This year, we continued our discovery of the Baltic. We had overwintered in Kappeln in northern Germany for 2021/22, and after some repairs to the foresail furler, we set off in early May.
We headed first of all eastwards along the Baltic Coast of Germany, visting many of the old Hanseatic League cities which were part of a vast trading network stretching from Britain to Russia back in medieval times.
We sailed as far eastwards as Greifswald, then turned northwards to the Danish island of Bornholm and from there to Sweden. We then explored the southern coast to Karlskrona, then turned northwards up the Kalmarsund to Kalmar, Oskarshamn and Västervik, and from there, entered the Swedish archipelago with its thousands of small islands and skerries.
We had several weeks in the archipelago, made all the more enjoyable by having some friends, Steve and Mitzi, stay with us for a few days in July, then my sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and Peter, for a week in August.
From there, we sailed into the centre of Stockholm for a few days, then through to Lake Mälaren, the huge freshwater lake west of the capital. There we visited the former Viking trading centre, Birka, and several of the towns on its shores, including Mariefred, Strängnäs and Västerås.
We decided to overwinter Ruby Tuesday in Slagsta, southwest of Stockholm, as it had good rail and air connections to reach home and travel back next year to continue our voyage.
The following links lead to our blog posts of the various stages of the voyage, where you can read in more detail of our experiences, sights, thoughts, musings and conversations along the way:
- A sea temple, a Frisian king, and back in the water
- An amber beach, a broken tooth, and prosperous traders
- A former border, a bike repair, and war refugees
- A leaky boat, a troubled painter, and a medieval clock
- Antique cars, an orca interaction, and a ship with a story
- A steam train, a Nazi holiday resort, and a Prussian hunting lodge
- A medieval university town, a king’s chair, and a British submarine
- Midsummer revelry, a Russian cargo ship, and an English graveyard
- A rough night, a naval museum, and a luxury yacht
- A baroque castle, a Crown Princess’s birthday, and a sleepless night
- 8,888 islands, a lost dog, and some very old rocks
- A visit from friends, industrial architecture, and a new society
- Köping with shopping, a foodless banquet, and stone gates to the archipelago
- Redundant fortresses, dreaming spiders, and a quick dip
- A coastguard interrogation, a Bronze Age murder, and an anti-monument
- Winter storage preparations, a forthcoming election, and déjà vu
- A Viking trading centre, a mistaken identity, and the early Russians
- A poisoned king, religious turmoil, and spilt tea