TE Return to Sodertalje
Leaving Marstrand we headed for Varberg and fueled up there. Most of the boaters in the Nordic countries are sailors, no wonder with diesel costing as much as $10/gallon. With a forecast for a calm day on The Sound, we decided to run the 100 miles down to Copenhagen so we could enjoy the Danish food. Dan is convinced that the school for chefs in Sweden is only four days – hamburger, pizza, klucking salad and shrimp with mayo on toast (HPK&S), with this you are trained to run any restaurant kitchen in Sweden. The locals say that since Covid the quality is the restaurants has really fallen.
We managed to return to our exact spot on the Nyhaven Canal and spend an afternoon at Trivoli Gardens, one of the oldest amusement parks in the world. We love Copenhagen and consider Denmark to be the best of the Nordic countries.
Leaving Copenhagn, we continued south, then east along the coast which is pretty barren. In the end we were bucking 4-6’ seas as we pulled in the Simrishamns. The boating season is over in the part of the world in mid August, so by the end of the month the Guesthamns are pretty empty. Every town has a Guesthamn or Guest Harbor some with nearly as many moorings as the residents, in season a reservation is mandatory.
As we rounded the corner and started up the east coast we started again to get into the coastal island that provided both interest and shelter. Karlskrona was our next stop and a major naval port since the 12th century. The naval museum was a gem. After a visit of several days we moved onto Kalmar, one of Swedens larger cities.
On entering the harbor, the Swedish Coast guard approached and ask to board us. No check of safety equipment but a thorough check of our paperwork including the VAT temporary import document we went all the way to Norway to secure. They also performed a breathalyzer on the Captain who was drinking 2.8% beer in Sweden. The highlight of Kalmar is the magnificent castle/fortress dating from the 12th century and site of the Kalmar Union that united the Nordic countries for several centuries. It really is amazing how many war there were between these Nordic neighbors.
At Kalmar we rented a car and toured the north end of Oland Island highlighted by the summer Royal Residence and an enormous 12th century fort that suffered a fire in the 19th century.
Having discovered that there was a good harbor on the north end of Oland, we make Byzelkrona (we are now up to about 200 places in Europe we can not pronounce) our next stop on route to Gotland Island.
Visby is the capital of Gotland Island and was a very important trading center between the late 12th and and early 15th centuries during the Hanseatic League. This walled city is filled with period buildings and has a great museum. We again rented a car and over two days visited most of the island, including the small island of Faro. Today this is very much a holiday island with some beaches and lots of campgrounds.
From Visby it was back to the mainland of Sweden at Nynasham that happens to be a major port for ferry’s to Estonia and Poland. Looking at a map, this makes sense as the overland route would be very long and pass thru Russia. Our final leg was back to Sodertalje where the boat will be stored for the winter. Five weeks and a little over 1,000 miles….do not ask about the fuel!
Leaving the boat, we rented a car to take a tour of the Stately Homes (castles perhaps) around Lake Malaren.