We celebrated the Fourth of July in the air, traveling from Bergen, Norway, back to Stockholm, Sweden. But, before heading to the airport, we took the funicular up to the top of Fløyen, one of the mountains encircling Bergen. The view of the city from this elevation (1,400 feet) was suberb:
But our stop in Stockholm was brief, merely overnight to leave our dirty laundry and pick up clean clothes. We were going to the island of Grinda in the Stockholm Archipelago for a few days for Dale’s birthday and our boat was leaving the next morning.
We love the elegant, old steamships operated by Waxholmsbolaget, like the 100-year-old S/S Norrskär that we took from the docks at Strömkajen to Vaxholm and then on to Grinda. Nearly every seat outside was taken when we boarded, but the upstairs dining room was empty, so we decided to have an early lunch and enjoy the journey in style.
The environment we now found ourselves in could not have been more different from what we had experienced not even 24 hours earlier in Norway.
It was a beautiful day to be on the water and the 2-hour journey was just right; we were anxious to see Grinda and what it had to offer.
I have learned how to read just enough Swedish on this trip to misinterpret 90% of what I read, resulting, on this day, in us taking the wrong fork in the path and walking all the way to the hostel (Vardrarhem) instead of the hotel (Värdshus). Not a bad walk, though, and we got to see where one of the saunas was, not that we ever used it.
The islands of the Stockholm Archipelago are reminiscent of the San Juan Islands off the coast of Bellingham, Washington – similar climate, vegetation and latitude – so we felt right at home. After our nice little 2km hike, we spied the hotel and restaurant, Värdshus (or Wärdshus -I have seen it spelled both ways), up on a rise.
We checked in and dropped off our backpacks, then explored the island. Having already inadvertently seen the south end of the island after disembarking, we wandered north,…
…making our way around the harbor. In the foreground you can see the floating sauna. It looked like fun, but at a rental for the evening of 5,000kr (just under $600), we decided to forego the experience.
We were more interested in the hike and the view, anyway.
Fantastic photographs. The latitude of Grinda is 59.4 and Bellingham is 48.7. It’s thanks to the Gulf Stream that the climate and vegetation are similar.
I am enjoying these blogs immensely.