Some predominant geographical treasures we associate with places in the heart and soul to travel are the world’s waterways. Never was this more true for a region than it is for Eastern Europe. In fact, the relative scarcity of access some countries in the region have to the world’s seas, coastal wonderment may be even more significant.
Today Argophilia Travel News would like to bring its readers a taste of one of Europe’s most wonderful bodies of water, the Baltic Sea. Through the fantastic eye of Flickr photgraphers, we are sure readers will begin to fashion their own seafaring fantasies about this sometimes turbulent and fridgid, but always marvelous place. We add in a bit of historical or personal context below as well.
Aboard a vintage wooden 40-foot S&S from the late sixties, Baltic sailing Captain and fantastic photographer Ville Miettinen offers up this surreal and too real image of the Baltic up close and personal. If ever you dreamed of mastering such chilling waters, this picture should stir the seafarer in you. This is an image from Summer of 2008 somewhere off Karlskrona.
If you have never experienced the crisp and clean freshness of the Baltic coast, you missed a picture the mind’s eye keeps forever. Anyone who has ever felt the combination of stark, cold air, the off hue visual a cost Baltic day falls under, and the distinct smell of cold salt air – can feel it in the image below. The sun just shines a bit differently here.
Did you know that the Baltic Sea may be the largest body of brackish water in the world? It was formed by glacial erosion over the last several ice ages.
Sunrise over the Baltic is can be a “once in a lifetime” photo opp that occurs more frequently. As the image below illustrates, ever place on Earth has its own character of light and tone, this is particularly true for one of Eastern Europe’s wonders.
Did you know that the Baltic is an average of 30 fathoms deep, and over 1500 feet deep at its center? It is also covered in ice for about 45 percent of its surface during Winter.
Historically the Baltic is as rich in legend and legacy as the seafood harvested from its depths. The 85 million people who live within the basin formed by the sea can attest to its impact on European civilization. Did you know that in Roman times it was referred to as Mare Suebicum? The Vikings actually referred to the sea as a lake, perhaps indicating their hearty nature as the world’s greatest seamen. The Baltic bears few characteristic traits with calm lakes.
It is also interesting to note that the lands surrounding the Baltic were the last to be converted from their pagan religious beliefs to Christianity. The stoicism and strength of seafaring peoples not being so easy to overcome. In more recent times Scandinavians wielded a mighty influence all around the Baltic, only weakening with the rise of Russia as a force in Europe.
Another sunset scene below could be almost any place where white sand dunes and fun seeking people meet.
While the Baltic Sea may be a small body of water compared to the expanse of others, far out on her she feels like the bitter and somehow magnetic graveyard of ships. The image below conveys a part of this flavor. It might interest you to know that the Baltic Sea is almost entirely surrounded by countries of the European Union now.
The Baltic is of naturally a magnet for tourists as well as fishermen. The coastal spas and beach resorts than line the sea rival those in Florida or the Caribbean. As you can see from the image below, figuring out where you are looking down on the beach resorts is a big guessing game.
So we leave off for now hoping you will carry on the Baltic Sea discovery. One of Europe’s and planet Earth’s most interesting and beautiful water treasures, there is just so much to it. Come back for our next story, or better yet see it for yourself. I do not recommend a wooden sailboat though, unless you have your sea legs. Oh, if we can suggest, the re-emerging beach and resort industry in Poland offers more of what some vacationers want, at a great savings. We leave you with an image of classic sand and sea character from Marta’s Flickr.