Graves from the past, a few old castles and a bunch of rolling classes

After a week of classes at Green Island in Stockholm, Mark and I had a few days off before our next classes in southern Sweden. We decided to head down the coast slowly.

First we stopped in Stegeborg, a small town nestled in the hills. The town consists of a hotel, a restaurant and a castle. The hotel links to the restaurant and castle by a two kilometer walking trail through the hills. We found it to be a wonderful place to relax, and the self-guided audio tour of the castle was a fun treat before we headed south to S:t Anna.

The Stegeborg Castle.

S:t Anna is a region on the east coast of Sweden that is well-known for its stunning archipelago. We were warmly greeted by the crew at S:t Anna Kajak and given some local knowledge of our surroundings. We spent the afternoon playing, by kayak, in the archipelago and enjoying the scenery. Upon our return to shore, we chatted more with the crew while cooling off with an ice-cream.

A rest stop in the archipelago.

Abundant wildlife in the archipelago.

Enjoying the day.

Next we continued south to Oskarshamn, a harbor town with ferries that run to the two islands off the east coast. We stayed the night there, and then traveled further south to Kalmar, a charming town with a lively square and a large castle of its own. We spent the afternoon exploring and then drove across the bridge to an island called Oland.

The castle in Kalmar.

Once on the island we headed north and took in the view of the mainland from Borgholm’s fun harbor before meeting up with Johan Wirsén, a kayak designer (kayaks such as the Tahe Greenland and the Wind can be credited to him). Johan is also a good friend of ours, and it was fantastic to see him.

Graves from the past.

We spent the day catching up with Johan, and the following day he took us on a tour of Oland. We visited old graves, churches, village ruins, numerous beaches and looked over Johan’s large collection of kayaks. We also stopped at a tasty seafood restaurant for herring, a popular fish in Sweden.

Johan shares some local knowledge with Mark.

A windmill on Oland.

After a wonderful visit with Johan we made our way south to the town of Karlshamn. We ran three classes on a gorgeous (and warm) lake amongst the company of a fantastic group of people.

Classes in Karlshamn.

Talking about the finer points of rolling.

The next day we went to Malmo, a town in southern Sweden that sits on the border of Denmark. It was lots of fun to run classes with a spectacular view of Copenhagen in the distance, while being surrounded by Malmo’s unique architecture.

A little yoga.

Rolling, rolling, rolling.

After the weekend of classes we made our way up the west coast to Billdal and visited with friends Mikael and Jessica before hopping in the van to begin the long drive through Norway, to Lofoten, an area just north of the Arctic Circle.

Zegul Man is becoming increasingly popular...

Photos by Helen and Mark.

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