The weather is heading south…

I always think the birds I see in the sky are migrating south, which may be they are. But I know for sure that the sun has headed that way…

Last week the temperature really dropped in the mornings, and this was a good trigger to make sure I enjoyed the weekends before it got too cold and miserable. I ended up going sea-kayaking with Kyle, Dan and Kate to a nearby island where we camped overnight. The next morning was absolutely beautiful, though freezing if you weren’t basking in the sun. Hopefully a few of my photos turn out.

It really is an amazing little town and region, and must be about the best place in Sweden to be out on the water. By paddling around a bit, I suddenly became aware of the large number of waterfront homes spread around the town. It seemed like everyone had a boat ramp to compliment their understated cottages. And they are nice cottages/houses: everyone seems wealthy enough (Volvos, sheds full of kayaks and lawnmower’s), but it is all very ‘lagom’. That is, in Swedish: ‘not too much, not too little, just right’ and definitely not overdone.

The layout of the city really is quite different to any regional town I’ve seen in Australia. I’m sure the ‘European Spatial Planning’ students at our University could explain it better, but…
– There is real mix of innner ‘city’ living, large apartment blocks, waterfront homes, rural cottages and satellite villages.
– There is excellent public transport and bike paths absolutely everywhere. I (a committed on-road rider back home) have almost no reason to leave the safety of the bike lanes wherever I want to ride.
– The land-uses are really mixed: there is a municipal incinerator next to the supermarket, there are industrial sites close to houses, mountain bike and ski trails 100m from the University.
– Big businesses are located here: Vodafone Sweden, the urban planning department for the whole of Sweden, the Swedish Navy. I have been told this is the result of concious efforts to decentralise these sorts of functions adn industries.
– And apparently there is room for 50, 000 people in a massive bomb shelter under the centre of the city: something to do with it being (past and currently) the centre for Sweden’s naval fleet. I will have to check it out sometime!

My opinion of Karlskrona may change though: it looks like we really have dropped into something like Autumn or Winter scaring away the beautiful weather that has dominated so far. I am now having to take my lights with me whenever I cycle in the morning or late afternoon, and my ears and legs are starting to get quite frozen if I don’t do something to protect them. It could get really ugly if it starts to get wet and slushy…but I hope for the best. At least the pool I swim at is indoor and warm : )

And, we recently discovered the AWESOME indoor rock-climbing gym that had been hiding under our noses for the past 2 months. So, there are plenty of options to stay fit and sane through the darker, colder months

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