Runestone Road Trip, September 2015

Runestone Road tripRunestone Road tripThe Replösa stone.

Runestone Road tripIroh the Siberian Husky is checking the surroundings and thinking “Finally out of the car”.

Runestone Road tripRunestone Road tripRunestone Road tripGood morning sunshine, shining through the trees.

Runestone Road trip Runestone Road trip Runestone Road tripForest floor teeming with Lingonberries, they were everywhere.

Runestone Road tripOn this spot stood the Rulleberg poorhouse, well outside town and out of sight.

Runestone Road trip Runestone Road tripThe Forsheda Runestone at first light.

Runestone Road trip Runestone Road tripThe Amanita Muscaria is the Berserkr inducer that was used by some Vikings warriors before battle. Legend around here has it, that the warriors made slave girls eat the mushrooms, using them as filters to remove the lethal substances and then drank their urine to avoid a potentially deadly poisoning. Nothing has been passed down about the fates of the slave girls..

Runestone Road tripThe Sturkö stone, in the archipelago of Karlskrona.

Runestone Road tripRunestone Road tripRunestone Road tripThe Björketorp stones outside Ronneby.

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Runestone road trip snapshots from my 2 day and 940km / 584mi long trip through 4 different counties of southern Sweden. I started out in Denmark, crossed the Öresunds bridge and headed northeast, up into the deep forests. I had planned my first stop at the Replösa stone, just outside Ljungby approx. 261km / 162mi away with just a minor water and food stop on the way, everything went smoothly and just as I arrived, the sun came out.. Perfect.

I took a 10 minutes break, stretched my legs and let my travel companion Iroh the Siberian Husky do what he needed to, before getting my 35mm camera loaded with expired AgfaPan APX 25 out of the car. Got a little carried away in sheer excitement, so I shot half a roll entirely of the runestone before going back to the car and heading of to the next runestone stop outside Värnamo, 56.3km / 35mi further to the north.

Having arrived at Forsheda without incident, I let Iroh out of the car and together we went into the forest to find the runestone. The forest floor was full of ripe lingonberries and after eating several handfuls myself, I tried to convince Iroh into trying some too just for fun, but he is definitely carnivore incarnate, he would not have any of it. We found the runestone and after checking it out for a bit, I decided to photograph it in the early morning light, so we went back to the car to have a drink and grab a bite to eat.

Woke up after a good nights sleep at 5:30AM and it was still dark, with only the faintest hint of dawn to be seen through the trees. Perfect timing for catching the first light on the runestone which is oriented towards the east, so off we went and again I managed to shoot half a roll entirely of the stone itself. Sun was now up and shone its warm embracing light through the trees, so I finished up and we headed back to get ready to move on to the next runestone in Kårestad, outside Växsjö.

After about 100km / 62mi we arrived at King Kåres stone in beautiful rural agricultural surroundings, it´s very obvious that the settlements here go way back to ancient times. I totally forgot to take some digi snaps, but of course I did shoot another half a roll of AgfaPan. The next leg of our journey went towards the coast, to the Sturkö stone near Karlskrona, eastward on road 25, with a stop at Hyllsjön to say hello and through Lessebo where I stopped briefly and bought a couple of Elk Brews in the local liquor store, to the right turn onto road 28.

Headed south on road 28 for another 111km / 69mi, to the Karlskrona archipelago and arrived at the Sturkö site in perfect weather, sunny, warm and almost no wind. So after the by now obligatory half roll of APX 25, Iroh and I went for a stroll in the surroundings which turned out to be a protected nature reserve. What a place, such a suggestive, beautiful archipelago. Having enjoyed the island and photographed what I wanted, I took a minor detour into Karlskrona, as I had never been in the city center, before heading on to the Björketorp stones.

Just 33km / 20mi to the west stands the last runestone I planned to photograph on this roadtrip, something very different from the stones I had photographed earlier on this trip. This stone is in proto-norse and carved with a type of runes that form an intermediate version between the Elder Futhark and the Younger Futhark used during the viking age. Another half roll of AgfaPan and I was out of 35mm film, mainly because I realized that I had forgotten 2 rolls on the kitchen table while packing, typical.. Oh well, time to head on towards home anyways.

Now all I have to do, is to develop the films and scan the negatives..

 

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