To Björkö with a mission

My daughter ordered a t-shirt online and somehow the parcel got sent to Björkö, one of the other 9 islands surrounding Hönö, so we thought why not make a day-trip out of it?
She wanted to go running, it was so windy we took my moped there, crossing on two ferries and 45min later arrived at Björkö harbour. Björkö is actually really close, if we had the boat in the water we could have gotten there in five minutes. Picked up the parcel and Lo and behold! They had the vegan ice-cream she wanted to try all year! So we had ice-cream in the sun down the harbour, warm like a summers day when out of the wind. We decided to let the ice-cream melt a bit in our bellies and went for a walk with my camera. We found so much to take pictures of, I kicked myself not bringing more film and spent my phone battery(mainly on photographing swan butts and jellyfish). After the walk we got really hungry and decided to go back home to cook but of course we couldn’t pass the sheep/pig/hen cooperative!
We last visited a year or so ago, then the hens were in a yard but now they ran free and had quadrupled if not more! No sheep around but the pigs where basking in the sunlight and the mud. On the ferry we decided on three recipes to cook(vegan of course, since my daughter turned at xmas) and getting back we realised we’d forgotten all about running(well maybe I didn’t forget…). All in all it was a fantastic day, Björkö is so nice and feels good to have made the most of these last Indian summer days.

One of those days…

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Living on Hönö you have to get used to it being windy pretty much all the time but today was one of those unusual calm sunny days. Luckily one of my Fb friends saw it coming and asked for company kayaking. I jumped at the chance! We convinced one more person to join us and I got to borrow one of his kayaks. I have only paddled once since the course I took(who my Fb friend ran) and it really didn’t go so well, started with falling over just getting in the kayak. Today went much better(probably because I had two experts with me) and I actually managed the whole day without falling in!
We started our trip from Hälsö and paddled for about 3 hours with a little coffee break on a tiny deserted island. It was absolutely gorgeous. Blue sky, sunshine and no wind. Still parts of the journey felt a bit nervy, we had waves from boats, currents and after a while my body got pretty tired but on the way back I managed to relax and take in the fantastic scenery. My two companions where both much more experienced, one brought his dog along and the other ended up transporting a chair(!) we found on a beach.
Of course at one point the dog ended up on the chair, on top of the kayak on the water…
It was a great day and great evening with feasting on fresh crab that my husband received and cooked while I was away.

Beer, beer and more beer

So one of my favourite days on the island came up! The annual Home brewers beer tasting event. Last year the tickets sold out in 4 minutes! I happened upon the venue three years ago and we had such a great time, since then it’s grown rapidly and changed location but still such a great time! Last year my goal was to try all beers, 34 or something, I did and then some but this year there were 55 beers… So I went for the nice sounding lagers to begin with. Kudos on the brewers who come up with some fantastic puns naming their beers. My immediate favourite was the “Bagebrööl”(Hönö bread is called “Bagebrö”), plus points for the Hönö bread to taste and the beer was actually brewed with Hönö bread crumbled into the brewing mixture. Coming back to it later I actually preferred another beer from the same brewer “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
I like to taste weird beers, a lot of the time you are disappointed or worst case disgusted but this year I was thoroughly impressed by the quality. That actually goes for all beers I tasted but I especially liked the blackcurrant beer and the mango/youzo beer.
We tried to plan for the occasion and lay the ground work for the next day and decided to go out to a pub on the Island for a music quiz. Joined by two English music experts my confidence was high. The place was absolutely steaming with people when we got there but we managed to grab some chairs at the bar. We did pretty well with the questions, apart from the Swedish ones BUT realised after the marking that I had forgotten to write some of the answers on the questionnaire that I had actually written on the scribble paper… Anyways we had a great time and then looking out the window- Who could wish for a better view from the pub??

 

The Art wave and very freaky waves!

So I had the yearly exhibition in the gallery/barn for the Island Art Wave(Konstvågen). 100 artists open up their studios for the public. As usual I tried not to stress it before the weekend but ended up being super stressed. It paid off though and I think we had record sales on the Saturday! A lovely weekend with great people, sold many pictures and lots of “fika”(coffee and homemade cakes). We doubled the amount of smoked salmon and sourdough bread but still sold out on the first day!
The weather in Sweden has been extreme, it didn’t rain from May until this Monday. On Sunday there was a huge fire at one of the other islands, Björkö, in our end of the archipelago. Luckily it was put out in a few hours with the help of islanders, fire department from Gothenburg, ships spraying water and 4 helicopters water bombing the area. Luckily only a garage burned down and a few houses got zinged and smoke damaged by the fire, no persons got injured. Then today it got really windy again, a warm wind, very strange clouds and I had a message from my mum saying -Don’t go swimming!! Apparently the water had suddenly receded, sinking the water level about 1.5 meters and it all came back again within 5 minutes. Crazy! When we’ve been on holiday in England we have been warned about the tide but in Sweden it is unheard of, the water might change slowly over night but like this??
So we skipped out on swimming today but luckily we had an amazing swim yesterday evening. So many beautiful memories to save for a cold winters day…

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One thing off my list!

