Thirty-third Lighthouse Expedition
July 5-21, 1999
Sweden with the United States Lighthouse Society
On the tour with us were: John Armacost of Marysville, OH; Jayne Clement of Kalamazoo, MI; Ken & Nettie Denton of Gig Harbor, WA; George & Bridget Doerner of Arlington Heights, IL; E. Fraser of Ocean City, NJ; Ursula Hemmerich of Grand Junction, CO; Dorothy Jarczynski of Clinton Twp., MI; Nancy Johnsen of Minneapolis, MN; Ken & Lois Johnson of Pasadena, CA; Roger & Betty Johnson of Rockford, IL; Helen Martin of Fair Oaks, CA; Shirley Reeve of Rochester Hills, MI; Janet Pergl of Binghamton, NY; Ted & Betty Schutz of Belleair, FL; Butch Skaar of Alameda, CA; Lila Small of Des Plaines, IL; Bob & Joan Smith of Shelby Twp., MI; Dave Snyder of Alameda, CA; Roger & Genna Wangsness of Folkston, GA; Marlene Wood of Coldwater, MI; and Nancy Younger of El Cajon, CA.
July 5, 1999, Monday
- 10:40 am (EDST)
- Left home.
- 1:45 pm
- Lunch at Cracker Barrel near Benton Harbor.
- 4:45 pm (CDST)
- Arrived at Hampton Inn in Chicago near O’Hare Airport.
- 7:00 pm
- Ate dinner at the Encore Restaurant and returned to hotel at 8:00 pm.
July 6, 1999, Tuesday
- 10:30 am
- Left Hampton Inn. Don took the car next door to the Thrifty Car Park and they took us to O’Hare Airport.
- 11:30 am
- We arrived at the airport with lots of time to kill. We had a pop, lunch, I bought a book and some gum, another pop, then ice cream (the first of many on this trip). The SAS counter finally opened so we could get rid of our luggage. We did lots of people watching, and read Sweden information and I read a lot in my book. We met the other people traveling with the USLHS at the gate about 3:30.
- 4:30 pm
- We finally boarded our SAS flight 946 and left Chicago. The video screen was very interesting to watch as it showed the flight direction on a map so we knew where we were. It was a nice clear day and it was fun to see the Wisconsin coast line and then Michigan and the islands near the straits as we flew over them. We continued north over Ontario and then Greenland. The sun never completely set during the 8 hour flight. We had snacks, dinner and breakfast on board. We flew 4,280 miles.
July 7, 1999, Wednesday
- 7:55 am (Stockholm time.)
- Arrived at the Arlanda Airport.
- 8:35 am
- We left the airport with our guide, Ann. She told us about Stockholm as we drove into the city. Stockholm is a city built on 14 islands.
- 10:20 am
- We arrived and toured City Hall. It was beautiful and very interesting. It was built between 1911 and 1923. The architect used many special techniques to tell the history of Sweden and Stockholm. The art work was beautiful. This is the building where the Nobel Prize banquet and awards are held each year. We toured more of Stockholm stopping one other time on a high ridge where we could get a panoramic view of the city.
- 12:30 pm
- We arrived at our hotel, First Hotel Amaranten. We were VERY tired, having lost a nights sleep. We took a nap, showered and left the hotel at 2:30 to walk around Stockholm and do some shopping.
- 5:30 pm
- Returned to the hotel.
- 7:00 pm
- We met the USLHS group in the hotel dining room for dinner. Everyone introduced themselves and told how they got interested in lighthouses, their affiliation with the USLHS, etc. This was our first trip with Dave Snyder as our leader and we could already tell it was going to be fun! We also found out that Nancy Y. is the founder of Harbor Lights. We ate dinner with Jayne who has a business making counted cross stitch kits of lighthouses and Marlene who works for the library at a university in Ohio. It was Lila’s birthday, so her dessert had a candle in it and she was given a birthday card signed by all as we sang "Happy Birthday."
July 8, 1999, Thursday
- 8:00 am
- We had breakfast at the hotel. Quite a spread!
- 9:00 am
- We boarded our bus with Rebeka as our guide for the day.
- 9:40 am
- Arrived at the VASA Museum for a tour. The VASA ship was built as a war ship between 1625-28. She sunk on her maiden voyage 20 minutes after leaving port! She obviously was not designed right! She was salvaged in 1961 and many years were spent in restoring her. The current museum was completed in 1991. The carvings on the ship are incredible.
- 10:30 am
- We toured the Finngrundet Lightship located just outside the museum. It was built in 1903 and decommissioned in 1969. She was anchored 40 miles from shore, NE of Gavoe. She was lengthened and a radio added in 1927. Starting in 1940, she was also used as a weather station. We were able to see the bunks where the 8 crewmen slept. We also climbed the 33 steps to the light tower.
- 11:00 am
- We toured the Sankt Erik a Baltic Sea ice breaker built in 1915 and in operation until 1977. Twenty-five to thirty crew lived on board. She is 195′ long and 55′ at the breadth. We also saw the crew and captain’s quarters and the bridge. There is a beautifully restored dining room which seats 24 and can be rented out for dinners.
- 12:00 pm
- From the ships we walked to the SKANSEN Outdoor Museum. This is similar to Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI. We saw two farm houses of the early 1800’s – one of an average farmer and the other of a wealthy farmer. The paintings on the walls inside the second farm house were beautiful. We were very limited on time, so did not get a chance to see much more of the museum.
- 1:10 pm
- The bus picked us up and we returned to the hotel. We changed into shorts as it was quite warm and left about 1:40 pm to walk to the Hard Rock Cafe – a good 25 min. from the hotel. We had lunch and bought our kids T-shirts.
- 3:00 pm
- We left the Hard Rock Cafe and headed back toward the shopping area of Stockholm and of course, did some shopping. We kept walking until we got into "Old Town." We found interesting shops there.
- 5:00 pm
- We left "Old Town" and headed back to the hotel in a different direction. By that time we were walking a little slower and arrived back at the hotel at 5:30.
