Posted by: suemason | June 25, 2011

A Leg End

Saturday June 25
Excellent nights sleep in attractively decorated and comfortably furnished rooms. with Some lovely touches like flowers and chocolates in the rooms.
Breakfast was from an extensive menu: fresh fruit, cheese, Danish bacon: eggs: yogurt; fresh coffee; tea; toast; home made jams. The Staff were warm and welcoming and the attention to detail, such as flowers on the table and the beautiful china made this an enjoyable stay. Its location? SECRET they don’t want all of you turning up and spoiling the peace.
Our destination today was the museum where a gathering of 12 cars was there to meet and join us for a scenic run.The route was easy to follow from the direction sheet given to us by Ib. But it didn’t tax our Danish navigational skills: we just followed the 3 cylinder, 2 stroke Saab 93 along country lanes to the coffee stop at Vantage Company. Here was a chance to chat to the owners of the other cars. Thanks have to go to Roar Eriksen and his wife, Bente for making this space available and for the coffee and cakes.
Today, the three Jowetts on parade made us the biggest proportion of the marques there.
We carried on making heads turn until the lunch stop at Julebaekhuset a lovely restaurant on the outskirts of Helsingore/ Elsinore. Eating herring, eel and pickles;chicken pies; pork filets with a cheese platter established that the Danish Veteran Car Club enjoys eating out as much as we in the Jowett Car Club. While drinking and chatting, we explained our mission (to Finland) and our intention of coming back to Denmark in 2012 with UK Jowett friends in Jowett cars. It will be 10 years since Jupiters including Keith Ckements and Mike Smailes came to Denmark and seems an appropriate anniversary to commemorate.
But our sightseeing was not quite over. We finished off the tour with a visit to Kronborg Castle where we roamed dungeons and parapets and looked carefully behind the Arras for lurking characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. We did find the statue of Holger Danske sleeping until he comes to the aid of Denmark in a crisis. Much like King Arthur. It will be a grey day if they both wake up at the same time.

Posted by: suemason | June 25, 2011

Out of Africa

Friday June 24th

Out of Africa

Leaving Copenhagen city, we headed North on the coast road towards Fred. Along the way we were intrigued to see and hear students in dashing White caps singing and cheering from the backs of slow moving lorries. Apparently this is an old tradition in Denmark. On their last day in school, the young people climb on the back of a wagon and are driven round the neighbourhood calling on all of their parents for snacks. It’s tough if you are the first place visited as the students clear the boards. But maybe equally tough if you are a later stop as they won’t eat everything you’ve prepared and you the parents could be eating sandwiches and cakes for days after.
In the old days this traditional ceremony was done by horse and cart but the distances involved now would have the horse protection league nagging you.
This coastline is very beautiful and Sweden is on the near horizon. A statue of Knud Rasmusson, Arctic explorer, stands looking North. We were told he was no relation to OUR Rasmusson. But the next stop was at the Karen Blixen. Museum. Made famous by the Meryl Streep and Robert Redford film ‘ Out of Africa’ Karen Blixen is a much loved Danish writer whose Experiences in Kenya amongst the local Masai people gave her world wide recognition. Neatly bringing us round to our own Wait and See homage.
We are on the final leg now of a trip that has taken us through beautiful unspoiled countryside where the cars have been admired and where we have spread the name and marque.
After a substantial lunch at the nearby sailing club we were off into the depths of the countryside to our next resting place arranged for us by Ib Rasmussen. He is a driving force in the Copenhagen classic car scene and is known to us in the UK for his racing Jupiter which we have seen at many rallies. Now we have seen his spares, too and he even located a control box replacement for GBA which will be installed sometime Saturday. But first the scenic run where 12 Danish cars are expected to accompany us on the route. Cira and Mogens, two members of this club joined us for dinner: Cira driving her MGB and Mogens in his 1976 Mercedes. Ib drove his Jaguar XJ6 so that we could take Neville the Dalmation, too. Drive it day, Danish style tomorrow.

