Day 32 — Anchors Aweigh

The Tall Ships pulled out of the harbor this afternoon and was quite a sight. People lined the coast from the harbor all the way to Tylösand 4 miles away to see them sail away. I got a good seat on top of the harbor breakwater for these shots, after one more pass along the quay. The finale last night featured fireworks but we did not stick around for that. Today, most everything was broken down already (just the reverse of how fast it was set up last Wednesday start to finish overnight).

A shot from last evening atop the Ferris wheel.

Up to the crow’s nest.

The band did not seem to mind that not a soul was watching their rendition of “Anchors Aweigh.”

Then, literally out of left field, came the bagpipes and drums.

Cars, trucks, bicyclists all made way for these folks.

I got myself a good seat on the breakwater and watched the parade as the ships exited the harbor.

Sorry for the fuzzy shots. When you see this next shot, you can understand why people are passionate about keeping these beautiful sailing ships alive.

By this afternoon, the harbor returned back to being a harbor. I rode into town to get a copy of a key made. It cost me $15.00 to make a single copy. I complained to the guy that in the U.S, that would have cost me $2. “This is Sweden,” he said.

In all, the harbor festival seems to have been an enormous success. The place was very clean. Very few drunks and no obnoxious ones. Very small police presence compared to what you would see at a similar event in the U.S. (People familiar with a normal day in downtown Oakland would think they were on a different planet.) The place get set up in one day and taken down in one day. Mariette said  the municipal government staged the show and based on their performance, Halmstad is in good hands.

Next up, a beach volleyball tournament set  up (again, overnight) in the central square.

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