- 7:00 pm
- We had dinner with the group at the hotel – salad, salmon, cold potato salad, and dessert. We sat with George and Bridget. Today was Jayne’s 75th birthday. She got a candle in her dessert tonight, the birthday song, and a Viking hat presented to her by Dave.
- 9:00 pm
- We returned to the room to rest up for another big day tomorrow.
July 9, 1999, Friday
- 8:15 am
- We enjoyed another great breakfast bar at the hotel.
- 9:15 am
- We left the hotel on the bus to go to the boat dock.
- 10:00 am
- The boat Stömma Kanal left the dock in Stockholm. We had a 3 1/4 hr boat trip through Stockholm and the archipelago – 24,000 islands stretching into the Baltic Sea. We passed through very narrow passage ways – some just a few feet wider than the boat. Many people live year round on the islands, and many are just there for the summer. Some of the islands are connected to the mainland by bridges. Don stayed in the bow of the boat (he likes fresh air) and I sat in the cabin with George & Bridget, Betty & Ted and Gunnar Holmvquist, our Swedish guide for the rest of the trip. Ann was the guide on the boat trip and she gave many interesting facts during the voyage. We passed a Marshall Fredericks sculpture on the river bank in front of the Erickson building. Mr. Fredericks was from Birmingham, MI and is the one who did the sculpture on the front of our church as well as many in the Detroit area, including the "Spirit of Detroit."
- 1:15 pm
- We arrived on the island of Sandham. We had a quick lunch of hot dogs and pop and found the bakery and got some sweets. We walked around the little village and saw many red and yellow cottages – some with pretty courtyards and flowers. We climbed a big rock and enjoyed a wonderful view. It was a lovely little island.
- 3:10 pm
- We left Sandham. Part of the route back was a little different. Don rode on the top deck and I wandered around visiting with Lois, Lila, George & Bridget, and Roger & Genna who own a B & B. Their former foreign exchange student from Norway, Hannah, was on the trip with us. She now lives in Stockholm.
- 6:45 pm
- We were back at the hotel. Dinner was on our own. We ate in the restaurant connected to the hotel with Ken & Nettie, John, Nancy J, Janet and Dave.
- 8:30 pm
- We returned to the room as we needed to pack to leave Stockholm bright and early in the morning.
July 10, 1999, Saturday
- 6:00 am
- Due to our early departure time, the normal breakfast bar wasn’t open yet, so we received a sack "breakfast" of sandwiches, apple juice, yogurt and apple.
- 6:30 am
- The bus left Stockholm with Roland as our driver for the rest of the trip. Another beautiful day.
- 7:40 am
- We arrived at the village of Herrhamra to catch the ferry to Öja.
- 8:30 am
- The ferry boat, Romania, left the dock.
- 9:00 am
- We arrived in Landsort. Lars Öhström met us to give us the history and a tour of the Landsort Lighthouse. His father was the last keeper there in 1963. Landsort is also a pilot station as this is the entrance for large ships into the Stockholm Harbor. The SJOFARTSVERKET is similar to our U. S. Coast Guard but without as many powers and is not as military in nature. They are in charge of the lighthouses, pilot stations and iceboats. This location is the first one mentioned in Swedish history in 1200. Lars pointed out the other buildings and keepers’ dwellings in the area. There are also WWII gun bunkers still visible. Thirty-five people live on the island year round and about 300 during the summer. Lars is a commercial ship captain. His 5 week route takes him to Europe, Canada, and the USA. Then he has 5 weeks off. We took the path to the lighthouse. Electricity came to the lighthouse in 1938 and it was automated in 1963. The present structure was rebuilt in 1870. Two guns are still on the south side of the light and they were used as the fog signals until 1918. We climbed the 97 steps to the top of the light and were able to walk around the outside of the tower at 2 levels. Afterwards we walked back into the village. While walking around the village, we came upon the Landsort Harbor Light. This light is typical of numerous minor and harbor lights found all around Sweden, especially in the archipelagos. The island of Landsort has a web site at www.landsort.com.
- 11:00 am
- The ferry left for the mainland. We arrived back at the bus at 11:30.
- 1:15 pm
- We had lunch at a "Route 66" restaurant. A Swedish man, who lived in America for awhile, liked the motif and built these "American" restaurants in Sweden. We lunched with Roger & Betty and left at 2:25.
- 3:45 pm
- We stopped for ice cream and pop along the highway next to a pretty lake.
- 4:05 pm
- On the road again. Gunnar gave us lots of Swedish and Scandinavian history during the day as well as pointing out interesting spots along the way.
- 6:45 pm
- We arrived at the FIRST Hotel Witt in Kalmar.
- 7:00 pm
- Dinner was on our own. We walked into town with Robert & Genna and ate at the Kröger restaurant. (No, it wasn’t a grocery store but a nice pub and restaurant.) We were disappointed they were out of salmon. Don had fish and chips and I had the traditional Swedish fresh shrimp sandwich. After dinner we walked through town. We found a pretty garden with ponds and beautiful flowers as we headed toward Kalmar Castle. It was getting towards dusk and hard to take pictures. We returned to the hotel at 9:45.
July 11, 1999, Sunday
- 8:00 am
- We had breakfast at the hotel in Kalmar.
- 9:00 am
- Our bus left Kalmar. We had a photo stop at Kalmar Castle. The water was still and the reflection was beautiful.
- 9:15 am
- We took the bridge to the island of Öland. About 25,000 people live on the island located in the Baltic Sea. The island has been ruled by the Danish, Russians and Swedes. The bridge from the mainland was completed in 1972. There are three flowers in Sweden found only on this island.
