Today we had the opportunity to visit the island of Utö, an island in the Swedish Archipelago, which consists of thousands of islands, some large and some small, and all very much loved by the locals. Many small houses are to be seen among the Scotts pine trees, lovely Sunday and vacation houses, away from the bustle of the city. Upon arriving to the island I never thought there would much of anything, especially houses, or nice boat docks, as the island does not look industrialized at all.
Utö has a popular old iron mine that was worked even by the Vikings since the year 800 you can walk and explore. Of course, it is abandoned now, full of groundwater. There is a quaint little museum next door with a great variety of minerals and the history of the mine. I decided, however, to rent a bike and cruise through the small island. It was perfect; exactly what I needed to get away from everyone, the ship, the group, and just be, on my own. I turned on my ipod, put in my headphones, and rode off into nature, without a clue where I was or where I was going. I tried to follow and keep track of my path on the map, but since it was in Swedish, it was somewhat difficult. I do know that the road to the beach I was trying to get was closed off because on that particular day locals were shooting in the fields. Interesting right? The island was beautiful though. I rode through empty two lane roads surrounded by tall dark green trees of some kind, viewed some fields with horses roaming, saw a few houses, and road parallel to the sea where the boats were docked. Surprisingly, there were many speed and fishing boats, though none out on the water. I also learned that this island is a popular place for students to come for the summer and work from larger areas of Sweden, like Stockholm. I was surprised because I only saw on family, and no young teenagers hanging out anywhere.
At midday we left Utö Island and began our leisurely ride to Stockholm. By early afternoon we were near the city and stopped the ship where we lowered the Zodiacs and began our leisurely ride into the city along a lovely waterway/park, built by one of the Swedish kings, where, of course, levies were taxed upon all those entering the city.