On a work trip to Stockholm I stayed an extra day, got up early, and took one of the early ferries to the Archipelago. The ferries pinball from one island jetty to another, zig zagging their way in erratically described orbits to the furthest islands and return.
It was October (2007) – a grey day that never got started. But that made everything even more intensely still and silent. Only the sound of the wash from passing boats can be heard on the island shores.
I opted for Ingmarso because I read that if you walked across the island there were rowing boats at the southern end for you to row across to Svartso. Two rowing boats are provided and the rower has to ensure that there is always one left at each island’s jetty.
I made my way gingerly around the island – feeling like I was intruding not on property but on the quietness and the intricacy of the place.
Though there are paths and few fences, every square yard must have its own relationship to the islanders – be it the stands of conifers, the inlets and lakes, or the small carved out fields.
On the shores of the island every house has a jetty and a Swedish flag flies. Seems like Stockholm’s bankers and poets all have their island retreats.
I got lost – twice – despite the island being so small. I didn’t have time to gamble on finding my way a third time. So I headed instead for the jetty on the west-side of Ingmarso to wait for an hour and to be picked up by the ferry home.