Sunday, August 19, 2007

The island

Here's some scoop on where we are planning to build.

The island is called Aspö. In Swedish, "ö" means "island". An 'asp' is not a snake in Swedish (more on that later) but rather an aspen tree. There are about 70 homes on Aspö and around 85 total places to build. There are no roads, or vehicles (except Janne's ATV but he gets to have that because he is a resident and a builder.) There is a path around the island which is about 1.3 miles around, according to my Nike+ and iPod. There is electricity and phone service (although everyone has a mobile these days). Fresh water is provided by private wells dug through the rock to the freshwater below. There is no sewage, so each home has a self-contained toilet of some description (much more on that subject in following posts).

Access to the island is through two main boat lines. First is the Waxholm boat which is a big ship and makes a couple stops a day to the main dock at the south end of the island on its way through the archipelago. There are also smaller scheduled taxi boats that will essentially stop at the dock of choice on their runs to a handful of islands. In the summer, access is pretty easy. In the winter, it's a lot harder, but then again, not too many people winter over on the outer islands. All boats leave from Stavsnas, which is about 45 minutes south of Stockholm by bus. The taxi boats are timed to the bus arrivals, so you have to hoof it off the bus straight onto the taxi. (The stampede is kind of fun to watch if you're not part of it, schlepping your 3-liter boxes of wine, plus Lord knows what-all, onto the boat!) We've left Margaret and Janne's flat at 0745 and been on Aspö at 0915. No time to dally on that journey, though, it's train to bus to boat to ö, bam, bam, bam.

If you want to check out Google maps to see the island, the link is on the left of this blog under 'relevant links'.

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