Kalmar


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Kalmar was one of Sweden’s most important cities between the 13th and 17th centuries and its city seal, dating from the mid-1200s, is the oldest known in Scandinavia. Prominent when approaching by water is Kalmar Castle, one of Sweden’s best preserved renaissance castles. The castle was involved in a number of conflicts, and played a pivotal role in Scandinavian history as the site where the Kalmar Union was signed in 1397, forming a union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (including Finland).

We spent three nights moored in the center of Kalmer and had an excellent time visiting the castle, touring the nearby island of Oland, meeting some locals, and enjoying the sights and restaurants in this friendly city.

Below are trip highlights from April 1st through 3rd, 2019 in Kalmar, Sweden. Click any image for a larger view, or click the position to view the location on a map. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps

4/1/2019
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Moonrise
A sliver of a moon rising over the Baltic.
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Utlangan Lighthouse
The Utlangan Island lighthouse shining above the treetops at dawn as we exit the Karlskrona Archipelago.
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Swedish Navy
A Swedish Navy ship approached us at speed on our way north to Kalmar. We were expecting our US ensign would trigger an inspection, but they just gave us a close look in the binoculars as they continued past.
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Nearing Kalmar
Nearing Kalmar, with the Oland Bridge visible on the right. The 19,921 ft (6,072 m) bridge was the longest in Europe when completed in 1972. Kalmar Castle is visible at left.
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Kalmar Castle From Sea
Kalmar Castle evolved from a 12th-century fortified tower to a 16th-century medieval castle and has played a crucial part in Swedish history since its initial construction.
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Swedish Agro
Swedish Agro facility along the Kalmar waterfront. The company specialises in the sale of plant protection to arable farms throughout Sweden.
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Grimskar
Fortifications on the island of Grimskar just northeast of Kalmar Castle. Blog reader Marcus Oldin told us the island initially was used to protect the castle and town from attacks by sea and later, between the end World War II to the 1980s, was a secret underground mine station.
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Kalmar Harbour
The view as we enter Kalmar Harbor. The large building at the center is an old steam mill and the upper half of Kalmar Cathedral is visible at left.
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Maritime Academy
Several practice rescue boats outside the Kalmar Maritime Academy.
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Marcus Oldin
We pulled into an excellent berth right in the center of Kalmar, full of people having lunch outside on the warm and sunny day. Blog reader and Kalmar resident Marcus Oldin had been tracking our progress and was on hand to greet us when we arrived. He even brought us a selection of local craft beer. What a wonderful welcome!
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Nine By Nine
Our berth in Kalmar has only 10-amp power, but two outlets are avaialbe. So with our dual shore-power system we have each of our chargers running at nine amps (bottom right), for a total of eighteen. We can run well on that, and even do laundry. (Kalmar does have 16A power on the south side of the harbour, but that side is under construction.)
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Gamla Hamnen
Moored at Gamla Hamnen in downtown Kalmar. The blue pylons are to maximize space in the marina—during the busy season boats typically moor bow to the wall with the stern end tied to the pylons, similar to med-mooring.
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Moat
Looking southeast across the Kalmar castle moat. The castle was involved in a number of conflicts, and played a pivotal role in Scandinavian history as the site where the Kalmar Union was signed in 1397, forming a union of Denmark, Norway and Sweden (including Finland). The castle was badly damaged in the 17th-century Kalmar War and a later fire, and fell into disrepair in the late 1700s. Restoration work begin in the mid-1800s and today it is one of Sweden’s best preserved renaissance castles.
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Anchor
Jennifer with a large ship’s anchor outside Kalmar Castle.
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Medieval Kalmar
Model inside Kalmar Castle showing the medieval walled city and the castle beyond. The area where we are moored is on the other side of the river to the left of the city. Kalmar was one of Sweden’s most important cities between from the 13th to the 17th centuries and its city seal, dating from the mid-1200s, is the oldest known in Scandinavia.
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Queen’s Suite
The ornate Danish bed (captured from the Danes after a battle) in the Queen’s Suite is the only surviving original furniture in Kalmar Castle. The castle is huge, as our its rooms. We’re not often in a bedroom big enough to hold our entire boat.
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Checkered Room
The incredibly detailed inlaid wall panels of the Checkered Room at Kalmar Castle were made with 17 different types of wood, each a slightly different hue.
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Gray Hall
The table in the Gray Hall, the dining room, is set for an Easter feast based on a detailed account by one visitor who attended an Easter banquet in the castle.
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King’s Chambers
The elaborately decorated King’s Chambers has more beautiful inlaid wood panels.
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Golden Hall
The Golden Hall is so named for it’s magnificent golden coffered ceiling, completed in 1576.
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Chapel
The elegant Kalmar Castle chapel is one of Sweden’s most popular wedding venues.
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Cannons
Cannons guarding the ramparts at Kalmar Castle.
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Cannon Balls
Embedded in the south wall are cannon balls, possibly from the Kalmar War with the Danes, who held the castle from 1611-1613.
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HSwMS Carlskrona
The HSwMS Carlskrona passing by island of Grimskar. The 347 ft (105.7 m) ship is the longest vessel in the Swedish Navy and the largest built at Karlskrona Shipyard.
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Black-Headed Gull
Handsome black-headed gull on the Kalmar Castle grounds.
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Old Kalmar
Walking the cobblestone streets dating from medieval Kalmar.
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Water Tower
Kalmar’s first water tower, constructed 1897-1900, was in use until 1972. The tower was converted into apartments in the 1980’s and now contains 11 apartments of different sizes.
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Alpine Squill
Spring has arrived in Kalmar, with blue alpine squill and other wildflowers blooming everywhere.
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Dinner
We had an excellent dinner over a bottle of Nebbiolo at Ernesto Ristorante. The focaccia and pizza from their wood-fired oven, visible on the right, was superb.
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Evening
A beautiful evening in Kalmar. We initially planned to spend only two nights, but have already decided to stay a third.
4/2/2019
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Oland
Today we rented a car from Sixt, with a convenient pickup at the train station opposite the harbour, to tour Oland. The island is so large, with so many things to see, that even in a full day we only barely covered half. Read more …
4/3/2019
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Water
Filling up our freshwater tanks. As in Newport, RI, we’re a little early in the season and the city hasn’t turned the water on yet. So the marina manager, Janne Hammarkvist, ran a long hose out to us from their service building.
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Installing Moorings
Most Swedish harbors use a variant of Med-mooring where boats are aligned side by side with their ends against a pier. The most common approach in Sweden is to go bow-in rather than the more typical stern-in common in the Mediterranean, but it’s otherwise pretty similar.

