I live in the most beautiful place in the world, the North West Coast of Sweden, North Bohuslän. The nature has brought people here since the inland ice melted 10000 years ago. We have the World Heritage of Rock Carvings and this area was very important during the Viking era. So, with the nature grinded by the ice, sea and winds with many islands, bays and even Fjords there is huge possibilities for people who like hiking, caravanning, boating or visiting historical sites. In the summer, the small fishing communities twenty folds their population for just a few weeks. The infrastructure is of course not designed for this and that can cause some friction with the locals trying to live their lives as normal. Normally I have a 20 minutes’ drive to work but in those few summer weeks it takes me often more than 45 minutes. One or two unprintable words, I admit, sometimes come over my lips.
We as locals depend on the tourism to get local supermarkets and restaurants going so it becomes a love and hate relationship that I think everyone living in tourist areas can relate to. We enjoy when the tourists start to come in late spring and equally enjoy when they leave in late summer. Many of the local business would not survive without the tourist so crowding with half naked middle-aged men with beer bellies or screaming children for a few weeks is worth it.
When people go on holiday some really go on holiday and act towards their fellow man in ways they would not think of in the city or at home. What do you think, is it okay to go to the supermarket in a small bikini showing more than it hides? Should you do the same in the city you would probably get arrested. Parking your car in a handicap parking? “The parking was full and I’m just….”. In the summer, the small supermarket is full and what normally takes five minutes now takes at least half an hour. Just because you must stand there in line with the women in too small bikinis stared at by the beer bellied men and accompanied by the children crying for that ice-cream, NOW. With a deep sigh of relief, you get out of the supermarket, ducking for some seagulls before you reach your car. There you are faced with the next problem. A huge BMW or Volvo SUV has been parked next to your car leaving just a few centimeters for you to try to squeeze yourself through and into your own car. You thank your wife for not letting your self go to a middle-aged beer bellied man.
Bringing out all your driving skills you manage to reverse your car without denting the huge SUV or hitting people and cars passing behind you like they are indestructible. You start to sweat even if the air conditioning is working on full. After another half hour you finally make it out of the parking lot and the village just to find you are in for the next challenge. The narrow roads! The narrow roads that can be challenging even in September are now full of tourists walking, driving caravans and mobile homes, on bikes, picking flowers in the ditch, honking and overtakes even when meeting another car. I almost forgot the “it is not really a good idea to stop here but I do it anyway and turn on the hazard warning light” just after a tight corner without any visibility.
Let us spend a moment with the walkers and runners on those narrow roads. Common sense has also taken vacation it seems. Walking two, three or even four people in wide taking up most of the road and to add they are also fooling around half drunk. Honk and you risk getting a beer can thrown at your car. The runner totally oblivious of the traffic around them as they are now in their desired pace. Like the guy running into my car when I had to stop halfway down the ditch as I was giving room to meet a large lorry. Luckily, I was standing still so nothing more than his feelings were hurt but he was really angry because his running scheme was messed up. Then we have the family on bikes with small children just learned to bike wobbling out in the road. Usually a large family or two families and they does not keep any distance so you can pass safely two by two. No, you must wait for that long straight segment of the road, the very few, so you can pass them safely without driving too fast passed the wobbling children. At least the children have helmets but not the parents.
Better to go out on the sea with your boat that must be calmer!? Well, normally you need to be aware of the cays and shallow waters but now also overloaded fast boats with loud music, sailboats anchoring in the sea-lane with people swimming around it. Fast boats with towed toys or waterski driving in erratic patterns even in the narrow passages of the Fjord. You try to go to your favorite spot to relax only to find it occupied by several huge boats, our ships, having a disco on the deck.
People live in crowded large cities and complain about needing to rub against each other on the tram or subways while getting to their small apartments. On their holidays they want to get out of the crowded cities to the great outdoor!? Crowding in a camping site in a small caravan or mobile home, even if there are some monsters in size, sharing kitchen and toilets with others. Overnight in their boats in crowded guest harbor, even when using natural harbor, the boats crowd together, and the smell of barbecue fills the bay.
So where do I go for holiday? To a city to crowd on sightseeing buses and small hotel rooms feeling the looks from the locals as they sigh with the confused tourist with a map in his hand trying to find that landmark! It takes one to know one! If you like this text please like, share and subscribe for more. Last some pictures from this beautiful area. And for you non-Swedish speaking “Baddjävlar” means damned tourists!