- 10:00 am
- We arrived at the Strandborg Tourist & Conference Center, where we dropped off our luggage. We then drove further north to the town of Sandvik where we took two boats to the Dämman Lighthouse, built in 1873 and located in Kalmar Sound. We were greeted by the chef and 2 waitresses with champagne. Mr. Häkan Cederberg is the owner of the lighthouse and he is turning it into an island hotel. We met on the deck and he explained his renovation project to us. The lighthouse can sleep 20 people and should be completed this summer. The breakwall surrounding the lighthouse and the helicopter pad will take 2-3 more years. We each received a packet which included a calendar, post cards, etc. They also had T-shirts for sale. We had a wonderful lunch at one long glass table in the dining room, an addition to the original building. At our end of the table were Butch (he grew up near Hixton, WI near Alma Center and Chippewa Falls, where my mother was from), Jayne, Fraser and Nancy J. (who also knows where Chippewa Falls and Alma Center are located.)
- 2:15 pm
- We left the lighthouse after a tour of the building and took the boats back to Sandvik. The bus headed to the northern tip of the island.
- 3:50 pm
- We arrived at the Långe Erik Lighthouse. This light was built in 1845, 28 years before the Damman Light. It is 32.1 meters high and built by Jonas Jonsson for 23,000 Kr. It is made of sandstone and it’s light can be seen for 16 nautical miles. The tower actually sways 2′ when it’s very windy! The walls are 2 meters thick. There were problems getting it completed because of lack of funds and getting the supplies to the location. It took two years to complete. The lightkeepers at that time had to be bachelors. However, they could have women come in to clean and cook. NO women were allowed to be keepers as they were in the US. In 1946 electricity came to the light and it was automated in 1976. The Swedish government also made it mandatory for the lightkeepers to keep weather records and do weather observations. The tower was open and you could climb to the observation deck for 20Kr (about $2.50). Don made the climb. The lighthouse keeper from 1951-54, Evald Peterson, wrote an article about the light in a publication about the island of Öland. His daughter, Kristina, was the one selling tickets to climb the tower. We left at 4:45 pm.
- 6:00 pm
- Arrived at the Strandborg Tourist & Conference Center. We cleaned up and then walked a short distance to Mr. Cederberg’s former home which is now a part of the conference center. Mr. Cederberg provided refreshments and we were able to tour the home. I had a chance to talk with Nancy Y. about Harbor Lights and how they are made. It’s a long and complicated process. The end results are the most authentic of all the lighthouse replicas.
- 7:30 pm
- We walked back to the main retreat center for dinner on the patio. We had an appetizer, pork tenderloin and dessert for dinner. We ate with George & Bridget, Dave, Gunnar and Mr. Cederberg. The entertainment at the hotel that night came and gave us a private performance. They were a wonderful a capella quartet. Don went down to the water and took a picture of the sunset and we returned to our room about 9:30.
July 12, 1999, Monday
- 8:05 am
- We left the hotel.
- 8:20 am
- Mr. Cederberg joined us for the morning. We stopped along the road to take pictures of five windmills in an area called Störlinge. We were surprised to find windmills in Sweden. Their shape is a little different than the Dutch windmills. Mr. Cederberg told us more about the island of Öland. Former Russian provinces are about 100 miles on the other side of the Baltic Sea. "Boat People" attempted to make the crossing to Sweden when the Russian government collapsed. Some made it, but many boats capsized. We passed many farm houses that are over 100 years old. Many are now used as summer rental cottages.
- 9:10 am
- We passed the Segerstad Lighthouse. It is on private property and the bus couldn’t make it down the road. We didn’t even bother to stop for a photo shot as it was too far from the highway to get a decent picture and the sun wasn’t in the right spot anyway.
- 9:40 am
- We arrived at the Långe Jan Lighthouse on the southern end of Öland. The current tower was built in 1871. It is a white cylinder with a wide gray stripe about 1/3 of the way down. The materials used to build it were from a nearby church. It is 41 meters tall. This area is a nature preserve and the Ottenby Fagel Station (Bird Sanctuary) is also located here. We were met by Mats Anderson from the Kalmar Barometer newspaper. Dave gave an explanation about the USLHS and many of us told him why we travel around the world looking at lighthouses. We had a tour guide, Inez, who explained the history of the area. In 1569 King Johan III declared the area his private hunting park and a royal farm. In 1653, King Karl Gustav built a wall around the farm and it was used to breed sheep. Farmers have been in this area since 3000 BC. Ottenby was the name of the village – named after the Swedish god of wisdom. There were 19 farms in the village and 900 people in the fishing camp. There was a market place and the houses had thatched roofs. There were lots of rules and the king wanted all the game in the park for himself, therefore the people did a lot of fishing. They weren’t allowed to cut down any trees, so they got their wood from ship wrecks. They did not want a lighthouse built because they WANTED the ships to wreck so they could have the wood. The king’s farm is still in operation. The tower did get built in 1785 and was built by prisoners. Coal fires atop the tower were the first lights. The top and lantern room were added in 1871. It is Sweden’s tallest lighthouse. Electricity came in 1948 and it was automated in 1980. It has a triangular shaped lens with one side blacked out. There have been 27 lighthouse keepers at this light. We climbed the 197 steps to the observation deck. It was a nice clear day and we had a beautiful view. We left the Ottenby area at 11:10 am.
- 12:05 pm
- We crossed over the bridge from Öland to Kalmar and headed inland.
- 12:45 pm
- The Böda glass factory was our next stop. Gunnar explained that the glass blowers in this area first came to Sweden from Italy and Germany in the 16th century. They were brought to Sweden by the king. They went to the Smaland area because sand was available there. A school for glass blowers was started to preserve the craft. Currently all glass works have been bought out by a holding company, Carlsburg Brewery. We went into the factory and watched the blowers. We were allowed to get very close to the operation and Janet got to blow a bottle. We looked in the factory stores but didn’t buy anything because this is not the kind of glass in which I’m particularly interested. I prefer the Orefors crystal. We left at 2:45.
- 3:40 pm
- We arrived at the hotel Statt in Växjö. We checked into our room and walked into a nearby shopping area.
