activities. The ski slope was not open, probably due to the temperatures now getting close to 30 degrees. We tried to find a spot with a great view, but the trees around the top made that almost impossible. So instead of exploring further, we continued towards the other hill.
The northern hill, Norra Berget, turned out to be much easier to access. Though the drive was long, the parking was a lot more obvious and finding the attractions was even easier.
Little A was hungry and we decided to head to the restaurant for some lunch. It might be pricy in this area, but the shrimp salad was great. Anything heavier on a hot day like this would have made it hard to continue after lunch.
This is also where we found the best view out over Sundsvall, even without climbing the watch tower. From the top of the tower, we saw most of Sundsvall.
The view here might be one attraction in itself, but the open-air museum is what makes the drive worth it. The historical buildings, the animals and then, of course, the playgrounds. Yes, Little A really enjoyed the last part. For us adults, it is a beautiful area for a stroll.
Timrå and Lödgö Bruk
Little A fell asleep once we reached the car and we decided to let her sleep for some time. What do you do when your kid is asleep in the car? Stopping somewhere would have meant that the car would get too hot. So we decided to drive north to neighbouring Timrå. Here we made a short stop in the centre to get some tourist information, then we set off again. We had our eyes set on Lödgö Bruk.
Lögdö Bruk is one of the best-preserved ironworks in this area of Sweden. It dates back to the 17th century and was in operation for almost 200 years. Little A kept on sleeping so we took turns taking short walks to explore the area. But it took us a second drive to reach the old ironworks. This is a really impressive structure and a stop we can recommend if you are in the area.
Sundsvall City Centre
We were almost back in Sundsvall again before Little A had had enough sleep. This left us with one last place to explore and that was the centre of Sundsvall. After finding a parking spot, we set out to find the dragons. The street art in Sundsvall consists of several colourful dragon statues. This was another highlight for Little A, she really loved to find all her “Dinosaurs”. It wasn’t until the late afternoon before we felt a need to get back to the tent and get some rest from the heat. Sometimes nice weather might be too good for longer explorations.
Deciding the Next Stop
We were about to go to sleep for our second and last night in Sundsvall. Little A had already fallen asleep when we looked at the maps and possible accommodations. One phone call later, we had arranged for a camping cabin outside of Örnsköldsvik for two nights. Under normal circumstances, this would mean a two-hour drive north, but of course, there were several stops we wanted to make along the route.
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