Stockholm Archipelago

I decided to spend my final free day in Stockholm taking a ferry out through the Stockholm Archipelago to a small island called Finnhamn. Vaxholm is the most famous (and popular) of these islands, but it is more of a suburb of Stockholm and is very heavily touristed; and so I selected an island some three hours away that (in theory) had its own small community. According to Rick Steves, just heading out through the islands on a ferry was worth the journey, and so off I went.

During the off season there are a limited number of ferries to the more remote islands, and so I arrived at the dock by 7:30.
The ferries leave from central Stockholm.
Most of the boats are only active in the summer season.
On the way out we passed by a number of industries. Here a pair of cranes pose as giraffes.
The ferry system serves all of the islands, and the nearer to Stockholm, the more island bound communities in need of ferry service.
Some islands were home to entire villages, while others only to a handful of families (or fewer).
The ferry threaded its way among the islands, sometimes skirting by the rocks by a few meters.
Each island with a large enough population had its own dock served by the ferry, but for most of them the boat only stopped if someone on board requested it, or a signal was set at the dock.
Residents of the smaller islands took the ferry to the nearest island with a large dock, and then used their own boats to get to their homes.
The weather was once again delightful, and many of us spent our time outside enjoying the sun and air, even though the breeze was chilly.
As we went further out, more and more of the islands were uninhabited.
And islands with more than a half a dozen households became fewer and fewer.
resources on these islands were scarce, and so on many the old ways of doing things were still followed.
A handful of us disembarked on Finnhamn, with the locals quickly heading home, leaving the rest of us to ponder on how to spend our time.
The only public facilities of any kind on Finnhamn are seasonal, and were closed.
And so I spent the afternoon hiking around the island, following the main road.
Finnhamn only boasts a few permanent residents, who either worked in small scale farms, or maintained the summer facilities through the off season.
After an hour and a half I had walked over much of the island, and returned to the dock in time to catch the afternoon ferry back to Stockholm.
Other visitors and residents also hopped on board.
The ferry always stops at Vaxholm, and parts of it were quite nice, but lurking just out of frame is the jumble of modern shops and buildings ruining an otherwise pleasant location.
Vaxholm also has a fort, but it was designed to defend against sailing ships and cannon. By the time it was completed, monitor style ships with guns that fired explosive shells were common, thus rendering the fortress obsolete.

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