- 5:00 pm
- We met Gunnar and others in front of the hotel and walked to the Swedish Immigration Museum. There was a very good display depicting the major Swedish immigration which began in the mid 1800’s. In 1880 alone, 300,000 people left Sweden. By 1900, Chicago had the second largest population of Swedes in one city (Stockholm had the largest). The museum was opened in 1965. Author Vilhem Moberg wrote a novel about the Swedish immigration. We returned to the hotel about 6:00.
- 7:00 pm
- We had dinner on the sun porch at the hotel. At our end of the table were Roger and Genna, Dave, Bob & Joan , Jayne and Marlene. We were surprised that the appetizer, herring pie, was good. It was followed by turkey, boiled potatoes and vegetables. Dessert was ice cream with strawberries and raspberries. Ken & Nettie were celebrating their 19th wedding anniversary. There was some difficulty getting the roman candle lit for their dessert and it surprised everyone when they brought it to the table. They were given a card signed by all and Janet had found a pretty lighthouse wine stopper to give them. Then we sang "Happy Anniversary". After dinner we walked around town and returned to the hotel at 9:30.
July 13, 1999, Tuesday
- 7:00 am
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- 8:00 am
- As we left the hotel, Gunnar pointed out the Governor’s residence across the street.
- 9:00 am
- We arrived in the town of Karlskrona on the south western side of Sweden. The Baltic Beauty was waiting for us – she’s a two-masted schooner!
- 9:40 am
- As we left port, we saw a light tower sitting up on a small hill. When we got further out into the harbor we saw another tower and realized we were seeing the Karlskrona Harbor Range Lights. After we were underway, Captain Victor told us about his ship. It can sail with 60 people. He is licensed to sail in the Baltic Sea and the waters of the European Common Market. She was built in 1926 in Holland and sailed to Sweden in 1936. Her length is 26 meters at water level and 40 meters over all. Her mast is 22 meters high and she has a 250 horse power engine. She sails with a crew of 1-5 besides the captain. As we got further from Karlskrona we noticed forts – some of them were used as lighthouses. This town was built by King Karl XI to protect the Swedes from Denmark. The town was actually a naval base and is still used as a naval training center. On our voyage, Captain Victor played his accordion and sang for us.
- 12:05 pm
- We docked at the island of Utklippan. Johnny Apell met the ship and was our guide. He told us about the island and the Utklippan Lighthouse. The harbor was blasted out of the rock in 1940 to establish a safe harbor for fishermen. There is a yacht club building, a sea authority building and a fagel (bird) station building. There is a large bird migration in this area and birds are banded here. We toured the lighthouse which is an unusual structure with a red skeletal tower on top of a brown stone building. The lighthouse was built in 1840 and was a combined fortress and light. The original lantern was replaced with today’s steel tower in 1870. It is fully automated and has been unmanned since 1972. We climbed to the top and could see the Baltic Beauty down in the harbor.
- 1:15 pm
- We boarded the ship and had a very good lunch which was cooked on board during our trip to the island.
- 2:15 pm
- After lunch as we left the island, the sails went up. The Jolly Roger (pirate) flag was hoisted and the cannon was fired. I’m sure the other sail boats in the area wondered what was happening! The captain then appeared in his jesters hat and wielding a sword. Then we wondered what was happening! The winds were very calm and after an hour the crew started up the engines so we could get back to Karlskrona the same day.
- 5:20 pm
- We arrived back at the dock in Karlskrona. We boarded the bus and then made a quick stop further down the parking lot to get a better view of the rear range light.
- 5:45 pm
- Arrived at the First Hotel Statt.
- 7:00 pm
- We had dinner at the hotel with Helen, Janet, Nancy J.,Ted & Betty, Bob & Joan and Gunnar. We had herring salad on toast with greens, pork, potatoes with onions, vegetables and citrus pie for dessert.
- 8:20 pm
- Gunnar took those who wanted to go on a walking tour of Karlskrona. We went to the Admiralty Church, but we couldn’t go inside because a concert was going on. On the sidewalk in front of the church was a statue of Rosenbom. He had been a beggar outside the church and after his death, the town put up a copper statue of him. The very heavy hat lifts off and there is a slot in the top of his head where people can drop money. The church collects the money to help the poor. Don took a picture of me "feeding" the statue.
- 9:30 pm
- We stopped for enormous ice cream cones and walked around the town square before turning in for the night.
July 14, 1999, Wednesday
- 8:05 am
- We left the hotel in Karlskrona and this was our first cloudy, overcast day. At this point we were traveling through the Blekinge Province, the garden area of Sweden.
- 9:20 am
- We arrived in Nogersund to catch a ferry to Hanö. We took pictures of the pretty cottages in the village before catching the ferry.
- 10:00 am
- The ferry left the dock and it was a 1/2 hr trip to Hanö. Mrs. Annastina Bengtssön met us and we hiked the 1/2 mile uphill to the lighthouse. This island was used by Admiral Nelson during the time of Napoleon. His ship the Victory landed here and 15 of his crewmen died. They are buried in the English cemetery on the other end of the island. Annastina was born here on the island. The waters in this part of the Baltic occasionally freeze. She remembers in 1947 it was frozen in January and she and her father walked across to the mainland to get food. The winters of 1981-83 were also very hard winters. Forty-two people live on the island year round. One hundred years ago, 300 people lived on the island. Each summer, they welcome 30,000 tourists. Annastina is a teacher and lives part time on the mainland and part time on Hanö. When she was a little girl, there was a school on the island and she was the only one in her grade. The school closed in 1974 and the building is now used as a youth hostel and can house 30 people. Her husband and son are fishermen and have a 70′ trawler. The Hanö Lighthouse is located on the hightest point of the island. It was built in 1869 and was originally on top of the keepers dwelling. In 1906 the current tower was built and a coal fire used. In 1939 electricity came to the lighthouse. There was one keeper and 2 assistants here. Besides tending the lighthouse they were also required to record the weather. Different colored baskets were used on a pole to let the sailors know the weather conditions. The station still serves as a meteorologist station and information is automatically sent to the mainland. We were able to climb the tower. Afterwards, we walked to the community hall for a wonderful lunch prepared by her friend Ruth and served by her aunt and cousin. Following lunch Annastina gave a brief talk. Since she doesn’t speak English, Gunnar translated for us. We walked back to the dock area to catch the ferry. The ferry left the island at 1:45 pm.