Posted by: suemason | June 23, 2011

Old Fahrts*

Thursday June 23

Being tourists and with the cars safely garaged, we took to the open topped bus for a rundfahrt**
And once more we were in luck as the rain started just as we staggered up to the top deck. Our hop on hop off route took us to the statue of the little mermaid, where we joined the hundreds taking her photo. Did you know that she has been to China? I guess for the Danish Pavilion at Expo, though why, in that great Chinese tradition, a copy couldn’t have been sent goodness only knows.
According to our tele guide, Copenhagen is the biggest cruise port in ‘the North’ and we watched several ships uploading their passengers for their holidays of a lifetime. We quizzed the crew of a beautiful private boat as to whether Mr Abramovitch was in town but they were not allowed to say! In contrast to the secrecy surrounding that boat, the Royal Palace is completely accessible with flags flying to denote when the various family members are at home; with a military guard allowed to chat to the tourists and with traffic crossing to and fro across the courtyard. One of the perks of Royalty should at least be that you can divert the traffic off your doorstep.
The Rosenborg Castle and Museum contains the Treasury where the crown jewels are on display, and as the Danes do not indulge in coronations, remain unworn. Royal perks here not up to much then.
But today was midsummer and we were meeting up with Ib to see celebratory bonfires around the Nybrogade area: known in the past for tattoo parlours and places you wouldn’t tell your mother you’d visited. Hans Christian Anderson lived here on the wrong side of the tracks before Danny Kaye made him a household name. But now this area is a vibrant place to eat drink and watch the world go by.
Furthering our Nordic language skills we were pleased to learn that 3 slags for 93kr was a reference to the price of three courses and not anything more unsavoury.
But we had Jowett things to talk about. Ib has some great plans for the proposed Danish Jowett meet in August 2012 and we were pleased to add our thoughts and support to this project.

Old Fahrts* are old waterways
rundfahrt** is a round trip
Tim has introduced ‘Surprise Fahrt into our vocabulary. It’s self explanatory though German not Danish.

Posted by: suemason | June 23, 2011

Going to fast

Wednesday June 22

We left Kalmar at 9.00 knowing that this would be the longest days driving, and nurturing both cars NXX still hiccuping a bit and GBA discharging at speeds over 45 mph but seemingly working fine at lower speeds. So as much as possible we took to the side roads where stopping and starting was easier and slower speeds not a hindrance to the general public. Swedish motorways and A roads operate a system of alternate carriageways. For 2km one side of the road has two lanes, and then it alternates. This allows for a three lane road to be managed more safely. But when the single lane was on our side, then for 2km we held everyone else up. Not that they seemed to mind. The only horn sounding was when they gave us cheery waves along the way.
Our route took us throughout the Dalby Soderskog National Park, a beautiful nature reserve. Our slower pace enabled us to appreciate the fields of poppies, cornflowers and harebells as well as the flowers and bird life along the highways. We stopped frequently for pic nics of broken biscuits, brought all the way from the UK. but didnt loiter at the pie shops. We entered Denmark over the 5 mile long bridge admiring the multitude of windfarms before entering into the 3mile long tunnel onto dry land. our trusty SatNav woman, or nag avator brought us into the city and deposited us among the cyclists and cycle lanes. Because we hadn’t over indulged on the calories earlier, we reserved a table in an Italian Restaurant where five courses of fabulous food was prepared for us by Alfredo and his staff. Alfredo runs the restaurant as a cooking class too, but we were too late to book in with him for lessons, so sat back and enjoyed our five courses, wine and complimentary schnapps. Then there was the kissing! So Berlusconni.

Posted by: suemason | June 21, 2011

Morgon Morgan

Tuesday 21June

Today has been dedicated to sightseeing, and a better place than Kalmar, on the East Coast of Sweden, would be hard to find.
So the day began with Tim exploring under the bonnet of GBA.
It seems it could be a connection to the ignition or there might be a problem charging the battery but we will have some sort of solution before we embark on the 200 miles to Copenhagen tomorrow, if we have to share and alternate batteries. But first we explored the museum, and then the castle before strolling through the Old Town. Along the way there was coffee and cakes and the chance to try out our extensive Swedish vocabulary. No problem with inserting ‘tack så mycket’ or thank you, into the conversation. But having been given the challenge of finding out the meaning of ‘ kram och puss’ we resorted to Google translate, just in case, and decided that ‘hugs and kisses would be taking a chance to try out on strangers. We did try out God Morgon which looks and sounds what it is. Speaking of Morgan, we had a wonderful exchange with Matz, an artist with a very attractive studio in the Old town. Matz is the proud owner of a 1953 Morgan. He has visited the Morgan works in Malvern and was an enthusiastic admirer of our Jowett photos. If you are reading this Matz then kram och puss and tack så mycket.
We finished off the day with dinner overlooking the visitors moorings on the waterfront, watching a boat flying the blue ensign, tie up along side. Slowly

