When you travel on your own and especially if you enjoy meeting and talking to people the delights of new experiences tend to follow as a consequence of these chance meetings.
I was on the E18 near Orebro in Sweden when I decided to pull of the main road to top up my fuel tank. While I was filling up a Swedish gentleman came over and asked where I was going and welcomed me to Sweden. We talked about Russia and he was very interested in the reasons why I would travel so far. He understood after I had enthused at length about the wildlife, off road tracks and the wilderness of it all, not to mention a culture that is so different to our own. He told me off adventures that his Grandfather had driving lorries over the ice to supply Murmansk during the Second World War.
As I got back into my car I mentioned that I was going to stop for a coffee,
“Ah” he said “ There is a place not far from here that is only know by locals where the coffee is super” and he added with a delightful grin that suggested that he had experienced the delights of “ and the shrimp sandwiches are excellent, you must have one”
“Thank you very much” I said and added “I will go straight away and enjoy one of those excellent shrimp sandwiches”
I headed off, following his directions and after a couple of kilometres or so found myself beside a beautifully painted house beside a lake. The sign above the gate proclaimed “KORPEN Assundet Sommarcafe”. I parked the Range Rover and walked into the house.
The team inside spoke English (as everyone does here) so I explained how an Englishman had found such a gem. They were delighted at my story so made me an enormous shrimp sandwich and gave me the best cup of coffee yet in Sweden. I took the sandwich and coffee outside into the sunshine and enjoyed my feast looking out over the lake . Truth to be told though, the sandwich was so big that I finished it later on for my supper at the night’s camp near Nas Bruk, where I was treated by nature itself to the sound of Whooper Swans and Cranes.