Well, we’ve achieved what we initially set out to do, in getting to Stockholm; made all the more special because it is such a lovely place. Like Karlskrona, it’s a city of islands connected by a multitude of bridges and/or ferries, and the atmosphere is lively without being oppressive. There are three major routes into Stockholm, and we chose the back door – instead of heading south to clear Landsort, we turned north – inland! This took us up to Sodertalje where we locked into Lake Malaren, west of Stockholm. This is an inland, freshwater sea, riddled with islands; but somewhat softer and greener than those to which we have become accustomed; it reminded us a little of Scotland. It was in Scotland where we ‘think’ we saw a sea eagle – here we saw two sea eagles, and an osprey, for sure! Malaren is equally blessed with quiet anchorages and pretty little towns; none more so than Mariefred.
The journey east takes you through some scintillating scenery; and as you get closer to Stockholm, the waterside properties become very classy indeed.
On the last lap you have to negotiate two opening bridges and a lock, which in typical Swedish fashion are timed to perfection – if you have a typical Swedish yacht with a 150hp Volvo Penta engine! Poor Vela’s ancient version was treated very unfairly as we literally raced to catch the last bridge; but catch it we did, and immediately you are into the heart of the city with its wonderful vistas.
As you would expect, Stockholm has something for every taste – plenty of pretty blonde girls, a million restaurants and bag loads of culture – a museum for every day of the month; perhaps the most famous of which is the Wasa museum – named after the ship of the same name, which did a Mary Rose ie. sank on her maiden voyage. The main difference being that when they raised her 333 years later, she was pretty much intact.
Complete with complete skeletons, clothes, and even sails!
This museum, however, has to play second fiddle to the true jewel, which attracts fanatical pilgrims from all around the world.
After the hurly-burly of the city, it’s now back to the serious art of relaxation, and the Stockholm archipelago.
This week we made the decision to over-winter the boat in Baltic Germany, so we now have two months of slow sailing.