Saturday Night Special

We were so pleased with our previous visit to Utö that we already then decided we’d return in the wintertime and booked an Archipelago Weekend.

Saturday morning broke with brilliant sunshine from a cloudless sky glittering on fresh snow and we got out the door in high spirits. This time of year there is no ship connection all the way from Stockholm to Utö, instead we had to take the train to Västerhaninge, make a quick sprint to bus 846, which is supposed to leave at the same time as the train arrives at the station, and continue on to Årsta Brygga. Waxholm II was waiting for us at the jetty.

Passing islands in the iceIce and snow.
We crunched our way through a channel of broken ice, passing very secret military installations and a couple of deer running on the ice without any Bambi problems and soon were at Utö.

A birch with a bendSummers are short: Presumably a bird was flying by just as the tree was growing, so that it had to give way.
When we had checked in and checked out our spacious (though still rather cold, as the season had just started) room we went out for a walk. The little group of houses by the harbour, shops closed for the winter, was soon behind us and we found ourselves in a forest where, when we stopped, all that could be heard was little clumps of snow falling off branches and the wind like the sound of a train in the distance.

Spinach soup with mushroom omeletteThis is not your father’s spinach soup.
Eventually we were hungry enough that we returned to the inn and a delightful lunch. After lunch we trudged in the snow up to the old windmill and then across the island to the nearby swimming cove. When we returned we found we’d covered two kilometres in as many hours. We decided it must have been good exercise. We returned to our room to dry our snowy clothes and rest a bit. We saw an episode of Merlin and groaned and moaned at the anachronisms and the hackneyed dialogue. The reason for Honeybuns’ big bag was made clear to me as she changed for dinner. I felt very scruffy in comparison.

The dinner was every bit as excellent as the lunch, and specially made for us. We got our favourite corner table where we could look out over the sea and see the lights of the mainland in the far distance. After dinner we sat in the big leather sofas in the lounge and read the books we’d brought. Eventually we walked and slipped down the hill under the starry sky to our room, where we soon fell asleep.

Electricity and WLANThese days, mooring your sailboat requires not just electricity but also WLAN.
The morning was overcast and foggy but we got up early for breakfast and dawdled an hour or two over it. Then we went to explore the harbour and the road in the other direction. Another excellent bespoke lunch, with ingredients we’d never seen in combination before and then we had an hour to relax before our ship came in. This day the sound as it moved was slushier.

On the way we passed what seemed to be the carcass of a yearling elk on the ice, picked at by ravens. At least they would not have to starve for a while.

1 comment:

Martin said...