Gone with the Wind...

A Trip to Karlskrona

Aug 23-Aug 28, 2000

This is from my diary
Wednesday afternoon we took the road southwards and I noticed that in some areas the leaves on the birches were brown, not yellow, which is said be due to the wet summer. But the rowan trees are beautifully carrying lots of red berries. It seems that the rowan trees will be what is contributing the autumn colours this season as the leaves of other deciduous trees too often are damaged by fungus infections due to the rain during the bygone summer.
In the fields of the plain of Uppland the harvesting machines were frequent running in the rye fields. Some fields already harvested, some still awaiting the harvest. Other varieties of grain were not ready for harvest yet.
In Helenelund at our son's the apple, plum and pear tress were full of unripe fruits, but in some weeks they will have lots of fruit to take care of.
Thursday morning we passed through Stockholm without incidents by road E4, the rain was pouring down.The traffic was not too bothering. In Norrköping we took a wrong turning but at last we found road E22, the coast road. Now we were in areas were we had never been before. Östergotland showed to be a lighter landscape with some oaks and ashes and linden but in Småland the coniferous forests on rocky ground among small stonehills was dominating. Reindeer moss and heather among stones covered the ground between the pines. This time of the year the ditchsides mostly held withered thistles with grey hiry seeds. The rain was very intense and we were glad when we arrived at the hostelry of Blankaholm. The building was owned by an artist and his wife who ran the hostelry.
Friday morning broke clear and fresh. I made a little walk around the marina and took in the milieu there, the view over the bay, the morning light, the flowers and birds and everything. The oak forest is growing sheltered by the winds at the side of the cliffs. We left the hostelry of Blankaholm for road E22 again. The archipelago of Småland is known as one of the most beautiful in Sweden but our time was limited so we could not explore it more. We had to drive on this wonderfully sunny morning which did full justice to the rural landscape with harvest in the fields and grazing cows.
We went to Oskarshamn but the wellknown museum of "Döderhultarn" did not open until noon, and we could not wait that long. We drive away and at lunchtime we stopped at a very nice estate, Stufvenäs, where we had lunch at a very nice laid table with white tablecloth, white linen napkins, fresh flowers and welldone food.
This part of Småland is lighter, more oaks and ashes and linden and other deciduous trees. We went to Brömsebro where you find an old bridge over a small river which once was the border between the Swedish and the Danish countries. We looked at the monument reminding the peace of 1645.
And then we were in Blekinge, the smallest county of Sweden at the southeast corner, open farmland with hamlets and villages. We found the vacation village of Trummenäs were our hosts have a bungalow. They had borrowed some other cottages too as they expected twenty guests, and they had managed to rise a tent in the garden in order to lay a long table out of doors for our common evening meals. We felt very welcome at their summer home.
The other guests appeared one ofter the other and at time for the evening meal all the old comrades and their wifes were assembled. All have been boy scout leaders in Uddevalla in the forties. They are now living all over our country and have made a tradition to meet every third year.
Next morning a had a morning walk when my husband wasn't awake. Went by the sea in a wonderful dewy fresh morning, took in the sight of the bay in the light of the rising sun, the sailing boats at the bridge and found the peace you can feel in a calm morning at the sea.- There were unripe blackberries in the brambles along the path. The sun made the fence steaming in the direct light as the dew rose from it.
The program of the morning included a trip to Kungsholmen. The road we had to drive went over a chain of islands, joined by bridges. You can get an idea of the archipelago in this map: Those islands which are the cause why Karlskrona once was built where it is situated. A very well sheltered harbour for the navy.
A guide met at the ferry berth of Finskan and we had a ferry tour over to the island Kungsholmen with interesting fortifications. We had a detailed guided tour around it.
Kungsholmen is an island which nowadays is used by the coast artillery. At the ferry berth you can see exactly where you are on our earth: Lat 5606.40 Long 1535.60.
Many architects have been engaged through the centuries and have put their mark on the buildings, and they have got the inspiration from all Europe. The gateway of Lions in Mykene has been the model for the entrance to the inner courtyard, but when you have passed the archway you observe that it is a totally different architecture of inner arch which is a round arch set with eleven big granite stones. Virginia creeper is covering the walls of the building, bright coloured at this time of the year. The fortification area is surrounded by high grassy walls, and on them you can see many interesting flowers. Of course that made me look carefully at the vegetation, as the flora is one of my main interests.
A very interesting construction work is the round harbour, an architecturial masterpiece with fantastic acoustics. From the wall you could see the next island fortification Drottningskär.
In the middle of Kungsholmen there is a beautiful park with trees from all over the world. When the full-rigged trainee sailing ships are on their long sailing they are expected to take a tree home to Karlskrona from their destination. The tree which awoke the greatest interrest from our group was the Ginko biloba.

In the afternoon some of us went to the City of Karlskrona. It is a very interesting town. It is one of the places which are integrated in the World Heritage.
The Square is architectural well planned and is surrounded by many old origin buildings. We went down to the quay and there is the residence and some remnants of the old redoubt named Aurora. Across the bay we saw Stumholmen, where the Navy had their headquarters up to ten years ago. We visited the Church of the Navy, a red wooden building. In front of it you can see the well-known Rosenbom. We drove to the Lookout of Saltö on a cliff with a wonderful view over the western bay of the Karlskrona bay. On the road up there we passed the old sailor's houses in the district of Björkholmen. Karlskrona showed to be a very beautiful town, and the fact that we had such nice weather did not diminish that impression. Sun and warm and almost calm.
In the evening we had a little contest in the style from our time as scouts, and after that we were treated with boiled salmon of Blekinge, coffee and cake.

Sunday - time to leave the cottages. Fixing up, breakfast and then a common drive into town through oak woods and farm fields. Parking in the harbour, a walk to Stumholmen where you can read this sign on the bridge, translated:

You are welcome on foot or by bike

This island was forbidden land for common citizens until ten years ago. Reserved for the Navy. But now it is one of the districts of Karlskrona city with nice but expensive apartment houses, mostly rebuilt and repaired old Navy buildings. A few of the old houses from the eighteenth century are still lived in and in one of these houses our friends are living.
We made a visit to the Naval Museum, a very interesting place, built on a pier out into the sea. A sailor ship Jarramas is included in the collections of the museum.
We had a common lunch in the Museum Restaurant and then it was time to take farewell. Hugs in the hope of meeting again, next time in two years in the county of Halland.

My husband and I drove northwards along road 28, the road of the glassworks of Småland. The road sign bore witness - Emmaboda, Skruv, Kosta, Boda, Orrefors, Lindshammar, - all names of famous Swedish glasswork. But it is the district of the emigration in the nineteenth century too, which is told by our Swedish author Vilhelm Moberg. We did not stop as we had a long way to drive. I felt the mystery in the names of the villages we passed - but that mystery is in old Swedish and cannot be translated into a foreign language. The landcape was forested until we arrived in the Östergotland plain where the fields were under harvesting. We spent the night in the city of Norrköping. An evening walk along the Stream in the light of the sinking sun was what we had time to do before going to bed.

Next day we visited my sister who is living in that town and then we had the long drive northwards through fields an forests in front of us. A cup of coffee in an old crofters holding by a lake made a well needed rest. When arriving into Hälsingland again I felt that our county is one of the most beautiful of Sweden, the forested ridges along the river Ljusnan. It is our home!
At home again - The rangefinder showed 870 kilometres - the distance between Trummenäs in the archipelago of Karlskrona and our home in Farila.

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