Most of the Swedish harbors we’ve seen have a mooring on the seaward side making it easier to get tied off. One end of the boat is tied to the mooring and the other end is attached to shore with the boat position adjusted so that it’s close enough to shore to allow boarding but not so close to shore that the boat hits the pier when influenced by wind or swell. Here you can the installation process where large weights anchor down the blue buoys that are arrayed along the pier. Early in the year where there aren’t many visiting boats, the more conventional side tie is used and that’s how Dirona is currently tied off.

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Kalmar Cathedral
Work on Kalmar Cathedral began in 1660, while the town was transferring to a new location a little east of the castle after a devastating fire destroyed the old town. Due to wars and other delays, construction wasn’t completed until 1703. The cathedral stands across the town square, Stortorget, from the town hall.
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Cathedral Interior
Kalmar Cathedral is spectacular inside. The ornate and lavishly decorated pulpit on the left is particularly impressive.
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Organ
The beautiful main organ is one of three in Kalmar Cathedral.
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Cannons
Cannons from the Swedish warship Kronan on display at the Kalmar County Museum. The Kronan was the flagship of the Swedish Navy and sunk in battle of Oland island in 1676. The wreck was rediscovered in 1980 and since then tens of thousands of wonderfully preserved items have been salvaged from the ship.
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Kronan Excavation
An excellent display at the Kalmar County Museum detailing the sinking and the excavation of the Kronan.
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Kronan Model
The Kronan was a huge ship—the biggest ever built in Sweden at the time and one of the most technologically advanced ships of the time. The Kronan carried 110-114 bronze cannons and had a crew of 850. Nearly 800 went down with the ship when it sank.
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Wall
Walking the wall that surrounded Kalmar’s second location.
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Kaggensgatan
Looking north along Kaggensgatan in Kalmar from the city wall.
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Ferrari 488 GTB
Aristotelis Agrotis came by to visit us today in his 2018 Ferrari 488 GTB. I had jokingly suggested a trade where we show him around Dirona and he’ll take us out for a ride his Ferarri. Aristotelis knew I was joking but couldn’t resist dropping by with the Ferrari.

I used to service Ferraris back when I was an auto mechanic so I’ve driven many, but not been out in one in the last decade. A lot has changed. The 488 has massive carbon ceramic brakes and the 3.9 liter V8 puts out 661 HP. In an under 3300 lb (1500 kg) car, it’s extremely responsive. Ferarris have always been fast, but the newer cars have taken it to a higher level. And, what’s really different, is they are easy to drive. The cars idle well, and can lug around fine in traffic at only 1,000 RPM. The 7-speed paddle-shifted dual clutch transmission is wonderful and allows the car to be comfortable in heavy traffic while still being blistering fast with 0 to 62 MPH (100 kph) in 3.0 seconds and a blistering 10.45 second standing-start quarter mile.

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Aristotelis Agrotis Visit
After the highway run in the Ferrari 488 GTB, Aristotelis and I switched gears to the 9.5 kts Nordhavn 52. The Ferrari can do a 1/4 mile from a standing start in 10.45 seconds whereas Dirona will clock in closer to 85 seconds with a good hole shot. However, Dirona can do 4,000 nautical miles between fuelings. We had a great time talking boats and cars and I fully expect to see Aristotelis sometime in the future in his Nordhavn.
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Lilla Puben
Having a drink at cozy Lilla Puben in Kalmar. The walls are decorated with over 700 different varieties and brands of beer.
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Grona Stugan
We had an excellent meal at Grona Stugan on the Kalmar waterfront. Dirona is visible in the distance in the center of the photo.
Show locations on map Click the travel log icon on the left to see these locations on a map, with the complete log of our cruise.

On the map page, clicking on a camera or text icon will display a picture and/or log entry for that location, and clicking on the smaller icons along the route will display latitude, longitude and other navigation data for that location. And a live map of our current route and most recent log entries always is available at mvdirona.com/maps.

 
 


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