Southern Gothenburg Archipelago

It’s been a whirlwind of a time here. Mum has been staying for a few days and we explored the city – parks, museums, nooks and crannies and the Southern Gothenburg Archipelago. The later is truly lovely – it’s a collection of little islands – for the most part free of cars and dotted with houses and surrounded by bobbing fishing boats, sailing boats and yachts. We cycled out to Saltholmen to catch the ferry, bicycles and all and then cycled round the islands.

It’s pretty easy to get across to the islands. You can get tram number 11 from the city centre right out to Saltholmen. Ferries leave regularly so you can just turn up and hop on one. If you’re more of a cyclist you can cycle out there and take your bike on with you although they may charge you 10 kroner (about 80p) for each bike and they’ll only let you take them on if they have room. We didn’t get charged or turned away so I guess that’s when it’s busy. You can see people from the mainland taking all sorts of things across with them and there are a variety of transport options on each island depending on the size. My favourite was Asperö because the inhabitants use wheelbarrows to transport their stuff from the ferry home. You can see them as you stop off there, all leaning against one another waiting to be used.

We stopped off at Styrso, one of the larger islands and cycled around getting a feel for the place. We’d read that cars weren’t used on island so we were disappointed to find that there were vans and cars driving around – however there weren’t many and lots of people were using bikes or golf carts as well as mopeds with huge trays stuck on the front. We saw this ingenious vehicles being used for everything from grannies to babies, from wheelbarrows to shopping and we came away determined to have our own! We cycled over the bridge to Brännö – a smaller island with a noticeable fishing community and cycled round until we found a little spot by the sea where we could look at the jelly fish and marvel at the people swimming. There seemed to be a real sense of community on the islands from the little we saw although from what I’ve read the population doubles in the summer months. Other interesting facts about the island – they were apparently used from Holmgangs or duels by vikings/Norsemen about 1000 years ago.

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