Sweden - Archipelago

by Kimp 2. September 2012 04:42

Photo Blog

I used to think that a person needed to be rich, to live on an Island. When in fact, most of the people who live on Islands are working class people, small business owners, or educators. Carpenters, Electricians, Plumbers, Laborers, Transporters, Teachers, store and restaurant owners, fishermen, etc. Someone needs to maintain all of the infrastructure, and services and someone needs to educate the children.
An archipelago is a geographical formation consisting of a large cluster of Islands.
Sweden has the second largest archipelago in the world, however it's only slightly smaller then Finland's. And Sweden's is near the main land. Sweden's consists of 30,000 Islands and is in the vicinity of Stockholm. Stockholm itself is built on top of five of the Archipelago's largest Islands.
This is a really nice peaceful place to visit. Most of the Islands don't have any cars, just ATV's, bicycles, friendly people and nature.
Sweden ensures that all of its children have the right to an education. Some of these Islands have a school on them. The kids are transported to and from the other islands to the school by school boat when it's calm. When is it rough, they transport via school hover craft. And when it's really bad and they have run out of snow days, they transport via school helicopter.
Trash pickup was pretty cool to watch. They have a trash barge that gets moved from dock to dock. It has a little miniature garbage truck on it, that drives onto the island to make the trash run, then comes back onto the barge, dumps and moves onto the next island.
A ferry boat service that makes runs, to transport people from Island to Island, or to and from the main land. I rode the Ferry service from Stockholm to an Island named Ingmarso, near the northern edge. It was about a 3 1/2 hour ride one way. I could see on the ships GPS, that it wasn't stopping at all of the Island dock's on the way there. Some Island's we would just drive on by, but I could see the docks on them. I was told when I got on, to let the conductor know where I wanted to get off, which I had done, so I was sure it was going to stop at Ingmarso.
What I didn't realize until I was about to disembark, was how to tell the ferry to stop, to pick me up, when I am on the dock. So as I am about to get off, I asked one of the local women if I needed to signal the ferry to stop at the Ingmarso dock. What she said was "I think it will stop there, it's kind of a popular Island.". Just then the conductor is signaling me, "like dude, if you're getting off, you'd better hurry, cause we're pulling out, right now!". So I jumped onto the dock, just as the captain put it in reverse, and floored it. As the boat was pulling away, I was thinking that I probably should have asked a different question, like "If I need to signal the boat to stop at a dock, how do I do that?".
The whole time I was there, I had visions of standing on the dock and watching the ferry drive right on by. Then asking someone on the Island, how do I signal the next ferry to stop at this dock. And being told "Dude, I am so sorry, that was the last ferry run of the Fall season, the next one isn't coming Spring. ".  But I didn't worry about it to much, cause I figured some Swedish women would take me in. I'm certain, that I wouldn't have been, the first certified American dumb ass, to have gotten stuck on that island.
When it was time to leave, the ferry pulled up to the dock without a signal from me. I either got lucky or God was looking out for me once again.



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