Friday, September 4, 2009

Sandhamn Sailor Buns

We took an amazing boatride called the Thousand Island Cruise in the Swedish Archipelago on the historic boat, the Waxholm III which was built on 1903. Stromma Kanalbolaget runs this 11 hour cruise and several which are a lot shorter - but this one had a fabulous lunch buffet and a dinner, both of which were freshly cooked and extremely good. To see some pictures of this cruise go to my Flickr set on Sweden.

The route took us out to the outer Archipelago, including the island of Sandhamn, which is a sailor's paradise and a former enclave of the official pilots of the area. Historically, boats had to be guided through the maze of islands to find Stockholm. I'd believe it.

Of course, in the last while they have developed a local product for tourists to buy which is a unique local recipe. It's called a 'Sailor Bun'.

People line up to buy these yeasty, very un-sweet buns which have a crust of pearl sugar on top. They are pretty good. Here's Mark buying our buns.

So here's the bun. I'm standing on top of the 'Strindberg Mound' in Sandhamn which is an outcropping of rock in anotherwise sandy island. This is unusual for the outer archipelago which is largely bare granite; but this sandbar of an island has historically come in very useful - notably providing the sand for an artificial beach for a Hollywood starlet in the 1930s on the island of Bullerö.

August Strindberg spent a lot of time in the Archipelago, initially on Kymmendö Island which was the model for the fictional island Hemsö in his novel Natives of Hemsö. After the people read his book he had to find another island to spend his summers on. ;) I can picture him on this rock, comtemplating his plight.

Mark in the rain after dinner as we approach Stockholm.

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