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Friday, June 28, 2013

Outing to Utö

On a cloudy day in the midst of our archipelago adventure, we decided to take a little boat trip over to the island of Utö.  We've wanted to visit this southern archipelgo island for quite some time but it's a bit far to make the journey in one day in the Finnmaster. But from our island paradise in Mefjärd it's just down the sea a bit. We thought we could dump trash, do the recycling and get fresh water as well. So off we went. We were not disappointed.  Both of us fell in love with this wonderful place. To us, it represents the best of archipelgo life. It's a large island even though we only saw a very small portion of it. The guest harbor has many slips where the tie up is easy. It costs 75 sek, about $11.00 for the day, but that includes access to fresh drinking water, the toilets and showers so if you are at sea for a long time on a larger boat, it's quite a good deal. The harbor buildings are the quintessentially red stugas that mark Sweden's landscape.  There are several places to get a little something to eat and a couple of really lovely fine dining options as well.  A small ICA grocery store was buzzing with activity and while there is no system bolaget (government liquor stores, the only place you can buy beer, wine or liquor in Sweden), the ICA did have a system whereby you could place an order and it would be delivered to the grocery store for pick-up.  We could smell the bakery from down the road and I must admit, I think the cardamom bulle I had was one of the very best I've ever had in Sweden. The bakery also offered fresh bread delivery to your boat if you placed an order. There's a shop to rent bikes, a place to play mini-golf, and of course, ice cream for sale.  I know you can rent kayaks out here as well.  The wonderful mood of summer was fully embodied on Utö.
We took a little walk up the hill to go look at the old windmill that overlooked the town. Along the way we saw rental stugas that I'm sure will be packed to the brim beginning this week-end. Most Swedes take the entire month of July off work and I'm quite positive there will be a mass exit from the city out to the country and archipelago this weekend. Everywhere we looked we found charming beauty. The view from atop the hill where the mill sat was lovely in every way.  The old windmill was in great condition and has become a familiar and important landmark for Utö.
Utö has a mining history that is quite interesting.  We saw evidence of this as we passed old mining cars, saw the mining museum and stacks of ore along the roadside. The entire time I was there, I was thinking that if someone asked for advice as to where to spend some days in the archipelago, I would definitely tell them Utö.
We bought some bubbly water and some other snacks, recycled our trash, filled out water container for the house back on Mefjärd, loaded up the goods and the dog and shoved off. The Utö church sits out on a peninsula and we figured that all summer long weddings are held in this idyllic spot. If anyone would like to get married there, we are available to perform the ceremony! We also found the ultimate swimming and diving spot!

We drove through a very narrow canal to return to the open sea and saw some of the private residences that lined the canal. I wondered if any of them would be for rent. I, for one, would love to return.