This is "Onbekommerd"!

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Stockholm fortifications and an idyllic island.

Yesterday, we spent the night in Vaxholm. We badly needed some supplies, both solid and liquid and on the small islands where we like to be, the shops are small and there are no 'Systembolagets' (the Swedish state liquor store, you can't buy any alcoholic drinks over 3.5% in any other shop). So Vaxholm it was, it has both required shops within 10 walking minutes from the Gästhamn. For this reason, the Gästhamn is very full during the day with boats that just come for shopping (which also explains that it's one of the few harbours where a fee for 'daily mooring' is charged. After about 4pm quite a few boats leave and in the end the harbour was not full at night in spite of the peak season.
But Vaxholm is interesting beyond the shops as it is part of the old naval defence system of Stockholm. The Vaxholm fortress, which you pass when you arrive from the north, controls one of the few sea passages into Stockholm. Some of the other entrances (notably Oxdjupet) were actually filled in with rocks in the 16th century and from 1876 the rocks were removed again in order to provide access to for instance the Finland and Åland ferries. The fortifications were maintained into the 20th centuries. These days they are mainly tourist attractions.

This morning we decided to spend a quiet night at some small island and - after some research in our Hamnguiden- we choose Härsö. What a perfect choice it turned out to be! There is some wooden staging that we tied onto with our stern anchor out. We went to explore a bit and found signs to 'Domkyrkan', which is not a church as the name would suggest, but a mountain with a great view. It's quite a climb up, but a few strategically placed ropes help.
There is no wind now, we are here with a handful of boats and it's quite idyllic!


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