June 30th, 2009



We crammed in a lot of activities during our week up north. Even though I could have easily turned into a slug, something about the early early sunshine got me going much faster than I would normally have liked managed. Simone was up in the early yawning every day, doing pilates on the cliffs and she and Anders took turns biking into town for fresh bread and breakfast rolls. We did most of the things on our list of things to do in the area, though we never did actually make it to Smögen.

Uri the Amur Tiger at Nordens Ark (photo: John Slaughter)

Lysekil Pier before going to Havets Hus Aquarium (photo: John Slaughter)

On Wednesday, Martin and I stayed home and read for an extra hour before packing up all the picnic and swimming stuff and driving over to Ramsvik Nature Preserve to meet the rest of the gang who had left by bike. They had a great time zooming all over the area...it's a very rocky flat area with gradually sloping stone down to the sea. There was at least one herd of cattle wandering freely nearby, and lots of waterfowl. Martin found a ton of dried and scattered crab carapaces and claws, which was all that was left of unlucky crustaceans dropped from flight to crack on the stones by hungry seagulls. We ate a picnic lunch sitting by Sotens Canal, waving at the boaters going by, and saw a meter-long black snok (Grass Snake). After lunch and some more maniac mountain-biking, we sat in the sun by the water, while Simone and the kids jumped in and swam around a bit. We have a bazillion photos of John, Simone, Anders and Karin biking around the rocks, though I only posted 2 here :)

Karin speeding through a puddle at Ramsvik (photo: Anders Ek)

Anders with Simone in the background (photo: John Slaughter)

After the swim, we decided to hike south to Nöt Island and then Trygg Island, which features a burial cairn for King Tryggve high up on a mountain. After climbing and riding up one mountain, where Simone crashed and banged up her knee, we reached the top only to discover that the cairn was actually on the NEXT mountain, but we still had to climb DOWN, cross a tidal mudflat and then go up again, whereupon we 3 girls bailed. The boys made the trek all the way up to the cairn, while we took a leisurely descent back down to level ground.

John & Martin paying their respects to King Tryggve (photo: Anders Ek)

In one little town we picked up a mini fishing rod with a clothespin clip on it for crabbing. Karin and Martin had a blast crabbing from the piers, using the ubiquitous mussel shells for bait. In the early evenings, the crabs were swarming the shallows: little green ones, medium-sized blue ones and big pinky-red ones. Each one that was fished up was deposited in a bucket and when we had 4 or 6 of them, we found a low rock with easy access to the water and turned the bucket over for crab races: first one to the water wins! The crabs were so fast that Anders could only get very blurry shots of them just as they zoomed into the sea with a splash!

Martin & Karin crabbing from the pier (photo: John Slaughter)

Arriba! Arriba! (photo: Anders Ek)