Day 5, Jönköping to Stockholm. Van fixing, night swimming.
So I was the first one up, woken up by the breakdown truck driver calling me from outside. Head off on my own, load the van onto the truck, and head to Skeppsbrons van garage in Jönköping itself. They don’t really seem to know about LDV vans either, but they know a lot about vans in general, and they’re helpful. There’s a guy called Hans who seems to be in charge, we call up Dave who owns the van, and then we call his mechanic as well.
By this point, the Skeppsbrons guys have got the offending part of the van taken out, so we know what needs replacing. Talk to Dave’s mechanic, and he reckons he can get hold of the part. From eBay, in about two weeks, probably. On the other hand, we could just weld a reinforcing part of metal onto the piece that’s cracking, as that’s probably what he’d do anyhow. Jönköping’s nice, but we don’t really want to spend that long there. Skeppsbrons get on with welding, and I go for a 4 mile walk around the lake to get some money. Get back, have a doze in their office, and head off about midday when the van’s done. Get the others, and we head off towards Stockholm just as a storm’s coming in from the West. Thunder, lightning, oppressive skies. Most of the way, we’re driving in the teeth of the storm – bright and warm ahead of us, and dark colder air behind us.
Seems it went in another direction, because it didn’t hit Stockholm when we were there. Venue’s owned by (if I understand this correctly) the Swedish Sobriety League, and the people putting the gig on get some funding for them. No criteria about booking certain types of bands, only thing being no drinking in the venue or buying booze for the bands. Fair enough really. Gig’s good, nice people, and both the bands go down well. Possibly the gig I most enjoyed on the tour.
That was only half the night though, after we were all packed up, there was the mention of going swimming. Jumped on the opportunity. Ferried people across a bridge, walked through what seemed to be an office estate, and found ourselves at what looked like a floating skatepark on the river. I can’t emphasise how amazing this was – it’s like going to a gig at the Grosvenor in London, then going swimming in the Thames and finding it so clean you don’t feel you need a shower afterwards. We spent a good hour there – floating off out and looking at the city lights, diving off the platform, and generally hanging out. Other people were swimming off there as well, and I kind of got the impression that the natives didn’t quite get how amazing it was to us (and not just the attractive skinny dippers that turned up as we left).
Slept at Gabriel’s family flat, where his mum checked we were all okay sleeping on the floor before going to bed.