from Godby to Hummelvik

Half past five the world is all in light blue and pink tones. Fish jump out of water. No wind. After inspecting sunrise I go back to sleep.
At nine someone comes to cut grass.
I make coffee. An older grey-haired lady comes to swim. Swims back and forth and back and forth and demonstrates all styles of swimming. From the other direction comes another lady and inquires where I'm from and if I've already been swimming. She has, it was her I saw standing in water earlier. It has been raining a lot in Åland in July, she says, I'm lucky with the weather. She also comments that more trees should be cut near beach, otherwise sun keeps being hidden behind them. Yep, tent is still wet from dew and sunlight approaches only very slowly.
The plan for today is to cycle almost straight to Hummelvik, stopping at some points of cultural interest. First such point is the view tower of Färjsundet. The tower is attached to a cafe. Suits me, I can also have breakfast. Climbing up costs 1,50. Ok, I plug my laptop to electricity net as well.
5-6 km ahead is Kastelholm, filled with tourist attractions. I make my first stop at the castle. Four Finnish ladies I saw yesterday are already there and for some surprise to me they travel on bicycles. Castle is like a castle. First mentioned in 1388. Burned down three times. Once restored on orders of Gustav Vasa. Then a king kept his brother here as prisoner. During Russian times was used as corn storage. A young man clad in medieval clothing sits on a wall and reads a thick book. Pretty comfortable job.
Then there's Vita Björn or the prison museum and open air museum of Jan Karlsgården. I consider it necessary to look for the photography museum before visiting these. The photography museum is not open on Mondays but I've received an e-mail from Benita that she will come from neighboring post office and open the museum for me. No sign in sight. I go ask from souvenir shop but the girl there does not know anything of Benita. After some questioning she admits that the museum is in a village a few kilometers away and there really is a post office. Seems that the cycle road to Hummelvik also goes that way. We'll see if I will have enough motivation later to come back for the other museums.
Photography museum and post office are really next to each other. My bike sits down while I park it and Benita appears on doorstep. A grey-haired woman, looks a bit grumpy at first but turns put to be a wonderful guide. There's a special building for photography stuff. The first room is filled with cameras, films and other equipment. Benita's husband, Olle, has collected everything. The house has several more rooms, all full of old cameras and equipment, there are small spy cameras and big things with a sleeve, there are also old video cameras, processing utensils etc. Also one of seven cameras that Nansen had with him on Fram.
Olle has been a professional photographer, photography teacher and clown. An islander has to have many jobs to survive. Benita has also been taking pictures but says she's not an expert in processing. She knows the theory nevertheless. Cool place. What all people have invented to stop time.
After many people have been asking for post office things I let Benita get back to work. No motivation to cycle back to Kastelholm, I've seen enough museums for one day. Besides, I saw the prison and open air museum from outside when I drove past them.
There's a small beach at Borgboda castle remains which look like giant honeycomb. No people. Water seems warm. People come after I've decided to move on. The booklet I got from Mariehamn says that on Vårdö island is Anna's Shop where you can have Åland's pancake. Open until six o'clock. If I hurry the I can make it. I also have to stop somewhere for dinner.
Like at a café before harbor. Luckily they offer also a decent meal besides hamburgers.
The ferry looks like a piece of road with a yellow tower. It takes cars and cycles over a stretch of water. No-one pays for it.
Vårdö is a smaller island, with steep rocks, I see less habitation. In Åland the Mariehamn-island is also called mainland, islands are the rest.
By the road are apple tree plantations and a water-cow.
Anna's Shop is a few kilometers before Hummelvik, 2,7 km from the main road. I get there 5:30. A older man with beard is standing on terrace. It's definitely not Anna but I ask if the place is open to start a conversation. It is open. Pancake is served with jam and cream, and there's coffee. There are supposed to be many Estonians in Åland, working there part-time. Like Jüri who has lived in Åland for 13 years already. The old man is certain that I want to talk Estonian and he calls Jüri. Our conversation is short, neither of us is thrilled of the idea. He says he drove past me in his car earlier. Does all kind of work.
The old man takes also a piece of cake and coffee and talks about his life. He's done a lot of business, planned harbors and delivered gemstones and palm trees for Saddam Hussein's palace. Has been held up in Eritrea for five weeks during a local conflict and been shot at. He's called Kurt or Knurre. Like me he has learned a bit of languages of the countries he went. All together 14 languages. We exchange our experiences about learning Persian and Turkish.
Kurt says that sauna is ready and I could go there. It's difficult to say no. And then he says that I don't have to look for a place to camp because I can sleep upstairs in his house. Well... As far as I know it's going to rain in the night. We make a short excursion in the business household. Kurt carves all kinds of things out of wood and repairs violins. Among other things tableware and pictures made by Estonians are on sale.
Anna is Kurt's daughter, 26 years old and it was her wish to start a café so that it would be possible to talk to people. Anna is not at home, she studies sociology or something similar and is getting ready to move out and live on her own.
I get a beer for sauna, 30ies' music is playing on the radio. I don't stay long still, to let the host use sauna as-well.
Kurt shows me upper bedroom that is actually Anna's room. While he's in sauna I can watch the Olympics with his dog Shaida who's gotten her name after a Syrian princess. They are wrestling in the Olympics and I go to internet.
Kurt comes back and talks some more of his life. We have chosen Finnish after trying a couple of languages. He has built a sports ground for local youth. Björn Borg came to open it. They played tennis and Kurt lost which means there's now something in common with him and John McEnroy - they have both lost to Borg. Soon Gerd Kanter might come but not if he wins a medal in the Olympics, then it would be too expensive (he won bronze by the way).
Laptop dies. I leave Kurt to eat fried eggs and go upstairs. It starts to rain.
Today's cycling route was 35,4 km.
from Degersand to Godby

Add a comment

Email again: