Words and Photos: Danae Magurno

Hållö, Archipelago // Sweden

Words and Photos: Danae Magurno
Words and Photos: Danae Magurno

Hållö, Archipelago // Sweden

Words and Photos: Danae Magurno

The island of Hållö could be glimpsed through the mist as our small wooden boat rose and fell with the swell. The rain that day had been inclement since we woke, when the winter sun had not yet risen. It seemed that the clouds had an endless supply of water as the drizzle swept around us; the sky gloomy, the wind capable of moving you with a single gust.

Huddled in with the skipper, an eccentric and chatty Swedish, who let us sit next to him in the small cockpit to avoid a soaking, we left behind the expanse of small houses, in stretches clustered along the rocky shore, their bright colours (from teal, to the typical Nordic red) clashing with the grays of the gloomy day. Ahead the small island, a red and white lighthouse emerging from the stark rock and small uninhabited houses in red wood. The sea, restless and offended, seemed not to want us to land.

The skipper left us at the dock and headed back to the mainland, with the promise that he would come back for us the next morning. We crossed the island along its spine, exploring the island and its gray granite cliffs. In some spots, the rocks and the channeled water – aided by the flow of time – had created small natural pools, surrounded by spongy grass pillows of moss. Seagulls were resting around there, as if standing still, during a storm, was the most natural and easy thing to do in the world. We had only a few hours of light left, before darkness fell. The day did not bode well, but then, the sun appeared to reveal a sunset of pastel colours, soft and beautiful, in its own way. It always happens like this in life.

The island of Hållö could be glimpsed through the mist as our small wooden boat rose and fell with the swell. The rain that day had been inclement since we woke, when the winter sun had not yet risen. It seemed that the clouds had an endless supply of water as the drizzle swept around us; the sky gloomy, the wind capable of moving you with a single gust.

Huddled in with the skipper, an eccentric and chatty Swedish, who let us sit next to him in the small cockpit to avoid a soaking, we left behind the expanse of small houses, in stretches clustered along the rocky shore, their bright colours (from teal, to the typical Nordic red) clashing with the grays of the gloomy day. Ahead the small island, a red and white lighthouse emerging from the stark rock and small uninhabited houses in red wood. The sea, restless and offended, seemed not to want us to land.

The skipper left us at the dock and headed back to the mainland, with the promise that he would come back for us the next morning. We crossed the island along its spine, exploring the island and its gray granite cliffs. In some spots, the rocks and the channeled water – aided by the flow of time – had created small natural pools, surrounded by spongy grass pillows of moss. Seagulls were resting around there, as if standing still, during a storm, was the most natural and easy thing to do in the world. We had only a few hours of light left, before darkness fell. The day did not bode well, but then, the sun appeared to reveal a sunset of pastel colours, soft and beautiful, in its own way. It always happens like this in life.

Hallo lighthouse
Hallo lighthouse

That night, for evening companions we would have the sea and the rumbling wind. We would sleep in a deserted hostel, the only two guests on the island. Darkness fell, and fanciful thoughts crowded into our heads. Being the only human presence on an island, can make us feel particularly vulnerable and it forces us to think. The incessant sound of the wind, similar to a high pitched whine; the only glimmering lights of the fishing boats far out to sea, and of the lighthouse that from this short distance, loomed large. The sea black and angry. The sky, illuminated by hundreds of stars, which in turn looked like small white islands. During those sleepless hours, every perceived noise, or glimpsed light, was the fuel for suggestive fantasies.

The sky at dawn was pale pink glow, strangely reminiscent of the sunset of the night before. I thought back to the night just passed, to how even a simple experience in nature, can make us feel an integral part of our surroundings, attentive to observation, sensitive to listening to what a place has to say. Sailing away that morning past small islets of the Bohuslän archipelago, the sea oddly enough was less frightening. The small houses greeted us, cheerful in their different colours.

Sometimes, today when I lay in bed, I feel I’m still on that island hearing its whispers; I think back to that strange feeling similar to being on a boat in the middle of a stormy sea. I imagine the island, always there, accustomed to those same noises and the slow and equal flow of time.

Every writer hopes to have their work published. Our team supports first-time writers + female adventure writers and we’ve helped 22 writers publish for the first time, including Danae’s article on Sweden.

That night, for evening companions we would have the sea and the rumbling wind. We would sleep in a deserted hostel, the only two guests on the island. Darkness fell, and fanciful thoughts crowded into our heads. Being the only human presence on an island, can make us feel particularly vulnerable and it forces us to think. The incessant sound of the wind, similar to a high pitched whine; the only glimmering lights of the fishing boats far out to sea, and of the lighthouse that from this short distance, loomed large. The sea black and angry. The sky, illuminated by hundreds of stars, which in turn looked like small white islands. During those sleepless hours, every perceived noise, or glimpsed light, was the fuel for suggestive fantasies.

The sky at dawn was pale pink glow, strangely reminiscent of the sunset of the night before. I thought back to the night just passed, to how even a simple experience in nature, can make us feel an integral part of our surroundings, attentive to observation, sensitive to listening to what a place has to say. Sailing away that morning past small islets of the Bohuslän archipelago, the sea oddly enough was less frightening. The small houses greeted us, cheerful in their different colours.

Sometimes, today when I lay in bed, I feel I’m still on that island hearing its whispers; I think back to that strange feeling similar to being on a boat in the middle of a stormy sea. I imagine the island, always there, accustomed to those same noises and the slow and equal flow of time.

Every writer hopes to have their work published. Our team supports first-time writers + female adventure writers and we’ve helped 22 writers publish for the first time, including Danae’s article on Sweden.

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