Posted by: suemason | June 20, 2011

Getting stuck in

Monday June 20 Vastervik

We arrived here yesterday soaking wet, inside and out. The rain had been relentless since Stockholm and we were undeniably impressed that the cars had made it so far. So garage parking was an opportunity to dry out a little. GBA is suffering from a leaky windscreen seal, with the rain finding its way into the glove box, down legs and onto the new carpets. There had been no chance to explore Vastervik until this morning, which thankfully was bright and sunny, so we set to with some retail therapy and cultural curiosity. On a personal note, Tim and Pauline’s granddaughter has Swedish ancestry, though she isnt aware of it yet being only 10 months old, but she might be interested to know her paternal great grandfather was born in Vastervik. We left this pretty coastal town heading South towards Kalma. We like striking out into the back of beyond, finding roads with little or no traffic and ignoring the SatNav woman. Mind you, our maps are variously old, worn and creased a bit like ourselves, so sometimes there’s grass growing in the middle of our chosen route.
I suppose that the No 88 Routemaster bus to Elephant and Castle, was even further off the map than we were. Sorry no photos but believe me, we did see a red double decker bus!
We stopped at the Oskarshamn golf club for a sandwich, where we met Brian, on holiday from Epsom with his Swedish wife. He knew nothing about Jowetts but we forced a club card with website URL on him: he’s a convert now, I hope.
Because we had dark clouds on the horizon, we stopped for Tim to patch up his rubber seal with Araldite, taking care not to stick the windscreen wipers down. We did some more backwoods driving and then couldn’t avoid the main road into Kalmar, where we are now safely garaged, fed and watered. Sometime during the last few miles, GBA battery stopped charging, so a little project for tomorrow is to check out its dynamo. I may not have mentioned that all cars in Sweden not just Volvos are driven with full lights, even in daylight. Jowetts are not exempt from this so I am told that the spare brushes we are carrying might clean up the problem.
Watch this space to read progress on the dynomo and how our plans unfold for a Jowett meeting in Denmark

Posted by: suemason | June 19, 2011

When you walk through a storm…

Sunday June 19

Woke up in Sweden. It was a quiet night on the ship despite obvious party activity on deck involving Russian stag and hen nights, apparently.
But I forgot to mention running repairs to NXX involving glue. At the end of the scenic run in Turku, I had a go at cleaning off some of the accumulated mud, from the route. (but as Les warned me when we had the car sprayed from gold to black) It showed every smeary wipe. I find that car cleaning was a very overrated passtime. What the glue was for, is a matter for the technical department to relate. I think the brand was Araldite. So here we are sitting in a Swedish McDonalds while Tim and David do some running repairs on NXX which is hiccuping a bit. But I dont think it is glue related. Could it be a short?
Shorting cars ? It’s the story of my life being short and of course life is too short to complain about the weather but here goes anyway. Rain rain rain. Torrents since Stockholm so we left the motorway and took to the hills. Although there was little traffic, still the Javelins were aquaplaning along. On the map it seemed as if we could take a short cut to avoid the bigger cities, and of course the motorways, but the SatNav woman warned of ferries .Given that this route would reduce the mileage we calculated that several Swedish Kronors worth of petrol could be saved even if we had to pay the ferry man. In the event, the ferry was free so we might have saved some of our quantative easing, had we not had lunch at the nearby cafe while waiting for the boat. Finnish friends will be pleased to hear that the style of the toilet was our ‘old familiar friend’ Onwards through the rain.

