Sound off! Flap! Set! The rowing boats bobbing in the harbor basin, the sails fluttering in the wind and the red wooden houses, the blond child on his tricycle – every view, every encounter here arouses the suspicion that a cameraman has to leap out from behind the roses, a director remakes the holiday on Saltkrokan “Or Ingmar Bergman's” Wild Strawberries “. But it's just Möja. But what does that mean here?
On Möja, the time has stopped pretty much, perhaps because the island is a bit off the tourist routes in the Stockholm archipelago and because the residents do not feel like constantly visiting. At four by six kilometers, around 250 people live throughout the year, “even though almost all of them still have a small flat in Stockholm,” says Klara Grivans. There is even a school for currently 18 children: from grade one to grade nine, complete with gymnasium and workroom.
Klara's husband Cesar spent his childhood summer on Möja, the family has lived here for five generations. Great-grandfather Helge has still grown strawberries and fished for cod and herring, Grandma Margareta, it was 1941, has set in a rowing boat before Långviksnäs in pose. These and other black and white photos hang in the Vandrarhem of the island, this Swedish version of a hostel. Cesar and Klara Grivans took over the former post office three years ago.
At that time, the islanders were worried, “a rich Stockholm can buy the two-story wooden house and convert it to his protzvilla,” says Klara. The relief was great when the Grivans took over the house in Berg, the largest town on the island. The invasion of the capital had been averted. Last year the two won the second prize in the “Svenska Turistföreningen” competition for the “Pillow of the Year”, the jury consisted exclusively of guests. To give them not only scenery and sea air, but also some entertainment, Cesar Grivans has made the captain's license. Since then he offers seal safaris and tours to Sauna Island opposite.
The summers in the archipelago are short and bright, the winters long and dark, then the smaller boats rest on land, and the mainland ferries go only twice a day. The work of the Grivans on Vandrarhem starts with a large plaster in April and ends in October with repairs on doors and the purchase of new mattresses. Klara does not draw much back to her office life in the Stockholm media industry, which is about 50 kilometers away. Whenever the Grivans can, they live in their house in Långvik, on the northern tip of the island.
On Möja you like to go by bike. The villages are located between pastures, forests and granite rocks, gravel roads and sandy tracks lead past strawberry fields, the oldest dance floor of the archipelago. From the harbor in Långvik it goes uphill, downhill to that in Löka. You bathe in the small bay of Saltvik, visit the island market, and there is already one again Fischer Rune on his three-wheeled moped with cargo area in front of the handlebar.
The late seventies is one of the last archipelago fishermen. He supplies “Wikströms Fisk” in Ramsmora with fresh catch, which his wife Inga-Lill and daughter Stina prepare in such a delicious way that the reputation of the family restaurant has spread to Stockholm.
Most beautiful monotony
Yes, you make friends quickly on Möja, some faces are encountered several times a day. Most people who stay longer than a day or two create their day plans under the primacy of the most beautiful monotony: sea, bathing, laze. Then they lie on cliffs and granite humps and follow the sluggish maneuvers of the sailboats, the snapping of sticklebacks for breadcrumbs and the seemingly never setting sun.
At night gusts rattle the gable, the seagulls keep each other awake by their shrieks. In the morning, however, the wind has subsided again, the bare Baltic Sea stretches like a cloth.
As soon as the “MS Octava” leaves the pier in Möja, the leaden sky dissolves. It is as if the Line 40 ferry plows a swathe through the clouds above it. On the approximately 130-kilometer route from Arholma and Simpnäs in the north to Nynäshamn in the south, the ship of the “Nord-Sydlinjen” heads for about 30 jetties. Locals climb, laden with shopping, tourists with rucksacks get off. The entertainment program is limited to the view, the fellow travelers and the captain in his sun-drenched cabin, which is supplied with giant cups of black coffee from the on-board kiosk. And one wonders if that ends well?
The “MS Octava” drives past Rögrund and Nämdö and on islands, which are little more than rocks. On the way you look at the one end of Sweden: Out there is Bullerön, which lured with its barren beauty guests such as Zarah Leander, Errol Flynn and Charlie Chaplin.
The ship also stops in front of Kymmendö, where August Strindberg spent the summers until his novel “The People on Hemsö” appeared in 1887. Sex in the island church, during the service? Vicious, small-minded characters? The wrath of the inhabitants, who easily recognized each other in the literary figures, was biblical. The famous summer guest was banished forever from paradise. Too bad for him, that he can not stop by on the island of Sandön and write about it. He would make eyes on a visit to the “beautiful Sandhamn, surrounded on three sides by water and on the fourth by the sea,” as he wrote in 1873.
If you want to experience how hedonistic the supposedly sober Swedes are in their summer holiday, you should drop by the Sandhamn Marina in the evening. This is where sleek sailboats are moored and elegant yachts, the full refueling costs as much as a used car. Champagne is drunk on plastic glasses and loud music is heard on board. If you are not already brown like a gingerbread, the sunburn has at least reddened your nose.
Sandhamn has become a party island of wealthy Stockholmers. This is where old money and modern showmanship meet in the most entertaining way: In the front yard of the island baker, they talk about win-win investments and risk acceptance, before they all come to the “After Sail Party” in front of the sailor hotel. That's where visitors had to vacate their rooms until eight o'clock 20 years ago. The robust sailor spirit that used to prevail here has given way to a more relaxed way of life. Who dances and drinks until two o'clock in the morning, of course, wants to sleep in his intoxication a bit.
Wrumm wrumm! Thousands of PS! At noon on a July Sunday, a hundred speedboats gather for the Powerboat Race in Sandhamn Harbor and plow white roads into the water. Later, around 4,000 euros will be collected for the charity and the medals will be distributed – by the way, silver goes to the team “Blown Money”. Because Sandhamn is also faster on land today, most of the islanders climb the massive Quad, the Yamaha model “Grizzly” is the most popular.
Blueberries and bays
Just a few steps away from the hustle and bustle of Sandhamn, crooked alleys lead between wooden houses and manicured gardens to the south of the island. Clematis sprawls on facades, lilacs smell, elder flowers, in the branches of apple trees hang bathing trunks to dry. On the outskirts, a light forest of pine trees, which were planted everywhere, to prevent the sand flight. A path leads through blueberry scrub and gnarled roots, then you reach the beach bays of Trouville in the south of Sandön, named after the French seaside resort of Trouville-sur-Mer.
Now a few more steps over dried seaweed and sun-burnt stones, spread the bath towel and close your eyes. You can hear the voices of children throwing balls along the waterline, the metal hull of a boat crunching onto the beach, the gurgling of small waves. Since you've been here before, you think it would be nice, but it would be nice and smart, right after a few weeks dranzuhängen.