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Back in 2012 I had the fortune of spending a week on and around Aspö Island in Sweden.  I arranged a ‘mini conference’ with my wife, which took place in Vienna, and we both decided that this would be a great place to spend a week of our holiday.  At our ‘conference 2012’, (you’ll shortly discover why I call it a conference), I put forward the idea of going to Aspo Island and the surrounding area.  I’d heard about it from a friend who’d visited Sweden and thought it would suit us really well.  Sweden is a formidable country which is a pioneer in it’s attempts to go fossil-fuel free.  Both my wife and I are ardent supporters of any country, place, corporation, business or conference that is trying to save the planet.

Despite loving simplicity and calmness in holidaying prerequisites, my wife still wanted to stay somewhere a little more ‘populated’, like the island of Trossö, rather than somewhere as rural as Aspö, and she did mostly win that battle, but not without me managing to persuade her that spending a night on Aspo Island would in fact be a great fun and a good walking experience.  After that conference, (OK, some might call it a ‘conference’ some might call it an argument or a debate), which lasted a good while, the trip became known as ‘Aspo2012’ – a little like Nixon’s Watergate scandal)…!

At any rate, I thought it would be a nice idea to put up a site dedicated to this wonderful island and it’s surroundings, in case there were any other people out there interested in visiting Aspo, obviously, the date Aspo 2012 will no longer be relevant – times have moved on – but it is unlikely that that much else will have changed much in those parts in the last few years, seeing as precious little has over there for the last century or so!!

The underdeveloped island of Aspo, is situated in the southeast of Sweden, in the province of Blekinge.  If you want to get to Aspö you have to take the ferry from Karlskrona, which runs every hour, and is free of charge.  It is a flat island, like much of the terrain in the region, which is free from most common environmental dramas of the 21st century.  Aspö island itself, gets few visitors each year, but the ones that it does get are mostly tourists, walkers and history nuts (like me).  I really wanted to visit the old fortress of Drottningskär, which was a 17th century naval base.  This was one of the most important places I wanted to visit during our trip, which is on the east of the Island.

As I mentioned before, the island of Aspö itself, is a lot smaller than I had originally realised, and I mean really small.  It has only around 500 residents!  Which is what you would call a community of people… or, as I’d like to put it, a small conference of people, because there are as many people living there as attend an average conference in my experience!

I’m not sure what the island runs on either, energy wise.  There don’t appear to be many alternative energy sources around – I didn’t see any wind turbines or solar panels… but I suppose that’s to be expected to a degree, as Sweden doesn’t get as much sun as some countries.  I would have thought that it would be able to harness more wind power though, as the terrain is relatively flat and the wind can sweep across it at a great pace.  Based on the fact that one of the hotels that we stayed at ran out of fuel, (I don’t know whether it was gas or oil that it ran on, but we had to have a cold shower in the morning) I’d suggest that they get some wind-turbines erected pretty sharpish!!

Karlskrona - spread over 30 islands
Karlskrona is a waterman’s dream!

 

As well as visiting Aspö, we went to many of the islands that make up Karlskrona.  There are actually 30 islands on the archipelago, but the city of Karlskrona’s centre is found on the island of Trossö.

 

 

Another place of interest in the region was the Karlskrona Admiralty Church, (which in Swedish is known as the Karlskrona amiralitetskyrka).  This church is situated on the Karlskrona archipelago, on the island of Trossö rather than the island of Aspö. It is well but is well worth a visit as it’s on a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, as part of the Karlskrona naval base.  It’s is entirely made of wood and was inaugurated back in 1685.  Because it was originally designed to take 4000 in its congregation, it is officially the largest church in all of Sweden.  Another reason why it is worth a visit is because in front of it stands a statue of ‘Old Man Rosenbom’, Gubben Rosenbom, which has stood there since the middle of the 1700s.  The statue is a life sized poor box, to raise money for the local poor of the region.  By simply lifting the old fellow’s hat, you can make a donation.  He holds a sign that requests that passers by make a donation of a penny or so.  On the sign appears the bibles quotation of;

Statue of Gubben Rosenbom
A penny for the poor sir!

‘Blessed is he who cares of the poor’.

I put a penny under his hat in the hope that it would get me into heaven’s gates!

Incidentally, too get to the church, you take the main road, which is the E22, which links the island of Trossö to the mainland.

So, we planned our trip and headed out to Sweden during the summer of 2012.

On this website, you’ll find a few of the places that we visited during our trip along with some recommendations as to where to stay if you are going to Aspo and the region of Karlskrona in Sweden.

Incidentally, you, as an Austrian, may want to take a look at this article before you go, which highlights the differences between Austrians and Swedes, and pinpoints the problems with Austrian tourists.. it should make you laugh out loud!!