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Finally I’ve done it. I have been so embarrassed, being an islander and never having been Vinga. Vinga is a very famous (well in Sweden that is) lighthouse built 1890. We can see it from our favourite beach. It’s famous because of this Swedish troubadour called Evert Taube who grew up on the small island while his dad looked after the lighthouse. On our way there we got to hear lots of other stories and a great deal of history from our skipper Bosse. He told us about Napoleon hating the islands and banning all trade with England, he pointed out the exact spot a German submarine that sank on the same day the second world war ended and we got to see a whole bunch of seals.
When we arrived at Vinga we walked up to the lighthouse and got to climb the stairs to the top. What an amazing view! There was an Evert Taube museum but we bumped into some very cute goats running freely so we skipped the museum.
On the boat trip back to our island Hönö, Bosse told us more stories and pointed out where all the islanders disappear to when the tourists come. So funny! Of course I know that lots of people go out with their boats and most of our Airbnb guests have pointed out that Hönö is so empty of people, now I recognised all the faces on the cliffs/nature beaches we went passed. Next year we are definitely getting our boat in the water.

Beach bum bug

So after my “hard” working week my daughter was nagging me about camping and I felt like I was very prepared after sleeping on a beach for a few nights. This blog is mainly about the islands in the Northern archipelago outside Gothenburg but as we ended up on another island I will make an exception. We took the bus in to town, an hour on the train and then 40 minutes on the bus and ended up on Tjörn.
Once there, in Skärhamn, we rented a bike and as it turned out you could borrow an electric bike for free. They only had one so we ended up taking turns which worked out really well and the electric bike was so much fun!
The only thing planned was going to the arts park called Pilane and then sleeping in a wind shelter. We soon realised the island Tjörn is really big comparing to Hönö… So we cycled to Pilane, took about 1.5 hours. An awesome ride, some by the road but mainly across fields and cows and horses.
Pilane is so simple but amazing! Basically it is just a big field and mountain with sculptures but fantastic sculptures in the middle of nowhere. It was so hot so to be honest we didn’t see all the sculptures instead spent most of our time laying in the shade of the big giant head.
Then cycled back to Skärhamn, well we did a small detour, looking at the map thinking there was a wind shelter close by but turned out to be a camping site. We soon realised the shelter on the other side of the island would take hours to get to and decided on a nature reserve which turned out to be a block of flats(or maybe possibly I read the map wrong). So anyways ended up on a small sandy beach in the middle of Skärhamn, waited until all the kids and families left, then made dinner with our new gas burner kitchen thingy.
All we had was a couple of sleeping bags but the day was so hot I thought it would be enough. My daughter fell asleep heavily, snoring away, but I think I stayed awake until at least three waiting for moped gangs and serial killers to attack.
At 5am we were both awake, freezing and everything was damp. We moved around to the sunny side and left as soon as the local food shop opened. It was a great adventure but next time we will bring tents and camp in a less populated area. Pilane was amazing though and we will make it a once a year thing because they change the sculptures every year. A must see!

Best summer job ever!

When I was asked I hesitated a bit, me work nights? I am so tired in the evening, working nights seemed a bit unreal but I am so happy I said yes. There is a film being made, planned to be shown on cinema 2019. It’s called “The Spy” and the film is based on real story, a Norwegian actress who turned into a spy during the second world war.
One week they filmed on Hönö, they built a cottage and a jetty on one of the beaches and my job was to watch it along with all the equipment whenever they didn’t do any filming. Watching a house on the beach on an island in summer(getting double pay nighttime), I don’t even know why I hesitated!? My first shift started at 10pm. I had been told to not touch anything in the cottage so I put my sleeping bag on the floor and placed myself outside to watch for unwelcome visitors. When the sun set the mosquitoes started swarming and I had to move inside. Around midnight it was well dark outside and I heard voices, my heart started beating a bit faster… Some guys, sounded french(as it turned out, they were actually from the film crew and Belgian not French), walked by and sat on the beach for a while. I didn’t want to go outside in case I scared them so I moved my flashlight around a bit to show that someone was in the cottage but they either didn’t see or didn’t care.
In the end I must have nodded off for a while because I woke up and it had just started getting light around 3am. Only 5 hours left… I spent most of the time just watching the birds, thinking, crocheting and reading.
The day after I was very sleepy but restless and couldn’t help myself looking forward to my next time in the cottage.
I also spent a day there, went home and did a night shift starting at 2am, that was magic. I wish I could post videos in this blog, the sound of the birds waking up around 2.30am just before sunrise while the big full moon reflected in the dark water, it’s something I’ll never forget.
Now they are done filming on this location, the house is still there and I wish they would leave it but I’m sure they will take it down soon. Looking forward to the movie airing next year, even if all they filmed probably will be cut down to less than ten minutes.

I’m not allowed to post any pictures of the house but here are some of the scenery and a link to more information about the movie: https://variety.com/2018/film/global/trustnordisk-boards-jens-jonssons-ww2-set-the-spy-exclusive-1202808246/