Stranded in Ystad
Yesterday, Erin and I had quite a misadventure. We were planning to visit Lund to go shopping for a winter coat for Erin but at the last minute we decided to go on a romantic date instead. Of course, “romantic date” for Erin and I means that we went to a 1,400 year old archaeological site and got stranded in the boonies at night. But we’ll get to that.
First stop, Ystad. It’s about an hour’s train ride from our apartment. When we got there we grabbed lunch at MAX, a Swedish fast food place. We didn’t realize it was fast food until we went inside but we were too lazy to find something better. From there we walked a couple blocks to the St. Maria cathedral. It wasn’t quite as big as the one in Lund but the over the top baroque style made it impressive in its own way. Here are a few of our favorite shots from the cathedral.
From there we hopped on a bus and drove 20 minutes to Kåseberga to see the Ale’s Stones. The Ale’s Stones are a Stone Ship from the Viking Iron Age. Stone ships are sites where important people were either buried or cremated. Scandinavian folklore says that the legendary King Ale is buried there, however no graves have been discovered at the site. There is some speculation and study into the idea that the Ale’s Stones were intended to be a calendar, with the sun setting over different stones depending on the time of the year.
Don’t ask me what the cow was doing in that last picture.
After spending about an hour looking around, we decided it was time to head back to the bus stop, vowing that we would one day return to spend more time with the stones. Here’s a shot of Erin walking back down the trail…
While waiting at the bus stop, we saw a bunch of people playing soccer on a slip-n-slide in orange jumpsuits. One of them told us they were Engineering and Physics majors from Lund University (Erin’s school) who are going through some sort of initiation.
So that’s what we did while waiting for the bus. Only the bus didn’t come. After waiting half an hour, Erin called Skånetrafiken (the company that runs all the buses and trains) to ask them where our bus was. They informed us that way out in the boonies where we were, we have to call 2 hours in advance if we want the bus to come. The next scheduled stop was 4 hours from then, at 10:06pm.
You’ve gotta be kidding me. Oh well…BACK TO THE STONES!
So that’s what we did. Instead of ordering a cab (which would have cost $100) we decided to wait it out with King Ale. And besides, we really wanted to see the sun set over the stones. When we got there, the sun was already low in the sky.
To pass the time, Erin meditated around the site, we collected rocks, hiked up and down the giant cliff to and from the ocean shore, ran laps around the stones, did jumping jacks to keep warm, and hunted frogs.
And then we waited…
The sun was a vivid red like I haven’t seen before. The camera couldn’t capture the true color. It was amazing. But it was also very cold and windy and we didn’t bring jackets because we didn’t intend to stay that late. So we headed down the hill to get out of the wind. At the bus stop we still had an hour to wait and our phones were both at about 8% battery life so we were starting to get worried about what would happen if our driver didn’t show up and we were unable to call for a cab. Hunger, boredom, and cold make for hilarious antics. We have tons of video of what we did to pass the time and we’re currently editing it all together. So keep an eye out for that. Eventually our driver did show up, right at 10:06pm. Then it was a 20 minute ride to Ystad Station (with an fun conversation with our driver), a 1 hour train ride to Malmö Central, another 20 minute ride to our apartment and then the longest walk up two flights of stairs of our lives. We had been out for 14 hours, we had walked miles, many of which were up hill, we were freezing and hungry, and it was our BEST day in Sweden so far. We are so happy to have experienced this little adventure!