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 – Lübeck, Wismar, Rostok, Stralsund, and Greifswald – which were part of a vast trading network stretching from Britain to Russia back in medieval times. We squeezed in a visit to the beautiful island of Rügen, where we explored a former Nazi holiday resort, and cycled through beautiful forests, past ancient castles, and along stunning coastlines.
We then turned northwards to the Danish island of Bornholm and from there to Sweden. We had a few days on the picturesque island of Hanö, then explored the southern coast as far as the naval port of Karlskrona. From there, we headed up the Kalmarsund, the body of water between the Swedish mainland and the island of Öland to reach Kalmar.
After several days in Kalmar, we carried on northwards, stopping for a few days in Borgholm on the island of Öland to help the Crown Princess of Sweden to celebrate her birthday. She was very glad that we could spare the time, and managed a wave to us to thank us.
From Borgholm, we sailed to Oskarshamn and Västervik, and 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. We enjoyed anchoring for much of the time in beautiful secluded bays on uninhabited islands.
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 voyages.
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
- A Viking ‘thing’, a centre of learning, and a royal palace
- Meta-modernism, temporary imprisonment, and a homecoming