Scandinavian roads too slippery for Beunbazen after all

Remember how Eindhoven Student Automobile Association De Beunbazen was going on a Skandinavisk Vinterekspedision, twenty individuals and nine cars strong? Well, they’re back. Except for one car, that is. Organizer Marthijn Vink says it was an unforgettable adventure. “Gorgeous roads, but slippery as can be.”

photo Benke Verhoef

Driving to the northern lights in nine cars they fixed up themselves, was that really such a good idea? “Definitely,” says Marthijn Vink. “We all survived the trip to Scandinavia. Unfortunately not entirely unscathed, like with previous trips, but it was a huge adventure that led to extraordinarily fantastic moments and a few war stories to tell back at home.”

Those war stories are mostly about the cold, slipperiness, and malfunctioning cars. There was one problem the Beunbazen didn’t manage to overcome. The Subaru is still in Sweden for the moment. “Remco and Delano came back by plane. The car will be picked up at some point. They had such bad luck! First, the brake caliper on the front left was rusted stuck. Then the loaner car they were using broke down. A second loaner car brought them back to the Subaru. They managed to get the caliper fixed after all, but then the brake drum on the back right got stuck. The loaner car we ordered for them from the Netherlands never arrived. That’s when they gave up and bought plane tickets. Out of the twenty participants, they’re the only ones that visited the Abba museum. The rest didn’t go to Stockholm.”

Superficial damage

Vink reminisces about the great moments the group had, cooking and spending the evening together. “And nature there is so beautiful and untouched. One disadvantage is that the roads are so slippery. That’s how the Beatle and the Saab ended up hitting barriers of ice and suffering superficial damage, unfortunately.” The pushed-aside snow lies at the side of the road like a frozen snowbank, which is too hard for the bodywork. The Saab has already been fixed by its owner, while the Beatle’s one is busy taking out the dents as we speak.


They knew it would be cold, but now they’ve experienced firsthand that you can’t change a CD in a CD player at minus 25 degrees Celsius. And what it’s like to walk to the showers at de Artic Cabins campsite at minus 10 degrees. “But it was totally worth it. We experienced wonderful things, like reindeer in the middle of the road and managing to find a place to sleep late at night.”

One day, they ‘arrived’ at the accommodations they had booked in Strömstad, only to find out these didn’t exist. “Then we rang the doorbell of a couple, both of whom were aged ninety and luckily spoke English fluently, to ask them to check if any phone number was listed. Which, sadly, wasn’t the case. So then I managed to arrange a B&B for eighteen people between 9 and 10 PM. It was luck rather than skills, but definitely an interesting situation.”

Northern lights

And did you see the northern lights? “Yes, albeit very briefly. Some of us even saw them from a moving car. But it was too cloudy for us to be able to enjoy them for long.” Would you take the trip again? “Absolutely, there’s already talk of maybe going again. But then in electric cars and on spikes!”

Click here to read how the association prepared for the journey.

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