Waiting for the tide

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Where I stayed
Brofästet Hotell & Konferens
What I did
Took it easy

Flag of Sweden  , Småland and Blekinge,
Monday, June 13, 2011

We left Stockholm behind after another late start because of my bloody credit card bank in HK (Bank of East Asia) who seem to have a diary note that it's time to reject my card and give me grief. They did it in New Delhi in April, then in Bangkok in May and now in Stockholm in June. It seems no matter how many times I tell them I'm travelling and will fire them when I return if they upset me again, they seem to ignore me. I'll fix them when I get back. I have been with them over 25 years and this past 2 years they have been proper rotters.

After what seemed a short stint on a motorway our SatNav took us on the coastal route. I hesitated and kept Susan on the motorway for some further distance but then at a critical point, surrendered to the route chosen after having checked that I had specified 'the fast route'. Hoping to be compensated with good scenery for the slow 'local' traffic we got neither and I'm happy to say we managed to make the trip at an average speed of 93 kph. We even left the road at Vastervik in search of the Baltic Sea scenery. Having found it but not a parking place to look at the sea and have a coffee we returned to the road.

In Kalmar the matter of urgency, requiring a call to UK, was to check if my request to change our ferry to Klaipeda in Lithuania from 17th to 15th was okay. However, the cost of changing again was not going to rise to E227 (on top of the E40 I paid for the earlier change and the original cost of E263 I paid when I first booked in May). Resolving to stay 4 more days in Sweden we (or at least Susan) settled down for a nap after the drive. I started looking for a hotel for the extra 3 nights. I believe I found a great spot near Kristianstad but will reserve judgement until I can verify it is as good as it looked on the internet.

Further research at reception has turned up a tennis club only at the back of the hotel where we can hire a court for ONLY SEK 140/hour. At this rate the further move from Stockholm the closer we will get to HK$75 per hour. I just hope we don't have to be as far as Lithuania. Susan may suffer withdrawal ....

Before dinner we bagged another very impressive castle ...a real slott this time. The pictures speak for themselves of this castle which in 1391 accommodated the forming of the Kalmar Union, a major political event in Scandinavian history. The grazing geese and screeching sea gulls all seemed very much at home as they probably have through the centuries. The adjoining cemetery and chapel are in themselves both mysterious and settling. Before leaving I took some video footage and hope it can survive our trip.

 Kalmar is a very old port town on Kalmar Sound which offers sailors a protected passage inside Oland (with 2 dots over the 'O' which makes for the English 'is' in island but is pronounced Urland) and the mainland.

Dinner was taken at what must be the best place in town as it was packed while most other were either closed or poorly patronised. The food as always was photographed before being consumed. 

Our after dinner stroll revealed the Gamla Stan (the old town) is full of cobbled streets ( a nightmare for Susan's high heels), quaint boutique shops and stores and historical buildings and sculptures some dating from the 15th century. Leaving tomorrow obliged us to see as much as possible until 2230. Tomorrow we'll go over to Oland ( with the 2 dots) before heading south to our last accommodation in Sweden and, for that matter, Scandinavia.

Reviewing this now makes me wonder if I have too many pictures and video and just how much the host will allow me. Oh well! It runs out when it runs out......back to my uselessly soft European pillow and room without a fridge or air-con.


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