Byxelkrok, North Öland

Frans & Sarah Toonen
Thu 10 Jul 2014 17:00
Monday 7- Thursday 10 July 2014. Very sunny with 25C+.

Byxelkrok has a small harbour with a couple of fishing boats and a berth for the ferry from Oskarshamn. In the short summer season it holds over 60 boats with the Harbour Master and his staff working hard to fit everyone in. Many yachts are rafted 4 deep and when the afternoon ferry leaves that berth is filled up for the night as well. An array of small shops based in painted huts fill the harbour front and there are several restaurants and small hotels catering not just for the yachts but for the campsite and camper vans as well. 

From many of the bow-too berths (like ours) one can see over the harbour wall to the setting sun. Behind the wall is a pebble beach and BBQ areas so the adults can eat and drink whilst the kids all play in the sea. 

Öland has more sunshine than any other area of Sweden. The whole island (140km long) is one piece of limestone and whilst the largest ‘alvar’ area is the UNESCO World Heritage site in the south, the north of the island has several smaller alvars which attract rare birds and host a wide variety of wild flowers including many rare species. There are iron age remains and later Viking settlements littering the north as well as vast forests several hundreds years old. The forests are well established because the area was a royal hunting ground and wood cutting was banned. The forestry commission now sustain the forests and maintain many walking and cycling routes for our enjoyment. 

On Tuesday we cycled 28 miles along coastal paths and through the forest. Some of the forest tracks were very narrow and we discovered whilst studying our map to find ‘Löpsparen’ , signposted 2.5km, the reason we couldn’t find it was because it means ‘jogging trail’. We followed our helper and ended up at Böda Sand which is the largest campsite in Sweden situated on the long sandy beach of the west coast. 

Sarah was keen to see the pebble fields on the east coast where the flowering viper’s bugloss forms a continuos field of blue along the beach/ancient burial ground called the 'fields of Neptune’. As this was close to the return to Pelagia Frans was focused on getting back for a rest and zoomed straight past without noticing. Sarah slow coach enjoyed the flowers and made it back eventually. 

Wednesday, Frans took a real ride of 46 miles and Sarah decorated the boat with laundry and did some sewing for a rest. We have blackout curtains now so the blazing sun doesn’t wake Frans up at 4am. 

Great cycle routes:

OK sunset I’m-a ready: