The view from my hotel bedroom in Stockholm
We were roused by Anne at 0530 this morning and by 0630 were eating breakfast in the ferry port cafe. The car ferry runs to Helsinki, stopping at Turku and Åland Islands. It was a large ferry with twelve decks and it was full! The trip to Åland Islands took five and a half hours of which the first three and a half were taken up working our way through the Islands round Stockholm.
Above are two car ferries going into Stockholm between some of the islands. Once at Marienham we picked up a hire car and drove into the hinterland, picked up the house owner who led the way to our house which is on the most western point of the islands and is extremely remote. Our gate is a good eight km from the house! We have 2.5 miles of Coast line! ISo we are substantial landowners, except that it is all pine trees and sand.
The house itself
The view from one of the verandas.
A very stunted pine tree about six inches across. There is masses of lichen and an awful lot of rock. We have a rowing boat and two kayaks.
Åland Islands are very odd politically. They are in Finland but they are a demilitarised, self governing unit. So they have their own parliament and issue their own stamps. Enter my son-in-law, Derek, who is a stamp collector and started collecting the island stamps several years and has been corresponding with the Chief Post Mistress. Which is why we are here. I did not know that till this morning. We have to do a royal visit to the post office. The islands try to be self sufficient and I am sure I have read about the spinning here. Certainly there are lots of sheep. Tomorrow I shall set out to view the three yarn shops. I should say that the total population of the islands is about 50,000 people, less than Worcester(93,000) or all the Malverns (71,000). They have got more land though.
The weather is fantastic, hot with a breeze and good visibility. Lots of strange sea birds. The owners says we will see hares and foxes herein. Only one serious defect. The nearest grocery shop is 30 km away. Anne and Derek rushed off over an hour ago to buy food and I do not expect them back for a bit. No pub visiting or fish and chips here. And I need an ATM of which there are two on the islands, both in Marienham, which is fifty minutes drive away! Clearly forethought is required in planning.