Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Baltic Summer


The Baltic is the Mediterranean!  A huge bowl of the bluest of cloudless bright blue skies sharply etched with vivid green trees and pretty houses washed white, pale yellow, red and ochre, each topped with a neat red-tiled roof, clustering around ports in the small towns and villages of Danish South Zealand. 




There is something magical about living on a boat on the water at sunset during the long twilight hours of the Baltic Summer, being part of the unfolding drama of the closing of each day.  The swifts swooping for their supper, the splash of fish jumping for theirs, the water like ripped silk, as we watch the achingly slow draining of the light as the sky turns from deepest blue to soft shades of silvery lavender, rose and the very palest of spun gold, laughter and voices drifting across the harbour; ancient, impenetrable tongues.


For days we hopped from one idyllic island to another drifting on a light breeze, exploring inlets and bays, mooring up or anchoring for long lazy lunches and a siesta, as one long, hot summer's day followed another, swimming with the fish in the clear, clean water then threading our way back precariously through the shallow inky-blue waters, reading the runes of the sea to bring us back to the relative safety of deeper waters, before  moving on to the next harbour, each one prettier than the last then slowly heading north towards Copenhagen.




Sailing into Christianshavn Kanal right in the centre of Copenhagen, and mooring up there for two days in the shadow of the brightly painted converted warehouses that line the canal, was a complete contrast and an opportunity to spend some time exploring this busy, vibrant Cosmopolitan city, dipping into museums, galleries, shops and restaurants, sampling home-made schnapps and eating freshly caught fish, before returning each evening to our own small boat, sitting in the cockpit with a glass of Aquavit watching the world go by, then rocked gently to sleep by the movement of the boat.



We tore ourselves away from Copenhagen and reluctantly left Denmark, crossing the Sound to Sweden and the somehow cooler delights of Malmo, spending a day exploring the old town, lunching in the market square and stopping off for delicious Italian ice cream before setting off the next day on the final leg of our journey, sailing under the Oresund Bridge in a very fresh wind which threatened to blow us off into the massive concrete pillars, a train rumbling overhead, then fighting the wind on a rolling swell for a while as we sailed off the coast of Southern Sweden, spending the night in a small fishing harbour smelling strongly of fish, too tired to care. 



A change in the wind the next day swept us straight into the seaside town of Ystad in Southern Sweden and, finally, time to spend with a small Swedish granddaughter, building sandcastles on the long white Baltic beach and paddling in the dark blue waters that had carried us safely here.

24 comments:

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    1. It was an amazing holiday! Thanks

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  2. I was so happy to see a response on my post The Tree from you...it meant a new blogging pal and I hold my blogging pals as dear. We lived in Beaconsfield (Bucks) for four years and I miss England every day of my life...we were there for the courtship of Diana and Charles and the birth of the the young Princes...I promise myself to go back one day...the photos here are exquisite, you really know your way around a camera!
    Sandi

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    1. I do hope you go back one day, Sandi. I'm sure you will. I was married in the same year and Diana & Charles and my 2 oldest boys were born the same year as theirs.
      Thank you for the kind comments about the photos, but sadly I know absolutely nothing about photography, other than recognising what might make a good photo. Something to learn one of these days.

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  3. Looks idyllic. We've just come back from the Baltic too. The weather was glorious - it's really beautiful there - we loved it too.

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    1. How amazing Molly. The Baltic seeing to have captured the zeitgeist at the moment as I am forever seeing references to it. Glad you had a lovely time - we found it was actually too hot at times! We shall be going back again next year as have left the boat there.

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  4. I've enjoyed the description of your time away as much as the pictures, Marianne. 'Long, hot Summer's days, swimming with the fish in clear, clean waters'... then spending time with your granddaughter on a beautiful Baltic beach sounds idyllic.

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    1. Thank you Linda - I guess I focused on the best bits. It was also trying at times and I could do another very different blog on the difficulties of living with someone in a space no bigger than a garden shed and the joys of harbour facilities...

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  5. Oh my.. what an adventure. What a brilliant way to travel. Your photos are just lovely.

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    1. It was an adventure Hilary and I'm looking forward to going back next year. The camera has to take credit for the photos as I just press a button - wish I could take pictures like yours!

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  6. That is a trip to remember – and with your lovely photos you will be able to come back to your trip many times. We also went to Copenhagen and Malmo, but I did not have a digital camera then. I took many film photos, but they are not that sharp.

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    1. It certainly is. You certainly have travelled, Vagabonde!

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  7. I'm just catching up and Oh! My! what you've been up to! We've never been to Copenhagen nor to the Baltic area in general -- your photos make it very enticing. . . .

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    1. The weather certainly helped. This was the best summer they have had for years, as it has been here in the UK. It was a great trip!

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  8. What fantastic photographs! I am mildly green with envy here. That is an area which I have always wanted to see, especially in the sunshine!

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    1. Only mildly? - must try harder with my blog then! Visiting the Baltic is a long held dream for me too Elizabeth and living on the boat certainly helped to cut the cost. Scandanavia is notorious for being expensive, but well worth it. Lovely to hear from you again - enjoy your garden x

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  9. How wonderful!
    Brings back some wonderful memories of Denmark.
    Many years ago I was in Copenhagen and other parts of Denmark.
    Loved all the great photos you shared here.

    Thanks so much for the visit and follow.

    Margie
    x

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    1. Glad the photos brought back good memories Margie. Copenhagen is very special and is now one of my favourite european cities. Looking forward to visiting again next year. Lovely to meet you x

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  10. A dream trip. The Baltic is a wonderful sea, all the countries bordering it have their own, vibrant personalities. How lucky you are to have been able to explore the shore by boat.

    I am very envious; I feel a serious urge to explore the Eastern Seas myself.

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    1. I have always been drawn to the Baltic and Scandanavia too Friko and am busy falling in love with it. Another dream come true, though never thought I would achieve this one in a small boat! Do it, find a way to go x

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  11. While Denmark is certainly familiar to me, after years of visiting my husband's family there, I've never been to Sweden. Of course we all know Ystaad from the wonderful Swedish detective series!

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    1. You have Danish connections? What a wonderful country and such friendly people. We loved our time there. Hop over the Oresund Bridge to Malmo if you ever have time and get a flavour of Sweden!

      Ystad is much prettier and more colourful in real life. A lovely seaside town.

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  12. He then skillfully surfed the waves back into safe waters to the enormous relief of all on board. Later Baltic Holidays

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