Air Force Museum and Linkoping

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Tuesday 7th August

Somehow Miss Stella is parked up on a paying Stellplatz again tonight at Bergs Slusser on the edge of Lake Roxen.  GPS : 58.48463  15.529167, pleasant grass pitches, no elect but fresh water showers and WC.

Surprise Surprise we didn’t get far again today , only about 100km travelled. We are planning upon heading in a general northerly direction up into Sweden but took a detour this morning east towards Stockholm to visit a early 1900’s working recreated village, (think Cobblestones in Greytown NZ on this).

However before we found Gamla Linkoping we came across the Swedish Air Force Museum. Worth a look so wandered over. First pleasant surprise no admission fee, and second surprise this is a really good museum.

A huge collection of Swedish Air Force aircraft from WW1 biplanes through to the modern Swedish built SAAB’s. The museum also included big displays covering the various conflicts that Sweden has either played an active part in or been a heavily armed neutral bystander.

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The least known to us was the impact that the  Cold War between USA and USSR had upon Sweden, sitting in the direct path of the Nuclear Missiles aimed at each superpower it was sort of in the firing line and a huge fear through the local population. Probably didn’t help that the Swedish intelligence forces where firmly on the Side of the West and spent considerable time violating USSR airspace.

This culminated in the USSR shooting down a DC3 of Swedens on a “supposed” routine patrol. This was all covered up and “sealed TOP SECRET” until the early 90’s  when they found the wreckage of the plane at the bottom of the Baltic sea  (50 years later in 2004). There are still 4 bodies of the radio operators missing.

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From here we headed to the Village of Gamla Linkoping, and this also very well done as a recreated working museum. However we spent longer with the Airplanes and ran out of time to have a good look, and the fact that at 4.00pm the Septic tank truck arrived and started to do something and a very powerful stench made it quite unbearable.

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From here a very quick trip to our present position at Bergs Sussler.

Now this is a really interesting place and typical of Swedish engineering. It is a lock system on the Gota Canal, which is a canal linking lakes across Sweden from Sjotorp on Lake Vanern in the west to Mem at the Baltic sea, with 58 locks on the way.

This canal was given the go ahead in the early 1800’s with a start in 1810 at Motala, basically in the middle. The project was built from about 16 different locations using about 58000 Swedish soldiers, Russian deserters and some private workers. Most of the 190km was dug by hand, with parts having to be blasted through rock. Finishing in 1832 it became an important route for passenger and trade.

The amazing thing about it is the elevation that this canal gains and then loses, at Bergs Sussler there are 11 locks in total, 2 pairs of locks above the small lake and then a set of 7 locks down into Lake Rozen.

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A regular tourist ferry plies the route through the locks and into the lake and we where all ready to do an evening cruise until we found that none run on a Monday.

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