We knew that this would not be an easy leg as the wind was coming out of the north and although we had a little south to make, the long leg would be against the wind. Our luck had run out! We did have some good sailing along the south of Sweden. Once we rounded the corner it was ‘head to sea’ all the way. We thought we may go to Visby on the Island of Gotland but at 4 knots it would have been a hard slog. We decided the the channel between the mainland and Oeland would either be much calmer with wave height or would be funnelling wind from the north and worse than out to sea. Fortunately it was much calmer and we were able to make 7 knots up the Sound. So Kalmar it was and not Visby.

The first striking impression from the sea is the beautiful Kalmar Shlott (castle).

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We docked in a visitor’s berth alongside the promenade after being guided in by Pontus, a marineiro in a rubber duckie. The fees per night were 270 Swedish kroner (NZD 47) which is quite reasonable. This was pure R&R as we were tired from the sea. Mike and I went for a walk to the castle in the evening and although the inside was locked we could stroll around much of it. The amazing thing was the number of rabbits hopping about in the evening sun without a care in the world. We counted over 50 and being rabbits there were probably more before we left!!

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There was a string quartet playing in the sound shell within the castle grounds and the only thing missing was the Fairy Princess.

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The next day we returned to the castle for an in-depth look and it was well worth it. It has been extremely well restored and had a very good children’s programme of interaction. They could have mock sword fights or hop onto a jousting horse on rails and try their hand at killing the dragon with tailor made jousting sticks. I cannot help thinking of the Classic Australian movie, “The Castle”, one of my favourites.

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Summer had certainly arrived in Scandinavia and in Kalmar it was a very pleasant 26 degrees Celsius.

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