The Stockholm Archipelago: Uto
At about 7 this morning, we sailed out of Stockholm. It was a gorgeous sunny morning so I jumped out of bed, threw on some clothes and grabbed my camera. I wasn’t fast enough to see the old town of Stockholm, but I did get several photos of the coast and drank several cups of coffee in the process.
There are more than 25,000 islands in this picturesque archipelago, this afternoon we stopped and visited one: Uto.
Uto rose from the sea about 10,000 years ago. The first inhabitants were probably nomadic fisherman and hunters. A permanent population between 550 – 1050 is documented in the graveyard. Iron was mined on Uto during the 1100s in one of the oldest mines in Sweden. Now it’s a resort for Stockholmers and the year round home for about 100 people. There’s a ferry to Stockholm that takes about 40 minutes, it took our ship about five hours but we were going at a leisurely pace, and in the winter the locals drive across the frozen sea when the ice is 8 inches thick.
Our Captain has the pedal to the metal at the moment — this is the first time our ship has rocked. We’re on our way to Gotland (doesn’t that sound like the sort of place Eric Northman on True Blood comes from?).
Speaking of Vikings — they were active in this area from about 900 to 1100, the first recorded Viking raid in Britain was in 793. After 1100 they generally mixed with the locals — so we all probably have a little Viking blood. They were so successful because their long ships were fast and efficient. They could travel from Scandinavia to Iceland in about two weeks, to Britain in one. Not bad for the tenth century.