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!

Off to sea!

img_0345Yeay! We have a boat! Well it’s actually sat in our garden because as usual I done it the wrong way around and bought a boat before finding a boat space. Because everyone on the island owns a boat it’s really hard to get a boat space, all the jetties are full and the largest harbour has a few year long waiting list. I’m pretty sure it will work out though and if not we can still sit in it in the garden and drink coffee and dream of the sea. Bringing it home turned out to be a bit harder than I thought… We only had to drive it around the block. I haven’t driven a car for 5 years and didn’t feel comfortable driving a borrowed car with a trailer so I asked my cousin for help. We started rolling slowly, the trailer was so rusty and after a few meters my cousin commented on the wheels moving like eights. Halfway home we see the boat suddenly leaning over, a huge scraping sound and one of the wheels rolling by the side of the car, gaaah panic! Luckily it wasn’t on the main road and luckily I have the nicest uncle in the world who came to our rescue. We managed to put the wheel back on and drove in slow motion, holding our breath, the rest of the way. Far too much excitement for one day! Now it rests in the garden and we have loads of plans pimping it up nicely. All the interior textiles need changing, curtains and pillows. What to choose, a fifties theme or maybe chicken theme? And we need a name!

Small trails leading to something big

IMAG5187After finally conquering my fears and finishing painting the house I’ve had a hard time slowing down to relax. Today is Sunday and even though we’re not believers I do try to live with Sunday being a day for rest. When my grandmother lived here she would never let us cut the lawn on a Sunday and there are still a lot of people who think the same way. I think it’s nice to have one day in the week where no lawnmowers or builders are making a noise. It’s not so easy though when you have loads of stuff waiting to be done, like the hedge being cut etc. So after feeling restless all day I took my daughter for a walk. We chose little roads between the houses where we rarely go and ended up down the harbour choosing a trail that I’ve never been up. We found some wild strawberries, my daughter saying what a shame we didn’t bring anything to put them in and I said when we were kids we used grass straws. Wow what a pleasure to see a child lit up with joy over something that is so obvious to me! She firmly decided that we weren’t leaving before the straw was full. After an hour we had four straws full with little berries. What a very happy proud girl! Perfect start of the summer holidays and for me the start of a two week holiday. On our way back we walked past a pond with some kids dressed in life jackets fishing in the pond. A mum filled us in with information and after a few minutes there where crayfish in the bucket! Apparently someone has planted them in the pond along with some red and yellow fish. The kids feed them bread, fish them up and let them back in every day. Tomorrow we will head out to my favourite place where we went as kids, for more berries and adventures. IMAG5210 IMAG5211 IMAG5216 IMAG5217 IMAG5222 IMAG5225 IMAG5229

Hunting sheep

IMAG4804

“Beware of playing children and whimsy chicken, drive slowly!”

IMAG4819

Alone on the beach

IMAG4815 IMAG4809 IMAG4801 IMAG4793Today I went to Björkö with my daughter to show her the sheep. Only when we got there they had been moved. We said hello to the pigs who got very noisy, they could see the bag of bread we had brought for the sheep but we were unsure if we were allowed to feed it to the pigs so didn’t. Now there were chickens to! The best henhouse I’ve ever seen, very luxurious and huge. One cockerel and a few hens, very pretty and different from our own hens. We cycled on, on a mission to find Pjonken. I heard this name for the first time a couple of weeks ago and apparently it’s where you can find the endangered blue wood anemone, plus the surroundings are supposed to be very beautiful. We didn’t find it but found a lot else. After asking a native we found out that apparently where I said to my daughter -I think we should have turned in to that road, we should have but didn’t. What we did find though was lovely! We cycled through all the houses and big woods, on to a dirt road, through more woods and came out by the sea. Voila! There were a few houses and very old barns(looked older than mine), horses, chickens in every garden and so beautiful! We found the sheep’s summer field and there were signs saying that you are allowed inside just close the gate behind you. We did hear a Baaah but no signs of them. We carried on cycling through the woods on a tiny path, up and down until we came to a pond where we parked the bikes. I wondered what the signs that we had passed said, they were funnily turned the wrong way around but then we found out. Björkö used to be a military practise island, this is what the signs warned about. I still remember going to Hönö and seeing the sign for Björkö saying “No aliens allowed”. We carried on without bikes through a crevice between to huge rocks and a filled up military cavern, loads of moths so we ran through! And ended up where in the sheep pen where we had started. By this point we were starved and sweaty so we decided to hit the closest beach. Eventually we found one and it was only us there. We laid down almost fell asleep and then took a dip in the ocean. Tired and happy we made it to the ferry with a minute to spare!

9 out of 10

DSC_0243 DSC_0247 DSC_0250 DSC_0244Only Hyppeln left and I’ve been to all the islands! We took the moped to Källö-Knippla today. You go across Öckerö and Hälsö, then a few minutes with a small car-ferry. I learnt from our last trip to another island to check when the next ferry back would be, an hour and a half, before exploring the surroundings. There’s a food store, pizzeria(only open at weekends), restaurants and bed&breakfast. We bought some “fika” and found a small beach hidden away from the wind. Took the moped two circles around the island and then waited for the ferry back(and realising that the food shop closes for three hours in the middle of the day). I think this is my new favourite island. 337 people live at Knippla sadly the population is declining, it’s almost halved since the sixties. Most of the houses are old like ours and the streets are narrow with steep hills. All in all very cosy and we will definitely go back on a hotter day(probably next summer)!

Sunday adventure

image“Just going to the shops” turned into a two hour long walk. I thought I would take a walk over to Fotö(Foot island). It’s just next to Hönö but I rarely venture over the bridge, almost changed my mind halfway there, the icy wind on the bridge was excruciating. Passing the harbour I noticed a trail leading up over the cliffs and thought why not take a little detour? I ended up by the big lighthouses that I’ve only seen from a distance. I wish I’d gone there before! The lighthouses are very impressive up close. They don’t light up anymore and some people want them gone, to save the money it costs to keep them standing. If you’re in a boat and see the lighthouses lined up you’re on the right track.

Heading back I got lost. Getting lost at Fotö is quite an accomplishment, it’s such a small island. I could see the bridge and the road but every direction I started walking I ended up at a cliff or ice and snow. Not knowing what was under the ice and snow I didn’t want to take any chances and turned around. Getting extremely tired from the walking and the cold wind I started daydreaming about laying down in the snow, closing my eyes for a minute, what if I would never wake up? Decided ending my life at Fotö would be kind of sad and I would probably be missed if I didn’t come back with milk and tea bags. I ended up retracing my steps and dragging my feet over the bridge back to my own island. I will definitely return, with my real camera. Maybe I’ll even dare to climb the ladder.image image image image image image image image image

Björkö

Björkö Food and Bar

Björkö Food and Bar

Icehouse filling the fishingboats with ice

Icehouse filling the fishingboats with ice

Nets

Nets

Ferry

Ferry

Todays souvenir

Todays souvenir

It’s funny how I spent every summer on this island and we’ve lived here for two years but I haven’t been to all the neighbouring islands. Today we felt adventurous and took the bikes on the ferry to Björkö(Birch island). It’s almost as large as Hönö but only a quarter of the population. We had fish n’chips and Guiness at Björkö food and bar, an ice-cream in the harbour, spotted a seal and then we went home. Worth another visit though!