In the last blog nr 8, we mentioned that we had arrived in the top of the Swedish westcoast, at Koster, a National Park. We were so impressed by the area and unique landscape, that we decided to stay here for 5 days to explore the National Park.
This decision also had to do with the fact that I had 3 online trainingdays. Every month I give 2 online trainingdays (in Mai 17+18), and because I got a lot of requests for June, I decided to add an extra trainingday.
To give online trainings on our world trip, I prefer to be in a quiet harbour at a stable pier. Giving an online training while sailing would not be very comfortable (riding the waves and leaving Gilles to do all the sailing work!), but technically it is possible! Our own 4G router onboard still has connection 18 km out of the coast on the sea.
The other reason we stayed in the harbour of Koster for 5 days, is that we met a Dutch couple there, Gerda and Tony, with their boat that was marked with ‘Rotterdam’! So after docking our catamaran, we immediately knocked on their door to say hi, because as we mentioned, we have only seen 2 Dutch boats passing by all that time that we are sailing! Gerda and Tony were surprised, that had not met Dutch people in 1 year! They have been sailing Europe for 20 years now, it was really inspiring to talk to them and how their lives onboard have been all this time! So we had a lot of nice coffee-moments with them! Thanks for your kind message in our Guestbook, Gerda!
In Sweden the sun goes down at 23.00u this time of year, so after my online trainingday was finished, we explored the National Park of Koster on our e-bike en e-step. It’s really nice to have long summer-evenings where you can hike and cycle on the islands!
Koster consists of 2 islands, North Koster and South Koster. The islands have only 300 habitants, but the National Park is the biggest National Park in Sweden: it is a so called Maritime Park with 39.000 protected ha of sea area. The Koster fjord has a coral reef (the only one in Sweden) and a rich underwaterworld of fish and plants. We saw people snorkeling which we didn’t expect to see in Sweden! It’s comfortable to be in the water, because the watertemperature is 21 degrees! People also jump of wooden diving boards, build on the rocks, to jump in the water. And we saw people in red kayaks in the National Park, which looked great in the background of the green hills and blue sky.
We ate a famous Swedish dish for lunch, shrimps with sauce on bread. And check out the red eccentric restaurant in the harbour (‘Strandkanten – Resturang’). It’s a shop also, so you can buy all the accessories that you see!
The island of North Koster has a lot of rocks that are round shaped, they came with the glaciers in the Ice age and after the ice melted, they are left here, looking like a long string of stone balls, in all sizes, from 10 meters to 10 centimeters. On top of the island there were 2 lighthouses from 1837, really nicely preserved in retrolook. And with the sunset starting, we had a great view over the National Park with all the little islands. A lot of the roads on North Koster are sandy, no concrete, cars are not allowed. So people drive golf carts. Not a lot to directions and clear paths, you really feel like an explorer this way. We accidentally ended up in someone’s garden with a big Swedish villa in Pippi Langkous style, including a swimmingpool!
Our boat was in the harbour of Nord Koster and we also wanted to cycle on the island of South Koster. Then you have to use a small ferry (max 6 people) and since it was low season (1st of July Swedish holidays start), the habitants had to use the automatic ferry themselves without a ‘captain’. So no time schedule, you had to wait for habitants who wanted to cross over to the other island and then you could join them. For free. Since we wanted to be independent, and not have to wait for hours for habitants to use the ferry, we decided to take our dinghy. This is the small boat we have at the back of the catamaran. You can compare it to a car when you look at your sailboat as your house: for small distances or to do shopping, you don’t move your whole house, but you use the dinghy. On the island of South Koster we saw some wooden saunas at the beach that are open to everyone. On this island there were 2 little harbours, mainly used by fishermen.
After 5 days, we left the lovely National Park. It’s so nice to be in nature, no car sounds, no city noises. Just walk and cycle around with views on the Koster fjord.