- 2:15 pm
- Arrived back at Nogersund and the bus left at 2:25.
- 2:30 pm
- We stopped in the little town of Hällevik. We saw and photographed the Hällevik Lighthouse located on the beach. This light wasn’t part of the tour, but is very picturesque anyway. Of course we got ice cream before we got back on the bus and left at 3:20.
- 3:35 pm
- Sölvesburg was our next stop. We had a short time to shop and Don wandered down to the water. I went into a little shop and obviously they don’t get as many English speaking tourists in this town. I had a very difficult time explaining the word lighthouse to them. Then they were baffled why anyone would travel all the way to Sweden for the sole purpose of finding lighthouses. We left town at 4:25.
- 4:50 pm
- We drove into the next province of Skäne and arrived at the Bäckaskog Castle on Lake Ivösjön. The monks built it as a monastery in 1250 and the Danes turned it into a fortress in 1584. King Karl XV of Sweden transformed it into his favorite country retreat in the 1800.’s. We had a wonderful corner room on the third floor in one of the towers, with windows on three sides. One side overlooked the herb garden. The staircase (no elevator) was quite an adventure – almost like a lighthouse tower! After finding our room, we wandered around the grounds and found the stable with two beautiful horses inside.
- 7:00 pm
- Our dinner was held in the King’s dining room. All thirty-two of us ate at the same table. The table was elegantly set with china, and fresh roses from the garden added to the beauty. A beautiful crystal chandelier hung overhead. Gunnar explained the custom of Swedish toasts. You toast only one person at a time and you look directly into their eyes. You never toast an entire group of people. Dave, wishing to follow this custom, gave an unusual toast to his "Queen", Marlene, sitting at the opposite end of the table. With a little encouragement, she returned a toast to "King" David. The toasting continued for a while. It was decided that they should be crowned, so Genna and Bridget used the flowers on the table and made their crowns. For dinner we had BREAD (we didn’t get served bread very often with dinner), hot salmon over lettuce with vegetables and dressing for an appetizer, venison and potatoes with beets and carrots, and dessert was a beautiful tall meringue swirl with ice cream and fresh fruit. Following dinner, we sat outside with Genna & Roger, Ursula, "King" David, and Ted. "Queen" Marlene and Jayne joined us a little later. It was a beautiful evening to be outside. We returned to our wonderful tower room about 10:30.
July 15, 1999, Thursday
- 8:30 am
- We walked around the grounds of the castle and to the lake before having breakfast.
- 9:30 am
- The bus left the castle.
- 10:10 am
- As we were passing through the town of Degeberge, Ken gave us a narration. He and Nettie had visited here just before joining the lighthouse tour. His maternal grandmother emigrated from this village. He pointed out several spots of interest. As we were driving along and passed a beautiful cemetery, Gunnar explained that when a person dies and a cemetery plot is purchased, the fee is for only 50 years. If the family wishes to keep the plot, they must then pay another fee for the next 50 years. If the family chooses not to pay the additional fee, then the plot is sold to someone else, the head stone removed and another body buried there.
- 11:20 am
- We arrived in the town of Ystad. The port of Ystad is an important historical area and has been an important Baltic port since the 11th century. We had a short walk to the Ystad Lighthouse which is located in the harbor area. The Harbor Master, Lars Borgesson, met us and gave us a few details about the light. It was built in 1865 and was actually moved a short distance before it was lit because it was in the way of the new railroad depot. It was moved in one piece. It was decommissioned in 1975. The light is considered a national heritage and is managed by the sea authority. There are 60 steps to the top. It’s 15.7 meters high. It was designed by G von Heidenstam, father of a Swedish poet. We left the lighthouse at 12:10 pm.
- 12:20 pm
- Had lunch at a "fast food" place. We had Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce and french fries. Not your typical "fast food." After lunch we walked around Ystad, did some shopping and left at 1:30.
- 2:30 pm
- Sandhammaren was our next stop. We arrived at a beautiful beach at the very southeastern corner of Sweden. It was a very busy place on a warm sunny day in Sweden. We were met by the snack shop manager, Brit Reslow. She and her friend, Gunnel Ornhammar, told us about the area and the lighthouse. This area has a history of very strong seas. Large trade ships passed through here. It was dangerous because the sand kept shifting. We were introduced to Ludwig, an older gentleman, who has been helping to restore the nearby rescue station. There is a historical record of Sandhammaren since 1320. They know of thousands of shipwrecks off this coast. In 1850 the authorities decided to establish the rescue station. We saw the old restored rescue boat which could hold 25 people. From the rescue station, we walked to the Sandhammaren Lighthouse. We were shown the one and only, very special, original key which unlocks the lighthouse. When it was built in 1861 there were two lighthouses 300 meters apart. After 30 years, one was removed because the two lights were confusing. G. von Heidenstam was also the engineer on this project. The lighthouse is 30 meters high. It was first lit with oil from turnips, then paraffin oil. They were not sure when electricity came. The light can been seen for 16 nautical miles. There are 107 steps. The cannons which were used as the fog horns are still on the property. In a building next to it are 2 diesel engines which take over if the electricity fails. It was repaired for 2 million Kr (about $241,000) a few years ago. Five years ago they were given permission to give tours. We climbed to the top and had a wonderful view of the beach, the Baltic Sea, and Denmark across the way. The lens is unusual with 16 bullseyes! The bottom of the tower is round and above the observation deck it is 12 sided. After leaving the lighthouse, we walked to the beach, took our shoes off and waded in the Baltic Sea with Dave, Butch, Nancy J, Jayne and Marlene and posed for pictures. The water temp was 59. There were lots of people enjoying the water and sand at this picturesque beach. We left the Sandhammaren area at 4:30 and headed inland a bit.
