Wind Beneath Their Wings

Across from Kalmar, Sweden is the island of Öland – connected to the mainland by a long 6 km bridge. It is actually on Öland where we are staying as Gilles prepares for his Ironman race on Saturday.

Kalmar10

Sunset from Öland with Kalmar on the horizon and the Öland bridge to the right.

For the past 2 days, we’ve had some time to explore around this very large island … in fact a big chunk of the 180 km of the bike portion of the race will be on Öland, so there has been plenty of territory to explore.

Earlier this week, I wrote about the Dutch vibes I was getting from our brief time in Sweden.  Well, that impression was solidified by the discovery of windmills throughout the island.

Kalmar5

I should mention at this point that I have a *thing* about windmills.  Maybe it was the influence of a Dutch mother, but I have this endless fascination with these silent giants … something even Gilles didn’t know about until I suddenly shrieked STOP! STOP! STOP!

Normally that reaction would have given him a minor heart attack behind the wheel of a car, but on this day he actually laughed when I explained that “I stop for windmills”.

Öland windmills are very different from the Dutch style.  They have a box-type wood construction that sits on a “pedestal” with a platform and long ‘tail’ at the back.

My very limited research calls them post mills and the entire millhouse would turn on that central platform.  I suspect the long tail at the end was used for leverage to turn the millhouse.

Kalmar11

However, as we continued our travels on the island, we also discovered other windmill types, including the traditional Dutch stone construction.

Kalmar6

Kalmar9

A Dutch-style stone windmill with plaque indicating construction in 1791.

On an island with so many windmills, you can reasonably assume it is a very windy place.  You would be right …. which is going to be rather tough for Gilles on Saturday as he struggles with the brisk east winds on the bike course.

For Öland, that means it is also a great location for many of the modern wind turbines that most people claim to hate.  Dozens and dozens of them, in fact.

Personally, I love them.

Kalmar8

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in 52 New Things, Adventure, Travel and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

68 Responses to Wind Beneath Their Wings

  1. Great photos, it is so interesting how the windmills differ from country to country. I am with you in the modern windmills. I find them very peaceful as they move alone in the wide open spaces. Waterfalls and suspensions bridges bring us to a halt in our travels so I get your screeching.

    Like

  2. The windmills are great, the perfect spot for Don Quixjote to fight his battles!
    Best of luck with the ironman race!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sue Slaght says:

    Joanne I would be screaming STOP as well. I would love so much to do a windmill tour. Fantastic photos and I really am so happy to see these. Best of luck to Gilles with the wind. I am miserable with a headwind when in motion. Keep us posted!

    Like

  4. Wind turbines ugly? Dominate the landscape? I hear that here too. But what’s not to love about them? And what makes them so ugly and power lines and power stations acceptable if wind turbines aren’t…I’m with you with this. At least the wind generation is sustainable and non-polluting. I do love the old fashioned windmills too, just gorgeous. I’d be yelling stop too! I’m so looking forward to hearing about the Ironman.

    Like

  5. Solveig says:

    Good luck to Gilles for his race, or more “Bon courage”!
    Those windmills are lovely. I don’t mind the modern ones, I remember sometimes thinking that they could turn a boring landscape into something rather interesting.
    Enjoy Sweden!

    Like

  6. I was always jealous of Jonathan Creek who got to live in a windmill.

    Our illustrious leader thinks windmills are a blight on the landscape and yet he is pro-coal mining. I know which one I’d rather have in my backyard.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      It appears idiots are everywhere and unfortunately are over-represented in our governments.
      I saw yet another comment on FB today about how windmills are negatively affecting the environment …. aaaaand back to your coal mining comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sammy D. says:

    Fabulous!! i’m glad you are enjoying yourself and I, too, am fascinated by windmills – the old US farm ones and the new giant white ones. We hooe to ride in the Netherlands in 2016 so I can see the Dutch ones. Your variety in Sweden is wonderful. Give Gilles my best wishes for endurance and strength in his Amazing Race!!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      How wonderful! Riding in the Netherlands you will get to be a speed demon 😉

      I love the old farm windmills too, although I don’t get to see too many of them in Ontario but it’s always a treat when I do. If I had a big chunk of land, I would want a windmill and a totem pole 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sammy D. says:

        When you are home you’ll have to do a post about ‘your’ totem pole and windmill. I want to know what they will look like 😙

        Like

        • joannesisco says:

          It’s funny you should say that because there are places where you can get a totem pole custom made and I’ve seriously considered it over the years. The problem is, I just haven’t been able to visualize what features I would want ‘my’ pole to have to represent me and my family.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Sammy D. says:

            But what an intriguing idea to contemplate! I can think of several iconic images for you from your writing, but am keeping them to myself because you need to design your own totem! Now I’m thinking of totems as an appendage to the Cherished Object. I love the way spokes grow through blogging.

