Heaven is crying as we leave Stockholm. We want to take the ferry from Stockholm to Helsinki. Departure time is 4 p.m. We booked with the Viking Line and go by MS Mariella. The ships are somewhat smaller as the ships of the Silja Line, but the price is also much cheaper. Yet it was crucial for us, that only the Viking Line had seats available that fit our schedule.
The rain showers in the port of Stockholm do not last long and the sun comes out again. Once again, we see the route to Vaxholm. But this time from a perspective a few floors higher.
Our admiration goes to the crew of the ship. It is certainly not easy to maneuver such big ships between the islands. The waterway is partly so narrow that at first glance one doubts whether the ship can pass through. Besides, the shore often comes very close.
This time we see the second fairway between the Baltic Sea to Stockholm. The first passage, called Kodjupet, lies between the islands of Vaxholm and Rindö. On a small island in the middle is the fortress Vaxholm.
The second passage, called Oxdjupet (ox depth), is a little further west between the islands Rindö and Värmdö. At its narrowest part is only about 180 m wide. On the eastern side is the fortress Fredriksborg and on the western side Oskar-Fredriksborg.
Oskar-Fredriksborg was completed in 1877. Until 1925, one expanded the defense systems continuously. The fortifications were part of the Vaxholm line.
The further we approach the open sea, the islands become flatter and rockier. The vegetation also gets sparser. The sea has washed the loose sediments of the rocks and the crustal rebound has not yet advanced to such an extent that they could be covered with soil again.
Just in time for the sunset, we reach the open sea. The sky immerses more and more in different shades of red.
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We still use the opening hours of the Duty-Free shop to stock up on necessary items.
With the last light of the day, we enter the port of Mariehamn, in the autonomous Finnish province of Åland. The Archipelago of Åland comprises 6700 islands and has about 29,000 inhabitants.
In the port of Mariehamn lies the museum ship Pommern. The four-masted barque, with a bald-headed rig, was built under the name Mneme (Greek: memory) for the Hamburg shipping firm B. Wencke and Sons, in 1903. Today, it is the only four-masted barque in the original state.
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