Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Saturday July 4th, Stockholm archipelago

     I slept like a rock. I woke at 11:17 and it was still light -- not bright, but the sky was light.  Woke again around 2 and there was still light in the sky.  Got up at 7:45. I walked down to the water (the Baltic sea), a walk of perhaps 400 steps (thanks, FitBit, whose battery has since died and the charger is in Indiana, or lost).  I then returned to the house and ate breakfast and read.
     Karl and Maude got three bicycles ready and we rode to a restored shop captain's house where the community was having an "Antiques Roadshow" type event. This was approximately 2 km (1 mile or so) from the house. It was a rather warm day, maybe close to 80 degrees? It was very interesting, and Maude and other bystanders made sure we knew what was being said.  At least in this part of Sweden almost everyone our age and younger speaks very good English.  In fact, we are spoken to initially in English nearly as often as Swedish. I guess we look like American tourists!
     We rode back to the house and had a lunch of herring, ham, cheese, salad, boiled potatoes, and fruit. We cleaned the kitchen, and made a picnic lunch to take to Wira Bruk. I think it took about an hour or so to get there but it may have been longer. It's between Blidö and Stockholm.  If you're wondering about the terrain, I'd say it is rocky, gently rolling, and agricultural/forest.
     Wira Bruk was a community of blacksmiths that made weapons for the King's soldiers from the 15th - 19th centuries.  It's now a open-air museum.  On this night, however, there was a special play. It was a story of the community trying to find a new master blacksmith, and it was a love story, too.  Live music, horses, singing and dancing--it was a very well rehearsed performance. It was in an open amphitheater and we sat on tiered wooden benches. Even though it was in Swedish it was easy enough to follow the story. Refreshments were available but most people had brought a picnic dinner.  This was the opening night, and to open the play, a speech was made by the United States Ambassador to Sweden! His 6 year old daughter was one of the children in the play. Afterwards we caught up with him and had our photo taken with him.
     We got back to the house around 10 or so and were quickly greeted by Astrid, an 9 year old girl whose family was renting the summer home adjacent to Maude's and Lars'. I guess I should mention that Lars is still in the US but will be in Sweden next week, so we will meet him then. Astrid was very anxious to try out the English words she'd learned in school. She went home around 11 p.m.and we went to bed.  Saturday's photos can be found here.

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