Posts Tagged‘Ales Stenar’

Coastal Adventure – 19 August 2013

by Keith Turner on August 20, 2013

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First of all I want to thank Mona for a fabulous day yesterday.  It was a lot of fun.
 
Kåsaberga Village
 
image of Kåsaberga Village
image of Kåsaberga Village
image from Kåsaberga Village

We spent the day on the Southeast coast of Sweden traveling though some of the small fishing villages of the area. We started out in the small fishing village of Kåsaberga.  On a bluff just outside of the village is Ales Stenar a stone ship monument from the Viking age.  If you want to read more about it I have a separate blog post on Ales Stenar.  As soon as I was done hiking up to the bluff and could see the stone ship the feeling of the place changed.  That was something I did not quite expect.  I can not really explain how if felt different.  It is a place where the Land, Sky and Ocean appear to merge into one.

image of Ales Stenar
Ales Stenar
image of Ales Stenar
Ales Stenar

After our hike we enjoyed lunch in the village overlooking the bay before heading to Skillinge.

Skillinge
 
At Skillinge we walked around the harbor.  There they have a cute tourists bureau there.  It was defiantly a working harbor.  There was a fisherman cutting up freshly caught fish and boats being repaired.  At the end of the harbor was a statue of a woman looking out to see as well as a line of flags, a common feature in Swedish harbors from my observation.

image of Skillinge Turist Byrå (Turist Bureau)
Skillinge Turist Byrå (Turist Bureau)
image from Skillinge Harbor
image from Skillinge Harbor
image from Skillinge Harbor
 
Simrishamn     

We then headed to Simrishamn which is a small beautiful city.  There was some fish processing plants there.  This looked to me to be a major fishing port of the area.  We stopped and enjoyed some glass (ice cream) then Vanim and I walked through the docks and checkout out the ships.  (Every time I walk through the docks and check out the sailing ships I think of Captain JR and sailing on the Great Salt Lake.)

image of Simrishamn
Vik

We stopped at Vik to see a cool geological feature along the coast of a formation of round  rocks.  If there was a village that I would love to have a vacation at it would be Vik.  The sea and beach there was beautiful.  It was a little village with very narrow streets and an beautiful coastline.  To keep this posting within reason I created a separate blog post for ocean pictures.  I also tried something I have not done before.  I took some videos of the ocean with my iPhone which I have also posted in a separate blog post.  Check those out if you are interested.

Kivik
 
Of course what good adventure to fishing villages would complete without eating fish so we stopped in Kvik and got some smoked salmon and some marulk.  Marulk is monkfish in English, I have also seen it refereed to as frog fish or devil fish.  I did not take a picture of it while I was in the market so I am using a picture found on Wikipedia which looks very much like the one I saw at the fish market in Kvik.    To the right of the fish is monkfish stakes which is what we picked up at the fish market.  It is what we had for dinner once we got home.  I really liked it.  The meat does not flake like most fish I have eaten.  So to take Vanim’s words a toast to the ugly fish.
To end our adventure we drove past a pig farm on the way home.  Nothing whatsoever to so with fish and fishing villages but still fun nonetheless.
Each time I go on an adventure and see something new I am amazed at the diversity in such a small area. Sweden is a beautiful country.

Ales Stenar in Kåseberga

by Keith Turner on August 20, 2013

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image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
Looking West at Ales Stenar
Drawing of Ales Stenar in 1777

What is Ales Stenar (Ale’s Stone) in Kåseberga?  It is a stone representation of a ship.  That is the one thing that people seem to all agree upon.  Other than that there appears to be disagreement between experts about when it was built and why it was built.  In 1777 not all the stones were standing upright.  In 1916 and in 1950 there was two restorations.  No one knows if the stones are in the exact same place as they were originally. Were the stone ship sits is on top of a stable sand dune that is covered in vegetation.  The information provided at the sight appears to be current accepted the narrative identifying the stone ship as a solar calendar. That is the information I will provide.  The Ship Faces Northeast.  You can see an aerial view from the embedded map below.

View Larger Map

Stone ships like Ales Stenar were often built during the Viking Era 800 – 1050 CE. Ship like monuments were also erected durring the early Bronze Age, from around 1100 – 400 BCE, but they had a slightly different form.  Analyses show that Ales Stenar was erected sometime durring the period 500 – 1000 CE.

Cup Marks on stone near Malöhus

Cup Marks- small carved, concave depressions – have been discovered on many of the boulders. These kind of carvings are often found on boulders in Stone Age dolmens and passage graves.  This means that boulders from old graves have been used to build Ales Stenar.  To the right is a picture of a stone with cup marks.  The cup marks have been marked with red for easier identification.  This stone is found just outside of Malmöhus.  (It is a typical example of how people used the avaliable stones in Skåne to produce rock carvings.  The cup marks are small and often ground depressions on the flat pieces of rocks and loose boulders. They are the most common form of rock carving in Sweden and have been interpret as symbols for fire, sun, of the female gender. taken from information marker by stone)  Also if you look at my blog post My Bicycle Adventure 16 July 2013 there is a section and a picture of an excavated passage grave.

To better understand the calendar aspect of the ship I have included the picture above from the information sign.     Winter Solstice: at winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the sun rises above the southeastern stern stone and stets besides the midship stone 16 in the southwest as observed from the observation point in the middle of the ship.  At this time 1/4 of the ship is day side and 3/4 is night side.  Summer Solstice: At summer solstice, the longest day of the year, the situation is reversed.  The sun rises then above the opposite midship stone and sets above the northwest stern stone as observed from the point of the middle of the stone ship, At that time 3,4 of the ship is day side and 1/4 is night side.  Equinoxes: at vernal and autumnal equinoxes, when the length of day and night is the same, the sun rises above stone 12 in the east and sets above the opposite stone 12 in the west as observed from the middle of the stone ship.  At that time the sun-ship is divided in such a way that equally many stones correspond to day and night. (Taken form the information marker)

image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
Southeast Stern Stone
image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
View Towards the Northeast
image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
Northwest Stern Stone
image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
View to the Southwest

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image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
View towards the Northwest Stern Stone standing at the Southeast Stern Stone
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image of Ales Stenar in Kåseberga
Northwest Stern Stone
Flower at the base of the Southeast Stern Stone
Standing in the middle of the Stone Sun-Ship you are up on a bluff over looking the sea and you feel as if you can touch the sky.  It is a stunning visual and an appropriate place to build a stone monument of this kind whatever its true purpose was.