- 5:25 pm
- We arrived at the Snogeholm Castle. It wasn’t as large as Bäckaskog and looked more like a manor house. We lucked out again and got the "Imperial Suite." Adjoining our room, we had our own sitting room, and a balcony with a table and 2 chairs. We enjoyed walking around the grounds a bit before dinner.
- 7:00 pm
- Dinner was served in a beautiful dining room (but not at a table for 32). We had crayfish on lettuce with avocado dip, steak, potatoes with sauce, vegetables, and sherbet with whipped cream and fresh strawberries for dessert. We ate with Genna & Roger, Bob & Joan, Ursula, Shirley, and Dorothy. We walked around the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful lake view after dinner. We went inside and chatted with Janet about lighthouse adventures in one of the sitting rooms before retiring for the night.
July 16, 1999, Friday
- 7:00 am
- I took a walk around the manor house before breakfast. The lake was beautiful and calm. There were peacocks on the dock!
- 8:30 am
- We left Snogeholm and enjoyed beautiful fertile farm land in this area of Sweden as we drove along. We could see the bridge under construction which will eventually join Sweden and Denmark.
- 10:00 am
- We arrived at the Falsterbo Lighthouse. There has been a lighthouse on this spot since the 13th century, considered to be the longest continuous site in Sweden. Leonard Carlson was our guide. He works at Falsterbo as a meteorologist and reports his observations every 3 hours around the clock. He has been here since 1972 and is also a bird watcher. There has been a lot of erosion and shifting sands in the area and that is why the area had a lot of ship wrecks. We walked through a golf course to get to the lighthouse and stood near the 15th hole to take pictures of the light. The structure is a square 2 story building built of brown stone. The tower on top is round with a black band painted around it. The lighthouse was built from 1793-1796 and decommissioned in 1993. A lantern room was added in 1843 making it 25 meters high. Electricity came in 1935 and the light was automated in 1972. The building is in the midst of renovation. They are removing the many layers of old paint on the inside and repainting it. The areas that have been completed are very nice. The wood trim inside has been painted a blue gray color. There are 106 steps to the top of the tower. The lens is round with no bullseye. The view from above was wonderful. We could see most of the golf course, peninsula and bay. We could also see the new bridge under construction off in the distance. The keeper’s house is now the bird migration museum. We left around 11:45.
- 11:55 am
- We stopped for lunch in Skanör and had "French" hot dogs. The bun is a long tube. Condiments are put in the tube and then the hot dog slid in. It is a much neater way to eat a hot dog and the condiments don’t fall out! We left at 1:10 pm. Up until now we have been traveling along the Baltic Sea. We are now traveling along the North Sea.
- 2:45 pm
- For a change of pace, we stopped at the Höganäs Ceramics factory. We watched Peter Rendeskog demonstrate the potter’s wheel for us. The furnace is only fired up 4 times a year. They work for 3 months making items to be fired. It takes 3 days to get the furnace hot. Salt is added to the coal to get the glaze on the ceramics. Once the coal burns down, it takes 10 days to cool. The items are then removed from the furnace. It was raining when we got ready to leave. Our first RAIN in Sweden. We left at 3:35.
- 4:00 pm
- We drove a short distance to the Kullen Lighthouse, which was built in 1900. It is located on a cliff, and has an elevation of 78.5 meters above sea level. It is also located near a golf course. The first beacon at this location was in 1561. It was an iron, hanging basket using wood or coal. The current lens is three sided – a tri shaped shell with 3 bullseyes. It has 3 flashes of light and has a visual distance of 24.5 nautical miles. It weights 6 tons and floats on mercury. Electricity came in 1937 and was automated in 1979. Lennart Bosterus is the current lighthouse keeper. This station will remain the only manned lighthouse in Sweden as this is a popular tourist spot with 300,000 visitors per year. Lennart Anderson from the lighthouse board talked to us. The wooden railings with black wrought iron spokes on the stairway are beautiful. It was VERY WINDY on top of the tower. The railing around the walk was of beautiful stone, like the rest of the tower. Another brief shower hit as we were leaving Kullen at 5:15. A short time later we stopped to get a photo of the village of Mölle from the cliff above. The sun was beginning to shine and it was beautiful. As we drove along from Mölle, we saw a rainbow.
- 6:30 pm
- Our next stop was Bästad and our hotel for the night, the Buena Vista, was located high on a hill. The name was appropriate as there was indeed a beautiful view of the town below us.
- 7:30 pm
- We had dinner that night in the hotel. Our starter was melon, greens, feta cheese, and ham with dressing. Our main course was salmon and potatoes. For dessert we had strawberries over pound cake and ice cream. We sat with Lois & Ken, Roger & Genna, Butch, and Lila. Following dinner we walked DOWN the hill and into town. We found beautiful homes and cottages as we made our way to the marina. Bästad hosts the Swedish Tennis Open each year. Walking back UP the hill to the hotel was a little more challenging. We went into the sitting room and Butch, Nancy J, Janet and Dave joined us for a short while before we retired for the night.
July 17, 1999, Saturday
- 8:15 am
- We left the Buena Vista Hotel. Gunnar told us about John Francis Anderson who built the 52 room hotel in 1906. He was 17 years old when he left the province of Bleinke and went to America. He met Henry Ford and bought stock in Ford Motor Co. He traveled to Cuba and became interested in Spanish architecture. Therefore, the hotel with the Spanish name was built in Sweden. Among other things he built: The Washington Bridge in NYC and the Fourteen Foot Bank Lighthouse in Delaware Bay.
- 8:40 am
- We arrived in the fishing village of Torekov and Bodil Kollberg, our guide for the day, met us for the ferry ride. She was an American Field Service exchange student in CA while in high school. The ferry left Torekov at 9:00.
- 9:25 am
- The ferry arrived on the island of Hallands Väderö. The 650 acre island is owned by the church and has been a nature preserve since 1958. There were many shipwrecks near this island. In 1882 there were terrible storms with five ship wrecks which encouraged the building of the lighthouse. There are sheep, wild horses, cows and many birds on the island. There are many insects found only on this particular island in Sweden. The forests here were protected when the mainland was stripped of it’s timber. A forest keeper began here in 1859 and one was kept on duty for 100 years. Seventy thousand visitors come to the island each year for hiking, however no camping is allowed.
