Ecological and Responsibel Travelling

Preparing my trip to Iceland I recognise problems they have there that occur also in other places of the North… the impact of unresponsible tourists on the northern nature. Like in Iceland the natue of northern Scandinavia aswell as the mountain areas of Norway have a rather short periode in which temperatures and light conditions are perfect for the growth of plants. It means they are very slow and do not have the ability to heal wounds that have been made on them. In central Europe nature would recover within two or three years, while in the North same damages would take decades.

With the background of knowing this, I appreciate the initiative on ‘InspiredByIceland’ to make visitors and inhabititants of Iceland aware of being sensitive with nature. They introduced the ‘Icelandic Pledge’ which everyone can sign on their internet page. Click the emblem at the bottom of the post to open the page in a seperate tab.

A similar approach but more with the background of travelling safely in Iceland is provided by their ‘Iceland Academy’. One aspect also here is the responsible travelling. They are teaching you in a handful of videos how to behave in Iceland to avoid becoming a fatality. The videos are fun to watch, despite the serious background. See the upper badge to get to these pages.

Please have a look on these pages and keep travelling responsible! Use your common sense to assure that everything is left the way it should be! I will keep updating this post with pages that I find about responsible travelling…

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Here I added some more information on the Everyman’s Right in Finland which sometimes people understand as just a right without any duties. Therefore click the following emblem of the Finnish Ministry of the Environment to open their information about the Everyman’s Right. There is a booklet to download, which I recommend to read as they really put effort into it.

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Additionally here a document how to behave in Finnish Nature. It is a document from the Finnish Metsähalitus (Forest Administration).

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Marstrand – Carlstens Fästning

Time to visit Carlstens Fästning, the fortress on top of Marstrand. It dates back to Carl X Gustaf, the guy you might have met in my post about the castle ruins in Borgholm on Öland. He was King of Sweden and ordered to built Carlstens Fästning after the Treaty of Roskilde in 1658 (periode of the Northern Wars) at which Marstrand became swedish. Over the years Carlstens Fästning was improved and grew. Many prisoners had to work here having a very hard time.

Nowadays you can even stay overnight in the fortress without being a prisoner. Of course there are no more of them, the fortress houses a hotel.

To get more information about the Carlstens Fästning, including its history, please click on the symbol with the silhouette of the fortress at the end of the blogpost. It links you to the official page of Carlstens Fästning. The other symbol opens th page of the hotel in a seperate window.

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Marstrand – Seafreshness

Today you can join me on a trip to one of the beautiful islands on the westcoast of Sweden, Marstrand! Not far from Gothenborg it is a perfect location for a daytrip to enjoy the summer breeze. My first I time I came here was during my studies at Chalmers in Gothenborg. Another foreign friend had his car with him and we decided to have a look as we heard that it is a nice place. And it was right.

Years later on my way back from my trip to Norway I remembered Marstrand and decided to stop by for half a day. As you can see on the photos, the weather improved drastically over the visit…

Marstrand is partly located on an island, on which it is not allowed for visitors to go by car. A ferry connects the island to the mainland where also the parkings are located. The ferry comes regularly, so there is not much waiting time. At the end of the blog check the link to the timetable of the västtrafik between the mainland and Marstand island.

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Marstrand is not only the village with its waterfront, but also a nice nature. There is a path leading along the coastline. At some points it is possible to go swimming.

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You can see the typical rocks that form the skerries in Scandinavia. A result of the moving glaciers during the iceage.

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From the fortress located on the top of the hill in the center of the island you have great views. It is a beautiful place!

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Beautifully colored wooden houses and cobble stone streets. Scandinavia at its best.

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Marstand is famous for sailing, not just the famous sailing events, but also for sparetime captains. During summer there is always something going on.

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Looking over the water towards the mainland.

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Obviously it is Sweden!

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At some point I had to take the ferry back… unfortunately. But next time I get into the region I will come back. For you it is not completely over, I will bring you to the Carlsten Fortress on Marstand in one of my next blog entries! Squeezing it into this blog I would not have given it the attention it deserves…

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Masthugget Church — A Personal Place

Today I will introduce you to a special place. Maybe, if you are a fond of Scandinavia and been to Gothenborg before, you might know the place. I write about Masthugget Kyrkan, the church of Masthugget. It is a prominent landmark standing on the hilltop above the Danish Stena Ferry Terminal. For me it is even more, cause the church was in the direct backyard of my student house and many memories are connected to it. Many tourists (even busses of sightseeing) are coming here for the magnificent views over the town and harbour area. We came here so many summer nights after studenthouse parties, for just some fresh air and talking or to just sit here on the rocks looking down on the lights of Gothenborg. Before christmas we even built the church from gingerbread 🙂

I will spare you a lot of discribing of its history, you can see a photo of the sign I took on at the church. Rather I want to show you some of the things you can see from here…

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This is the view along the Göta Älv (river) towards its opening into the North Sea (or already Baltic Sea?) In the far you can see the large bridge, which is a happening, when the ferries go underneath it. Only a very few meters between the chimney and the bridge are left. Don’t forget to have a look when you take the ferry… and keep breathing… it always works!

