Sweden is a country that I've been wanting to visit for a very long time. I grew up with many Swedes, all of whom had moved to Geneva due to one of their parents' jobs and subsequently attended the International School I attended. Because so many of the people I grew up with were Scandinavian, I always felt like I knew Sweden quite well... without having ever actually been. So when the opportunity arose to spend two weeks on Tom's dad's sailing boat, Beejolly, sailing around the Swedish archipelago, I was very excited to finally head somewhere I felt a strong connection to.
Growing up, my dad had a small waterskiing motorboat. We used to spend afternoons swimming, motoring around, and enjoying the lake. I'd not done an awful lot of sailing until I met Tom, just over three years ago. I can't say I'm the best on the water. I enjoy it, but only on calm, flat seas, and due to my nervous personality, anything at all "tippy" freaks me right out. But despite my apprehention and nerves, I knew I'd enjoy the trip, so two weeks ago, we flew to Stockholm and made our way to the island of Vätö to meet John, Tom's dad, for the start of out adventure.
This post won't be a diary style post, simply because if I told you all about every single place we went, and everything single thing we did, you'd be here all day. But to give you an idea; we travelled far, and we saw a lot. The Swedish are amazing, and as someone who loves a "slow living" lifestyle, the Swedes certainly embrace that to a maxmimum.
I was impressed to hear that throughout summer, most people take a full month off from work to enjoy the warmer days. It's probably quite obvious, but Sweden has very long, dark, cold Winters every year, so when Summer comes around, they take full advantage. Many people have small cabins scattered on the 30,000 + islands of the Stockholm Archipelago, and head out there to get away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Getting back in touch with nature was a recurring theme in Sweden, and I loved it. From heading out to pick strawberries (pictures above) to long walks, to sailing (like what we were doing), so swimming in the waters, it seemed that everyone was embracing summer to the max.
As for our sailing trip, in a nutshell, we left Vätö a few days after arriving, sailing into to the port and island of Furusund, where we spent one night. After that, I'll be honest, the names of each place get a bit blurry, but we were away from main ports for most of it. Due to the size of the archipelago, it was very easy to head in pretty much any direction and find another beautiful place to spend the night. Some nights were spent on small pontoons on the side of a small island, others were spend anchored out in a bay. We went from place to place, admiring the views, and enjoying the surprisingly warm and sunny weather (we only had one day of rain the entire time we were there!).
Needless to say, I loved our time sailing around the islands of the Archipelago. I think we only saw a minuscule amount of it all, as there's so much to see. Could I go back and continue to explore it? Absolutely.
We finished off our trip with three days in Stockholm, which I've decided to share with you in a second blog post... because we packed so much into those three days, and I have SO many tips for you, it definitely deserved its own post... so stay tuned for that ;)