- 9:45 am
- We started our walk to the lighthouse on the far side of the island.
- 10:05 am
- We arrived at the gate which led to the lighthouse. This light is also a weather station. The Hallands Väderö Lighthouse was built in 1884. There is also a small lighthouse on a nearby island. Electricity came to the lighthouse in 1959 and there were keepers here until 1965. It is 13 meters tall and the light can be seen for 16.5 nautical miles. The light was originally kerosene. The station supported a light keeper and one assistant and eventually there were four families. In 1887 the fog signal station was built on the rock in front of the lighthouse. In 1944 the houses were rebuilt and improved. It was very isolated in the winters and there was no phone until 1936. Before the phone, they had to signal the mainland when they had an emergency or needed help. Drinking water had to be brought from the mainland. In 1950 the electric fog signal was installed and operated until 1980. In 1975 the lighthouse was automated. There was a school on the island when they had at least five children at the light station. One teacher was here for 16 years. She had a tiny apartment on the second floor of the keeper’s house. It was her apartment by night and the school room by day. Each day a table was brought into the middle of the room for the students. We climbed the tower, 46 steps, and saw a beautiful view of the island, the rocks and the North Sea. She took four of us into the keeper’s house which is now an apartment they rent out by the week in the summer. We hiked back across the island to the ferry dock. Half of the group left on the 11:30 ferry, but we just missed it so we had a nice picnic lunch which we purchased at the little food stand near the ferry dock. This little cafe was started by a keeper’s wife years ago when people visited the island and knocked on her door asking for something to drink. She told her husband that she was going to start selling the items. We had wonderful waffles with lingonberry sauce and ice cream! We had a nice relaxing time waiting for the ferry.
- 12:30 pm
- We left on the ferry and returned to Torekov at 12:55. We had a short time there to walk around before the bus left at 1:10.
- 3:20 pm
- Arrived in Göteborg. We had time to shop and found a very large mall and bought some Orefors crystal which we liked better than the Böda.
- 7:00 pm
- We had dinner at our hotel, the Scandic Hotel Rubinen, in downtown Göteborg. Dinner was shrimp salad on bread for our starter, steak and potatoes with a few vegetables, and apple pie with vanilla sauce for dessert.
- 8:45 pm
- We walked to the Liseburg Amusement Park with Nancy J, Genna & Roger, Fraser, Ted & Betty, and Lois & Ken. Some of us (not Don!) enjoyed various rides – the roller coaster, ferris wheel, and the tower which gave us a beautiful view of the city. The park was beautiful with many flowers and statues.
- 11:30 pm
- Walked back to the hotel.
July 18, 1999, Sunday
- 7:45 am
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- 8:45 am
- The bus left the hotel and took us to the harbor area.
- 9:35 am
- The ferry left the harbor in Göteborg. Esbjörn Hillberg and his wife Ula joined us for the ride to Vinga. He is the president of the newly formed Swedish Lighthouse Society.
- 10:15 am
- We passed the Gäveskar Lighthouse built in 1886. Esbjörn and Ula will spend New Year’s Eve here with five other families to bring in 2000.
- 10:25 am
- We passed the Böttö Lighthouse built in 1841.
- 10:45 am
- We passed the Vitten Lighthouse built in 1896. This was never a manned light. These three lights are located in the waterway leading from the North Sea into Göteborg Harbor.
- 10:55 am
- We arrived on the island of Vinga. Gunilla Hilsson was our guide on the island. She’s a member of the Friends of Vinga (500 members) which was formed in 1984 to preserve the historical places on the island when there was talk of tearing down the home of Evert Taube, the Swedish poet. He was born on the island in 1890, the year the lighthouse was built. His father was the keeper at the time. The island is located 10 nautical miles from Göteborg. The lighthouse is the first one you see when entering the Göteborg Harbor. The island was also the location of the pilot service which began in 1600. Houses on the island can now be rented out during the summer season. The island is made of bedrock granite formed 900 million years ago. There are 300 different plants, many species of birds and the island is also a nature preserve. A modern lookout tower was built here, but closed two years ago. Gunilla took us from the ferry dock to the lighthouse keepers village which was built in 1898. At one time 30 adults and 10 children lived there. The village is now used as a 19 bed conference center and has a beautiful sauna. The next stop was the museum which was the home of Taube and his 12 siblings. We stopped on the rocks on the way to the lighthouse and took our group picture. We then made our way to the Vinga Lighthouse and the nearby signal building. There have been several lights and signals here. The first beacon was in 1606. The current stone tower is the 3rd beacon at this location. The original navigational beacon is a pyramid shaped building 26 meters high and 11 meters square at the base. This building stores the old signals which were used as warning signals for the sailors indicating the speed and direction of the winds. Along the channel into Göteborg were also black towers with signals to alert the Göteborg Harbor as to which ships were arriving. There were three canons used for fog signals until 1883 when a steam boiler replaced them. We climbed the tower, 115 steps. Before the Fresnel lens arrived in 1907, a paraffin lamp was used. The observation deck was added in 1930. In 1949 electricity arrived on the island and in 1974 the lighthouse was automated. The climb inside the tower was fine, but the ladder we took to the observation deck was more difficult. The lens is a first order with 16 bulls eyes and can be seen for 22.5 nautical miles. We walked back to the harbor and enjoyed ice cream (what else?) before boarding our private boat back to Göteborg. We had lunch on board – cold cuts, salad and potato salad. I became the waitress for the entire group quite by accident. They had fun teasing me about my "tip", like not to expect any. Mr. Hillberg took this opportunity to tell us more about Swedish lighthouses and the newly formed society. The first few Swedish lighthouses were actually built by the Danes in the mid 1600’s. The first built by Swedes was the Landsort Lighthouse which was the first one we saw. The first rotating lens in a lighthouse was located in Sweden. The Society started 2 1/2 years ago and has 500 members. They print a newspaper twice a year but only in Swedish. Dues for a year are 150 Kr (a little over $18.00) Their web site address is www.fyr.org. The charter boat arrived at the dock at 2:50 and at 3:25 the bus arrived back at the hotel.
