Saturday was a full day of time travel. We started off at Marstrand, and took a ferry to the Carlsten Fortress on the Atlantic coast of Sweden. The fortress was the backdrop for an international yacht race. We watched to boats do tight manoeuvers while we climbed up to the castle. We spent the next two and a half hours climbing every tower Dale could find. The views from the towers were spectacular. There was even a secret passage! The castle was known as the most secure prison in Sweden. There were experiments done on some of the inmates as they were serving their time. For example, one prisoner was only spoken with once per year. He was so distressed; he drew wall pictures of a man on a horse that he believed would rescue him – in his own blood. Four inmates charged with the same theft. One of them was allowed to throw a dice to decide which of them was to be executed. The remaining inmates were to “run the gauntlet” nine times. All of the people in the village would have to hit the men running down the avenue and if they didn’t hit hard enough, they might have to join the inmates in their run. It was not a death sentence exactly, but people often didn’t survive the gauntlet. Another inmate spent so much time looking out the window that he wore the stone away with his fingers. The most famous inmate was Lasse-Maja. He had once been an inmate at the Ӧrrebro castle prison we visited last week and was transferred to Carlsten prison. He was known for dressing in drag and committing his crimes. He escaped several times by dressing as a woman and convincing a guard that he did not belong in the prison. The entire fortress was interesting and it was only due to hunger that we shut down our tour. We had lunch sitting on the Quay next to the coach of the Swedish National Hockey Team.
We then made our way through the crowds to the ferry and took off for Tanum, a world heritage site. We didn’t get to enter the museum after getting there at 6:05 and because it closed at 6:00pm. But, we were lucky that all the rock carving sites we wanted to see were actually outside and we could still see them. They were fabulous. The archeologists painted the rock carvings either red or white so we could see them clearly. A couple of sites were left unpainted so we could experience what it looked like to figure out what the figures looked like when they were found. We went to several sites to see the different carvings. The rock carvings were far inland but were likely on islands or near the shore when they were carved 3500 years ago. We weren’t always sure what the pictures meant but they were fascinating.
We came home at 10 pm after a wonderful day. We crashed shortly thereafter completely satisfied after a great day with good friends.