Reports from Sweden 13 - July 19, 2007

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hello People,

It seems to me as if it has been a quite week or two in Stockholm since we went to Paris, but we are off on trail tomorrow and so I better get in a short report right now.

On July 4th Kristina flew off to a conference in Italy and the rest of us had an "Independence Day" picnic in the courtyard in front of our apartment. Will's friend understood the event - he had lived in Connecticut for a few years, but it was a mysterious holiday to Robin's friends - but they all enjoyed the burgers anyhow.

I was walking by the harbor the next day and went by a boat building school which had a class on the water's edge finishing kayaks. There were Greenland kayaks, which is the same style as the one I build two years ago. We talked about wood, cloth and lashing vs. pegs for awhile. Kayaks here are called Kanoes, and canoes are call "Kanadian kanoes".

It rained a lot that weekend. Still, I went our daily for my walks. Saturday to Djurgården and north along the water into a wooded area which was new to me. The blueberries are almost ready. On Sunday I rode the commuter train southeast to the town of Saltsjöbaden ("The Salt Sea Bath"). Out at the end of a point is a old (Victorian?) bathing house sticking out into the sea. I can imagine young men diving from the upper balcony into the salty waters. On the mainland, in front of the Grand Hotel is a sculpture in bronze of such a young man - read to dive in.

Kristina arrived home that evening.

On Thursday (July 12) there was a "Metallica" concert at the old Olympic Stadium in Stockholm. Will had wanted to go, but the tickets had sold out within minutes of being available. So he stood across the street and listened. He said that since the Stadium has a large arching entrance way he could actually see the stage about 200 meters away. He tells be it was great - but I expect you will need to read his blog to know more.

Kristina's parents, Kris and Charlie, arrived July 13 and we did our best to keep them awake that day, to get them past jet lag. The next day was bright and sunny so we took the boat out to Fjäderholmarna, a small island with boats and ice cream and art/craft studios. We had a picinic and a good time. The islands around Stockholm continue to remind us of Maine.

That evening the boys went to see the newest "Harry Potter" movie and the rest of us went to the "J" restaurant, a "yachty" restaurant. It involved boat rides across the harbor in the dark and in the rain.

Sunday (July 15) Kristina's brother and family (Charlie III, Kristen and Owen) arrived. In the afternoon Will took Kris to the "Museum of Modern Art", Kristina took Charlie to the "Båthaus II" (small boat museum), and Robin and I took Charlie (III), Kristen and Owen to Gamala Stan. (Is that all clear?). We finally converged at the Riddarholmen cafe for "fika". I think "fika" might be the one word of Swedish which Owen takes homes. "Fika" literal translates as "coffee", but is often used to refer to the mid afternoon coffee-break, and we take it to mean "desert in the afternoon", much like an English 4 o'clock "tea". We all like fika.

Back home we had a picnic by the lake and then later a "Princess Cake" for Kristen and Charlie's seventh anniversary.

Monday Kristina, Charlie II, Kris, Kristen, Charlie III and Owen took the boat out to Vaxholm for the day. They were on one of the beautiful old steamers which ply the waters here. I told it was a great day.

I walked to a cafe on a dock in Lake Mälaren beyond Karlberg Slott (palace). I am trying to walk a lot to get ready for this hike - so about 10 km today. Then I was home and getting boots for Robin and doing other hike preparations. That evening we all went to a Swedish restaurant in Odeplan. I had "Pale Roe" on potato pancakes - which was very tasty. A lot of us had Swedish meatballs.

Tuesday we walked to the "Bergianska trädgården" (Bergianska Botanical Gardens) and the "växthus" (literally "plant house", a greenhouse). We, of course, had fica. The whole place was beautiful with flowers in formal gardens, rock gardens and Japanese gardens. That evening we had a cookout - even in a light rain. We also celebrated Charlie's (II) birthday.

Wednesday, Kris and Charlie (II) flew off to Greece, Kristen, Owen and Charlie (III) went off on their own to Skensen - the open air museum. Will, Robin and I met with the other three from our hiking crew (Markus, Gustav and Per-Oskar Lithell) to finalize plans. And then it was time for some food shopping. That evening the boys went with Charlie, Kristen and Owen to the Hard Rock Cafe for dinner, and Kristina had some quite time at home.


Charlie Kristen & Owen

Robin & Owen



Charlie & Kristina

Robin & Ducks


Charlie & Owen

Picnic in the Rain

Trip Plan

Since all the boys on this hike are or were scouts I figure I better post a plan.

Overall - We are hiking from Abisko to Nikkaluokta. This is about 100 kilometers (~60 miles). We will be north of the Arctic circle - at 68-deg north. For most of this we are following the "Kungsleden" - the King's Trail.

July 20 - Fly to Kiruna, bus to Abisoko, hike south.

July 21-26 South to Kårtjevuolle/Singistugoma (Singi on map), east to Kebnekaise flällstation (Kebnekaise Mountain Station), east to Nikkaluokta.

July 27 bus to Kiruna, Lithels fly south, Smith on the train (18 hours overnight) to Stockholm.

Alternative: After 2-3 days we may turn east at Tjäktjastugan (Tjäktja on map) to try some of the less used trails into the peaks.

Additional: We may also climb Kebnekaise - the highest peak in Sweden, if we reach Kebnekaise flällstation with an extra day and the weather is clear enough to attempt the climb.

Sweden & Hike

Kungsled Map