- 3:50 pm
- We went with Dave and John for a canal boat ride. On our boat was a Moroccan youth soccer team. We found out that a world youth soccer match was being held in Göteborg and there were teams from all over the world including the USA. The boat ride through the city was interesting. At one point the guide, who gave the tour in Swedish, English and Dutch, told us to crouch down low as we were going under a low bridge. She was not kidding. Shortly after that she told us to get down on the floor as we were approaching the "cheese slicer." This bridge was really low and there were only inches between the seat tops and the bottom of the bridge. From there the four of us went to dinner. We found a seafood restaurant near the hotel. If you ordered shrimp, it was put on a little radio controlled boat on a pond in the center of the restaurant (even had a lighthouse, too.) We were given a remote control and had to guide the "shrimp boat" to our table. Dinner was not great but playing with the boat was fun. We walked back down the main street and bought, you guessed it, ice cream, and did some people watching.
- 9:00 pm
- We returned to the hotel.
July 19, 1999, Monday
- 9:00 am
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- 10:00 am
- We left the hotel and did some shopping before it was time to leave.
- 11:30 am
- Bus left Göteborg.
- 1:40 pm
- We arrived in the town of Stenstorp. We had lunch before going to the Gustav Dahlen Museum. Mr. Dahlen was an inventor and founder of the AGA company. Among his inventions were those that greatly improved lighthouse technology. In 1912, the same year he received the Nobel Prize in Physics, he was blinded in an accident while testing acetylene cylinders. We were very impressed with the museum but even more so with the man whose company produced not only lighthouse equipment but medical equipment, radios, televisions, cars, stoves, film projectors, measuring equipment, and the Dictaphone. His accident left him very depressed but he decided to take an optimistic view on life and became Sweden’s most ingenious inventor. He decided to spread his optimistic attitude and had pins made which said "var Optimist" or "be an Optimist" which he passed out to everyone he met.
- 3:50 pm
- Left the town of Stenstrop. We had a beautiful drive heading further east toward Lake Vättern. We decided to take a back road and surprised a few people when our big tour bus came down their "off the beaten path" road.
- 5:40 pm
- We arrived in the town of Jonköping. This is a very nice city on the southern tip of Lake Vättern. Before dinner we walked to a pretty park near the Provobis Stora Hotel. There were pretty flower gardens and fountains. Dinner at the hotel that night was tomato salad, chicken, potatoes, vegetables and wonderful ice cream for dessert. We had dinner that night with Ken & Nettie. We walked to the pier after dinner and took a sunset picture. A few of us gathered in Nancy J. and Janet’s room for chit chat before retiring for the night.
July 20th, 1999, Tuesday
Andrea & Duffy’s Third Anniversary (our daughter and son-in-law)
- 7:00 am
- Breakfast at the hotel.
- 8:00 am
- The bus left the hotel and we had an ice cream stop before arriving in Stockholm at 12:25 pm. We went shopping with Janet, heading towards Queens Way and Old Town. We had lunch at a cafe in Old Town and ice cream before walking back to the bus to leave town at 4:00.
- 5:00 pm
- We arrived in the college town of Upsalla. We went to the castle and had a view of the city including the cathedral. Leneare, the man who categorized plants all over the world came from this town.
- 5:30 pm
- We arrived at the Provobis Hotel Upplandia.
- 7:00 pm
- Our dinner at the hotel that night was shrimp on toast, halibut, potato patties with vegetables and dessert. We sat with Fraser, Dave, Bob & Joan, Ted & Bettie, Ursula and Gunnar. Much to our surprise a "tip" had been collected on the bus that day for me for my "waitress" duties on the boat from Vinga. Dave presented the envelope which included many treasurers that people found in their pockets or purses: a band aid, mints, toothpicks, pens, rubber bands, hair clip, a few pennies, a few kronor and some other "stuff." I really wasn’t sure how to "thank" them for their generosity. Gunnar also received his tip (real money) and our great appreciation for being such a wonderful, fun guide the past two weeks. Roland had received his tip earlier in the day since he could not join us for dinner. We walked outside and to a nearby store for ice cream (the dessert at dinner wasn’t very good.) We returned to the room to pack for the trip home.
July 21, 1999, Wednesday
- 6:40 am
- Breakfast was early this day at the hotel.
- 7:00 am
- We left the hotel and headed to the Arlanda airport arriving at 7:20. The lines were long for checking in, exchanging money, verifying passport, etc.
- 9:45 am
- We boarded the plane and it took off at 10:15 am. It was a cloudy day and we couldn’t see much out of the airplane windows. We had lunch and dinner on the plane. We again enjoyed the map showing our location on the video screen. During the 8 1/2 hour plane ride we had a chance to visit with all the great friends we made on this trip.
- 11:45 am (CDST)
- The plane landed in Chicago and we got through the airport quickly. We got a shuttle to our car and were on our way home at 12:50 pm. We had dinner enroute and arrived back home at 7:40 pm (EDST). This was a LONG DAY.
Our great appreciation to the United State Lighthouse Society and Dave Snyder for a wonderful trip to Sweden.
Trip Totals: 20 Lighthouses, many miles, 15 days.
- Navigational Options
- Return to Expedition Home Page
- Return to Lighthouse Home Page
- Go to Alphabetical Index
- Go to Geographical Index
Lighthouses: A Photographic Journey
Conceived and Developed by David S. Carter
Photographs by Donald W. Carter
Text by Diana K. Carter, Donald W. Carter & David S. Carter
Copyright © 1995-1999 David S. Carter, Donald W. Carter, & Diana K. Carter. All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means, physical or electronic, in part or in full, without the express permission of the authors, is strictly prohibited.