July 29, 2011

A lighthouse on a grey day

It was the only day which was overcast that we cycled out to Fårö's lighthouse. The road winds through a rather dense forest of tall pines, creating a closeness with the tall trees and the low sky, I think I forgot at some points that I was on my way to see a building which beckons travellers from the vast expanses of the open sea.

We stopped off en route by Fårö's only supermarket, purchasing a carton of milk from Gotland,  a couple of smoked flounder from the smokehouse nextdoor and a selection of freshly baked rolls from the nearby bakery for a small picnic on the beach.

Next to the smokehouse was a small flea market and book stall, in a rundown wooden shed with a dirt floor - piles of unsorted books piled on trestle tables, listing bookshelves and mildew afflicted cardboard banana boxes. I surprisingly found an english copy of Goldfinger amongst the mess, for 5kr.

The lighthouse was surrounded by a low wall and a small outcrop of buildings. One can't go up to the light house as the area inside the wall is private property. The greyness of the sky and sea was reflected in the lighthouse structure itself, as well as the grey rocks below it, but it wasn't that gloomy, depressive grey that low clouds usually bring. The entire scene and atmosphere suited the weather much more so, than the swimming pool blue coloured skies of the days prior.

After lunching we lay in the sand dunes, using our jerseys and cardigans as makeshift pillows, as adventurers are wont to do (or so I like to think), and dozed lightly. After a while I wandered down to the shoreline, and discovered a dead seal. Some sea creature had eaten it's eyes. I didn't take a photo of it.


July 23, 2011

At Kutens Bensin

At Kutens Bensin, Fårö. Or as it's also known 'Creperi Tati'. It lay on the other side of what was possibly the largest sloping road on Fårö, and I inwardly cursed it's location as I peddled furiously up what became known as my nemesis hill; I filled with dread and defiance every time it loomed ahead of me, but the promise of relaxation, crepes, and a jukebox asking to be played was enough incentive. (let it be known I conquered this hill every time.)

We went there twice, first for dessert, and the next day for dinner.
The exterior is all overgrown weeds, rusted cars (one was meant to be the car Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death in, I never found it), and miscellaneous signs, watched over by an american flag atop an impossibly tall flag pole. The interior was a hodge-podge of Americana and Swedish nostalgia, wooden beams, formica tables, mismatched chairs; the kind of place where every inch of wall space seems to be covered by a photo, catchy slogan or retro knick-knack, and everything felt worn and lived in, in that comfortable, nostalgic way.

Sitting inside on the first evening, I had a classic chocolate crepe, while Kris ordered a 'Summer evening smile', I believe it was called, with saffron ice cream and dewberry jam. We drank cold Coke out of glass bottles (coke does taste better in glass bottles, you know), read old Swedish magazines and spent two hours taking turns playing the jukebox.

On our return trip with had dinner outside amongst the blue painted garden furniture and rusted refrigerators. The dinner galettes were all named after actors and musicians of the 50's and 60's - the Marilyn's, the Jimmy Deans, the Presleys and so forth. My Galette was called the 'Hopper', after Denis, naturally, and was brimming with chorizo, parma ham, potato, cherry tomatoes and cheese, and accompanied by a crisp, dry apple cider. I read a Goldfinger paperback I discovered earlier in the day at a small book stall set up in a shed next door to the supermarket and the fish smokery.

July 19, 2011

Fowl Spectators

A marabou stork struts casually onto the field in a World Cup qualifier match between Kenya and Morocco, Nairobi, Kenya, 2005.

An  owl swoops into the stadium, halting the match between Finland and Belgium for 8 minutes during a Euro 2008 qualifying match at Helsinki Olympic Stadium. As everyone stands around bewilderedly, wondering what to do, the owl launches from one goal, nonchalantly flying down the pitch, only to take up place upon the crossbar of the goal at the other end.

July 18, 2011

Bicycle ideal

I am scouting about for a new bicycle. At present the Pilen Lyx is the clear leader, preferably in forest green with a brown Brooks saddle, because one can choose things like that. This is most likely my equivalent of buying your first car.

July 17, 2011

Sea Legs

The RMS Queen Elizabeth on fire and as a shipwreck in Hong Kong Harbour, 1972.  While being converted into a University cruise ship (a rather amazing idea), the world's largest passenger ship mysteriously caught fire as her refurbishments neared completion.  So much water was poured into her, in a vain attempt to combat the blaze the ship eventually capsized from the weight, and lay wrecked in Hong Kong Harbour for many months, until eventually being partially scrapped to be used as landfill for Hong Kong Airport. Parts such as the keel and boilers still lie on on the seabed, and are still marked on local maps as 'Foul', an unsafe area to anchor a boat.

The wreck of the RMS Queen Elizabeh made for one of the more interesting film locations and sets when used as a covert MI6 headquarters in the 1974 Bond film 'The Man with the Golden Gun'. To accommodate for the capsized liner's continuous lean, the Secret Service apparently constructed new floors, ramps, staircases and bookshelves, making for excellent clashing wallpaper patterns, bizarrely distorted corridors,and staircases upon staircases.