The beautiful island of Aspö is just over the water from our own little island, and we often look at it as we go on our hikes. In the summer months there is a boat that can take foot passengers and cyclist, directly between the 2 islands. However, unlike our island, it is cut off from the mainland, and can only be reached by ferry. All year round there is a free car ferry that takes around 25 minutes, from Karlskrona (a 20 minute drive for us). In the summer this is very popular. There are a lot of ferries in the summertime, sailing between many more of the archipelago’s islands, making exploring the area a lot easier. This one sails all year round, meaning that we could set out exploring the archipelago that we have moved to a little. The forecast was sunny, with no wind, and temperatures just nudging into the plus!! The adventure was on 🙂
The first part of our trip to Aspö was an adventure in itself for the children. Driving the car onto the ferry, and then sitting in it for the crossing. These types of ferries are very common across Scandinavia (it’s made up of so many islands!). They go across fjords and either cut journey times (by making it unnecessary to drive all the way round the end of a fjord), or connect totally isolated islands, such as Aspö. The children thought this was amazing fun, and sat and ate their packed lunches while enjoying the view out over the totally calm and flat fjord.
The plan for our day on Aspö was to visit their castle first, and have a wander around that, and then head out on a hike. The best way to explore Aspö is on foot or by bike. Lots of countryside and not many roads, and only small ones at that. We had packed our supper between 5 rucksacks, and we were planning to cook it on an open fire. Drottningskär Citadel was built in the 17th Century, and is very unique in that it remains undamaged and unchanged, since it has never been attacked. Its main purpose was, together with Kungsholm Fortress on an island opposite, to defend Karlskrona’s sea approach. Karlskrona being the new home (back then) of the Swedish navy. It is a beautiful place. You can wander around all of it (for free), and there is also a very formal dining restaurant in part of it. The children loved running through the long upstairs living quarters, going up and down the dark and wonky tunnelled steps to discover the different parts of the castle, and going round the ramparts at the top (with no railings we had a firm grasp of our fast moving, always tripping over each other twins!!). It was lovely and peaceful, calming, and the views were stunning.
After our castle visit, it was time to head off exploring the island on foot for a hike. We decided to head through the forest on the north west side of the island. The views, as usual, were stunning, and we walked 3km before emerging out onto a rocky view point overlooking the sea back towards our island one way, and Karlskrona city the other way.
Some thoughtful soul, had even placed tree stump stools, so you can sit and enjoy the view! This was the mid point on our hike (the return leg would be going back along the way we came), so it was here I was hoping to find a fire pit, and I was not disappointed. Dadda set about getting a fire going, while I sorted out the food. The supper menu was hot dogs, corn on the cobs, and tortilla chips, followed up by our fire cones (marshmallows, banana, and chocolate in waffle ice cream cones) and I had remembered the tin foil this time!! We had taken flasks of hot squash and hot chocolate with us. While we were cooking, the children had an abundance of trees to climb, and set about trying to conquer as many as they could.
The return leg of the hike was done a bit quicker, due to the fact that tummies were full, and also Dadda and I had our eyes on the clock, aware that if we missed the 6pm ferry we’d have an hour’s wait until the next one at 7pm, with three tired little people! We’d had a really good adventure, and all three little people had loved it too. We managed to catch the 6pm ferry and enjoyed the sun setting over the fjord while it sailed back. I can’t wait for the summer season when more ferries start up and we get to explore more of our own archipelago. The boat from our island will allow us to go for a cycling adventure over on Aspö too, which will be fun.