The Stockholm archipelago

Sometimes you just hit the jackpot. And for once, we did with this cabin on the water’s edge on an inlet about ten miles from the centre of Stockholm.

I can draw a line under last year’s shabby dark flat in the Pyrenees with the tree growing over the window where it rained all the time and sit on the deck in the sunshine and be grateful … and maybe just a tiny little bit smug.

I was looking for accommodation when it dawned on me that it could well be hot and that there would be long hours of daylight. I chanced upon this property online and persuaded my husband that it made better sense to hire a car to come here rather than be cooped up in a fourth floor flat in the middle of the city.

It’s a cleverly designed cabin with a small double bedroom, and open plan living and kitchen area furnished in a classically simple Scandinavian style. It’s full of light, the walls are white washed tongue and groove and there’s a smooth polished granite floor. It’s just perfect for holiday living. Outside we have a deck, our own mooring area and a rowing boat to explore the inlet and the creek. The owners live next door but far enough away so we don’t disturb each other. The neighbouring house, on the other side, was once a location in Fanny and Alexander, an Ingmar Bergen film.

I promise we have been into Stockholm but the only snag is that it’s hard to drag ourselves away from the view, the tranquillity the and the peace and quiet. The owner told us all the guests say that when they arrive.

But when we do get ourselves together, it’s actually easy. We drive to Hasseludden, where the ferry stops through birch woods, fields covered in wild flowers and pastel coloured clapperboard houses. There is apple blossom, the lilac is out and so are the rhododendrons. As it’s further north, everything is a little later than in London.

On a jetty, there is a white metal circle on top of a pole to use as semaphore. We pull a chain to switch it to vertical and the boat stops for us. A notice says if it’s dark, to signal with a light. It’s a bit puzzling as there are so many boats from different companies going up and down and sometimes they are a bit late so you are not too sure if they have seen the sign or not. There’s no nice electronic sign telling you when the next boat is.

We can go into the centre of Stockholm which takes half an hour or go the other way out into the Archipelago and explore little islands. The ferries are the lifeblood of these far flung communities and we vow to come back another summer  and island hop.

The first time on the boat, we bought a five day tripper pass from Waxholmsbolaget. You get a non refundable blue plastic card just like an Oystercard for 20SK and then we paid 425SK for the five days. It’s very good value. When you get on a boat, you tell them your stop, put your card onto a reader and it prints out a yellow paper ticket that you give to the crew member when you disembark.

Author: Kate Roxburgh

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