It’s day eight at sea. For the past week, we have sailed along the eastern coast of Gotland, visiting small fishing harbors and idyllic villages. We’ve had rain, we’ve had sun. Incredibly hard winds, followed by non-existent winds. My socks have been dry but they have also been completely wet.
It has been a ride – and at the same time, it feels as if I’ve been on holiday. A different kind but nevertheless, a holiday. Every new village and harbor we visit gives something new to see. We’ve seen some incredible nature (that reminds me of Norway, Ireland and Greece at the same time) and met some nice pub owners.
One of the best things to do in a new harbor after a long day of sailing is to eat ice cream. So simple, so enjoyable. However, finding ice cream can become tricky – these small idyllic villages we stay in for a night or two have their own way of doing things. In one of the harbors, the nearest grocery store is four kilometers away and only open until 6 PM. In another, the flea market that sells ice cream is open only when the owner feels like it.
Despite the challenges in ice cream hunt, these small places have been nice – as long as we stay there for a short amount of time. Otherwise, the place can start feeling too small. It’s a relief to know, that we are only passing by. Many of these people, however, are staying here all year around. I wonder how they do it.
The Italians, who serve pasta carbonara at their restaurant in a small fishing harbor. Of all the places, how did they end up there?
The owner-lady of the tiny grocery store where every item is still registered manually by number series. Is this her life work? What will happen to the store when she retires?
The woman who instructs a yoga class at her house every Thursday at 7 PM. A slice of something exotic in an otherwise traditional Swedish society?
I realize that I live a very different life now than they do. It takes time to adjust to the thought.
But before I have time to think about these people too much, we move on to the next place. The people stay in their idyllic houses, keep on their day-to-day lives while we raise the sails and head out to sea.
(Although, next up we have a 30-hour sailing trip ahead of us to the next island if the weather treats us nicely. That island is supposed to have a colony of seals – we’ll see if it’s true.)