You can see the German Stena Ferry Terminal (or better said the German Ferry) behind the tiny church tower on the right of the bridge. On the far right you can see the huge iron crane of Ericsberg. In the past lots of ship yards were along the Göta Älv. With the decline of the ship industry, Sweden pushed for technology. The big time for Ericsson Telecommunication came. A lot of the former ship yards nowadays house technology companies. By the way, a few kilometers on the right behind the Ericsberg crane you will get to the Volvo car plant. That area is called Hisingen and is actually an island in the river.

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A zoom on the big bridge over the Göta Älv. You can go there and cross it by bike. There are bike and pedestrian lanes. Of course I crossed it many times.

In the very far you can see the beginning of the Göteborg Skärgard (the Gothenborg Archipelago) which stretches far on both sides of the river opening. On one of the islands close to town is the New Älvsborgs Castle, in the past a protection fortress for the town. It is hard to believe, but I never been there. It is on the top of my todo list for Gothenborg.

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This is the direct view on the Danish Stena Ferry Terminal and behind one of the few remains from the ship industry. I could actually hear the ferry engines in the student house… made me sleepy. On the right in the far back, you can see the tram and car bridge.

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Here you can see the prominent building colored in red and white… the lipstick. In front is the opera and in front of that along the river the ship museum.

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This is the only photo I have that gives you an idea about the rocky consistancy of the terrain in Gothenborg. During the iceage the glaciers did a hard job on the rocks by grinding them until they became very flat. You still can see where smaller rocks have beed moved over the large hill. The rocks here all have scarves from the iceage.

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Very close to Masthugget Church you will find this monument. It is the sailors woman waving for her man leaving the harbour and waiting for him to return safely. She is located at the Maritime Museum of Gothenburg, just down the street from Musthugget Church.

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If you (have to) leave Gothenborg and you take the ferry (German Stena Ferry Terminal), you will have this nice view on the Masthugget Church. Have to say it was pretty hard leaving from here with that view after spending 2,5 years just beside it on the hill.

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Here at least a glimpse of art from the building. If you look carefully, you see it reminds a little of nordic art. If you enter the church you will find nice models of ships hanging inside. It is an interesting church.

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Here what is written on the church about the church.

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I hope you liked this quite personal view on this place. As said, a lot of memories and all very positive are connected to Masthugget Church and the area around. Maybe you have a look on your own and get a sense of it…

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Vevlingestrand Camping

On my way north after having seen Stockholm, Öland and many other places it was time to push a little to get further to my destination Finland. But to be in good condition it is important to have a nice and calm place to sleep. I found Vevlingestrand Camping on the eastern outskirts of Bollnäs. As I usually travel north out of season, it was really calm and I enjoyed the location very much. With the disappearing light, not only the humans started to find their way to a rest, but also the geese came with loud trompet noises, then landed to calm down at their safe sleeping place on the water in front of the camping. At that time the geese were on their exhausting travel southwards fleeing from the harsh cold winter in Scandinavia. I love their sound and really admire them. If you are traveling in that part of Sweden, I think you will find a good place to be at Vevlingestrand Camping.

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Fort Eketorp

Fort Eketorp is a historic site on Öland that was ‘born’ in the iron age and went through different stages in its history. Not only the three stages in the far past (Eketorp I from 300-400 A.C., Eketorp II from 400-650 A.C. and Eketorp III from 1170-1240 A.C.) are interesting but also the very lastest. After excavations between 1964 and 1973 the fort has been completely rebuilt on the ancient foundations and a living museum was established which gives the perfect insight into the life in such an ancient fort. I really enjoyed to visit the place.

For further information about Eketorp you can have a look at the webpage of VisitÖland and of the museum itself. I have linked these pages and you can access them by clicking on the emblems at the end of this post.

Here some impressions of the Fort Eketorp…

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Remains of St. Johannes Chapel

These are another set of remins from a chapel. It was used by traders that lived in the adjacent village of Kyrkhamn. After the reformation in the 16th century the church was not used anymore and started to get into a state of decay. With the construction of the Lighthouse just a little south, some of the remains found a new. Nowadays only these small uneven areas indicate the remains of foundations. Nevertheless the holy grounds kept their peaceful atmosphere in this spectecular scenery.

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Google maps shows you the location of the church remains…