Posted by: suemason | June 18, 2011

Leaving Finland

Saturday June 19th
There wouldn’t be a Jowett event without a fire alarm, would there. Today at breakfast an over enthusiastic toaster burned the bread slightly: enough to set the smoke alarm off. In our house when that happens we reach for a long handled implement to poke the reset button. At the National Rally we all gather outside, shivering. At the Naantali Spa Hotel, everyone kept on eating. No evacuation took place and the noise stopped only when the fireman in full safety gear came, shook out the crumbs and Plugged it in again. Normal service resumed.
Breakfast over and cars packed We set off in convoy with Jorma leading us in his 1951 Bradford lorry. It was a fine sight to see three Jowetts on the road together. We made good timing to the Cathedral Square where at least 150 cars of many shapes sizes denominations and Nationalities, had gathered. The people who wore period dress – from the couple in the 1910 model T Ford, to the young man in full hippy 1970 s dress, all looked fabulous. The best we could do was 1 Jowett sweatshirt and a Jupiter one. We did all wear our Jowett hats with pins.
There was a great deal of interest in our cars, and we hope many people will visit the website to read all about us.
We did take part in the scenic run despite the fact that we couldn’t understand the questions and even when translated for us we got the answers wrong. We should do better in Alan’s quiz: at least it seems to be in English.
Did I say that Finnish roads were good? Today we were introduced to some that were more familiar territory with potholes filled with muddy water, which caked our bodies. We needed a sauna for cars but on the absence of such a thing, we set to with a collapsible bucket and a rag.
Lunch was provided for the occupants of all 150 cars, on board a three masted tall sailing ship moored as a museum. Onwards then to the Finnish(ing) line and the souvenir trophy that we will wear with pride. We don’t have to return it to next years rally. Then it was time to say goodbye to our dear Finnish friends:To ANssi and Raija, who had driven from Porlammi on his Vauxhall Victor. It would have been a fairytale come true had his Javelin been capable of the trip. But maybe next year.
And goodbye to Jorma and Maike too. I propose we award them honorary membership of the North West Section. Come for tea and crumpets (“bloody foreigners as Jorma might say”)

Posted by: suemason | June 17, 2011

Islands in the sun

Friday 17 June

This has been the day that summarised our time here in Finland and we have experienced what many Finns almost take for granted – the outdoor life by a lake with good food and great company. But to begin at the beginning.
We were met at the Hotel by Jorma and Maike and followed them by Jowett for some twenty miles to Perla Harbour where their boat The Mae West, was moored. It took no more than five minutes to leave the mooring and be underway towards their private island in the Naantali Archipelago. The trip took us an hour doing about 8 knots passing islands where Finns escape to the great outdoors in the summer, and where cars can be driven on the ice in the winter. During the journey there was time to quiz Jorma as to how and why he came to be a Bradford owner and Jowett fan.
In the 1950s some 150 Bradfords had been imported into Finland by a single agent. Years later Jorma spotted a fine example and eventually its owner agreed to sell it to him. I will leave it to you, Jorma to blog about how you made contact with the club and especially Roy Braddock.
But back to the boat….
The MAE West has a Volvo engine and Jorma finds that it blows a bit of blue smoke sometimes that he finds embarrassing. He also noted that the navigation system wanders a little off course. But being a Bradford owner should prepare you for all of this, Jorma.
Our time on the island was very special. Not just because of the delicious cold buffet lunch and later BBQ sausages and Karelia pies. Much of what happened cannot be reported here in detail. Suffice it to say, clothes were discarded, naked women took to the water: naked men sat cheek by cheek in a sauna tent and we widened our vocabulary beyond Kitos and Kipis (thank you and cheers) to include Oho (sorry)
Tomorrow we will drive three Jowetts in the Turku classic car rally, then later will board a ferry to take us to Sweden and another leg of the journey home.
Apparently the rally tomorrow will involve a scenic drive and some checkpoints where we will be asked questions. Bang go our chances of winning a prize then with barely two words in our vocabulary

Posted by: suemason | June 17, 2011

Stone me!

Thursday June
We left the airport Hotel , Helsinki at 10.00 am with the SatNav programmer to take us to Naantali. Avoiding the main roads and motorways we now understand how Rally divers get their experiences and expertise.. We however drove sedately and safely admiring yet again the beautiful lakes and forests. Tim in the lead missed the signs for the tractor museum.
Other notable sights along the way included the village of Fiskari famous for the ubiquitous orang handled scissors. We didnt stop though coach loads of Japanese did. It was interesting to see the lines of post boxes at the ends of the track sometimes 30 or 40 at a time though no sign of the cottages hidden deep on the trees.
We did wonder about the pretty blonde girl, wearing the hi visibility jacket who was cleaning the streets of what litter there eas. Could it be she had the Finnish equivalent of an ASBO?
After we had bought some icecreams and cherries( and spent the whole this months pension) we drove on following the discarded cherry stones all the way to Naantali Spa. This is a lovely hotel with swimming pool, sauna and most importantly self service laundry. After our four countries tour we were ready for a bit of Dhobi Ghat.
The dinner location along side the lake was beautiful and romantic. And so to bed.

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