            Like

  8. Mrs. P says:

    I LOVE those windmills! They are as different and unique as our many lighthouses!

    Like

  9. bikerchick57 says:

    You need a horse and a sword…or would Gilles think that a little overboard? I’ll think positive thoughts for Gilles on Saturday. Maybe the wind will be kind.

    Like

  10. Oh I’m right there with you sister! I love windmills. They make me think of simpler times. . Also of an old man slaying dragons…. 🐲

    Like

  11. Su Leslie says:

    Great photos. Best wishes to Gilles for the Ironman. Glad you’re having such a great time 🙂

    Like

  12. Great collection of windmills and I too am a fan of the new ones but then I don’t have one outside my back door! Looks like you’re really enjoying Sweden and good luck to Gilles on Saturday.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      The only time I’ve been really close to one is while cycling and we were REALLY quite close. I still couldn’t see what the big deal would be living near a wind farm. I would prefer it to large apartment blocks breathing down into my backyard.

      Like

  13. Joe says:

    BTW these look like Fuji colors 🙂

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      They ARE Fuji colours 🙂

      I’m wondering if you are having the same problem I am. I upgraded by computer to Win10 before I left and now I can no longer download my Fuji photos to my computer. I have to go through a very ugly process to get them through my iPad into my PC version of Lightroom.
      I am not having the same problem with my Olympus.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Joe says:

    Great shots Joanne and enjoy your time there 🙂

    Like

  15. Corina says:

    I love this. I never really considered all the different types of windmills. They immediately make me think of Don Quixote and my mind goes off in all sorts of directions, filled with possibilities.

    Like

  16. Windmills…..we have some of those wind turbines here down on the beaches and I had no idea what they were actually called. You educate even from afar!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Always happy to help 🙂

      What I didn’t know and just learned today was that these old windmills weren’t used for energy like our wind turbines.
      They were millhouses used to grind flour. We actually went up into one … all the wheels and gears meant nothing to me. Too much physics involved, but Gilles seemed more than a little fascinated by it 🙂

      Like

  17. Lynn says:

    So many different & unique windmills & it looks like it was a beautiful day to do some exploring. Wishing Gilles the best of luck on Saturday!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I was like a little kid every time we saw another windmill. I would never have guessed that the Swedish countryside would provide such entertainment 😉

      It was a beautiful sunny day … but the winds were quite strong. More wind and sunshine forecast for Saturday so Gilles will have his work cut out for him!

      Like

  18. I love those turbines too. You know what’s ugly? An electrical plant. How’ve you been, my friend?

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Then you and I are in rare company because not many people seem to like them. i’ve heard them called “blights”, but I’d rather have a wind farm than a solar farm. That’s ugly too.

      I seem to have been crazy busy this summer … not sure where all the time has gone. How has your’s been?

      Like

  19. Mama Cormier says:

    I love the new windmills as well. All this argy-bargy about them making people sick or being too noisy is ridiculous. Why is this only a problem in Ontario and not in the rest of the world? Wishing your husband good luck on this race. I miss the days when my husband used to run marathons and we’d pack up the kids and go to all his races. Carol

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      You liked going to his races?!! Wow. I hate going to Gilles’ races. In my opinion, there aren’t many things more tedious than being a spectator at a race :/ I know … I’m a bad wife 😉

      I’m glad to hear there are other wind turbine lovers out there. I was starting to think I was in a miserable minority. They’re beautiful and graceful and I love the gentle swooshing noise they make.:)

      Like

    • mickscogs says:

      Wind turbines are hated in Australia too Carol. A lot of the hatred stems from climate change skepticism.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Heyjude says:

    I love windmills too and these are gorgeous photos Jo. I never realised how flat Sweden is until I watched the Swedish Wallander series.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Oooh – I loved Wallander, but I never really paid much attention to the landscape. We drove to Kalmar from Copenhagan and it is pretty flat.
      Glad to hear there is another windmill lover out there! I never realized there were so many of us!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. These are great shots Joanne! I remember when I was in college I used to bike to school every day and it was very tiresome when the wind blew against you. On the other hand, when it blew behind you, it was like flying. Here’s to hoping that the winds are ever in your husband’s favor.

    Like

  22. Beautiful pictures!! Wish Gilles good luck with the Ironman – what a cool location for the event.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thank you!

      I will pass on your best wishes. I keep telling him he doesn’t need luck … he’s done the training and he’s ready 😉
      … but of course we know that anything can happen on race day. I have my fingers crossed.

      Like

  23. Skipah says:

    Great pictures, the windmills are fascinating to me.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s