It was a long cold 1500km drive south from Birtavarre Norway to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm. We spent another fruitless night looking for Aurora. It was a clear night with the temperature dropping to -18C, but no sign anywhere of Aurora.
We left Birtavarre at 5:00am, and within a couple of hours we were back in Finland, refuelling the car with cheaper Finish Diesel (about $A2 a litre) rather than expensive Norwegian Diesel ($A3 per litre). When we refuelled it was -24C and we worked our way through northern Finland for about 100km with the temperature dropping even lower. The temperature finally dropped to -36C with the cars clutch starting to play up getting heavier to use. We thought it might be the cluch fluid freezing , but it turns out clutch fluid does not freeze until -59C, so something else caused the clutch to play up when it was very very cold.
We crossed south into Sweden with the temperature still hovering around the -36C level. We drove through a town where a couple were taking their baby out for a walk in a pram, and it was still -36C.
We finally had the sun rise over the horizon in northern Sweden, unfortunately we drove straight into the low sun for a couple of hours. By the time it got dark at about 2pm we had covered 500km, but we still had a 1000km to go. Once we got to Lulea the road got wider with more overtaking lanes. Around about 600km from Stockholm it started snowing again and you have difficulties overtaking the trucks on the overtaking lanes. The trucks kick up light snow that billows around like dust on an Australian dirt road when you follow them. When you overtake the outside lane has a lot more snow sitting on the road because not as many cars use the outside lane. So you pass on the outside lane driving through layers of snow trying to peer through the snow being thrown up by the truck you are passing. Very difficult.
We stopped at a parking bay about 11pm and slept in the back of the car, waking again at 5am to do the last 350km to Stockholm. We refuelled the car at a Service Station about 40km from Arlanda Airport with only 2 hours before our flight left. We asked the service station attendant if he could take some our of discarded camping equipment, and he kindly volunteered to take it to a local charity. With a very fast and rough repack, and a very superficial clean of the car (it was still caked with ice on the rear) we rushed to Avis to return the car. Hopped on the bus from Avis to Terminal 5, checked in, did the usual long wait in security, changed out of our thermals, and by the time we made the gate, they had started to board the plane.