Far out

Having travelled through the southern reaches of Stockholm proper, we now set out for the archipelago. Utö is about as far as you get with the regular boat service and is a nice place anyway, so we got on the 08:45 service from Strömkajen with M/S Saxaren. The sky was mostly overcast, but didn't rain. We marvelled at houses along the way—those clinging to the cliffsides in Skurusundet and those on little skerries further out. (I reflected that while we passed forested islands, wide straits, and glacier-worn cliffs, what attracted our eyes were the signs of other humans, their abodes and vessels.)

Eventually we arrived at Gruvbryggan on Utö. Lunch was overdue, so we walked up the hill to Utö Värdshus. We were a bit wary after our experiences the preceding day, but we were courteously received by the maître d' and escorted to what we realised was probably the table with the best view of the sea. An unflappable waitress, named Niki according to her name badge, took our orders and soon returned with some very good food. It deserved to be accompanied by dessert and it still worked out considerably cheaper than our Old Town misadventure. Forks up!

Chocolate truffle, raspberry, blackberry, and bilberry with chocolate sauce

Very satisfied, we crossed the gravel path to the mining museum to get a short glimpse of the history of the island. The now water-filled pits of the mine itself were just a few steps away. We wondered how they'd achieved the carefully planed-off walls with the primitive mining technology used in the mine.

From the mine, we followed a path through meadows and little red houses to arrive at the old windmill. The insides were impressively well-filled with graffiti from the last two centuries, all the way up to recent days as the carefully engraved dates indicated. On a clear day the view would have been stunning, but it was beautiful enough as it was.

View from the old mill on Utö

We descended from the mill hill to the shops by the harbour in order to buy some of the famous Utö loaf. Saxaren returned and we got back on board and we retraced our wake all the way back to Stockholm.

Then I had to fight to get all the loaves into Honeybuns' freezer.

No comments: