Lauren and I just got back from another adventure…. to Sweden!  We visited with a very good friend who has family there.  What a wonderful country, and a great trip (and sailing, too)!

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This was the last time we saw a real sunset for the week.  It doesn’t really get dark in Sweden in the summer.  You can seriously read a book outside at 2am.

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Went on a beautiful hike up a forest covered hill to an overlook.  The lake is studded with rocky islands, and makes for a wonderful sail (but you need to pay attention to the tiller).  The hill sides are covered in small blueberry plants, unfortunately we were a couple weeks early for them, though.

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Our friend’s family has a Shipman 28 that we spent four out our seven days on.  Very nice boat, quite a bit more spacious than the Marieholm (except in the cockpit)!  It definitely felt like a ‘bigger’ boat.  Being my first real ‘big’ boat experience, I fell in love.  Scary to heel that much boat over to 30 degrees, but I got used to it.

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Speaking of a ‘bigger’ boat, we visited the Vasa Museum in Stockholm.  This was a very well done museum, but it felt sort of funny.  The Vasa was built by the Swedish in 1628, sailed 1500 meters and promptly fell over and sank.  This was mainly due to the lack of proper ballast in the keel, and that the boat was too tall for its own good (blame the politicians for adding too many cannons).  It was recovered in 1961, and is preserved quite well.  It is quite impressive to see most of a HUGE tall ship sitting inside a building, and there is some great naval history on display.

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Lauren found a Citroen 2CV!  Really I found it, and she snuck in the picture.

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Stockholm was a very unique city, with great architecture.  We only spent one day here, but we could have easily spent the whole week.

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We took two days to sail to Strängnäs, a beautiful, small town about 25NM away.  We got some clouds and rain on the way, but they passed quickly.  It was warm enough, with very little wind, that we could stand outside, get wet, and watch the wonderful patterns on the water.

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Strängnäs is a gorgeous little town with lots of old red buildings.  The ‘Falu red’ wood finish is seen all over Sweden and comes from a byproduct of a local copper mine.  It has worked it’s way into Swedish tradition.  Very pretty with the black roofs.

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We spent the night in the Strängnäs harbor.  Beautiful ‘sunset’, and a nice place to tie up.  My first night on a boat, and I slept like a rock!

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Sweden is full of great sailing spots, and we can’t wait to return on our own boat.

On our way home, we had the opportunity to either a) spend the night in the Paris airport during our 12 hour layover, or b) get out and explore the city in the middle of the night. As you can see, we chose option b!

We visited the Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. It was kind of eerie having the city (almost) to ourselves, but we had a great time.

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All in all, a great trip. It’s good to be back, but we’re already planning our next sailing adventure.