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3-day motorcycle adventure to Öland

Långe Erik

Eketorp Ringfort

Eketorp Ringfort from above

Approaching Eketorp Ringfort, the wind got stronger to the point where I doubted I could fly the drone. It is a small drone that can only deal with so much wind. Getting to Eketorp Ringfort, it was emphasized that we were off season, as it was closed. Luckily, although it was closed, the ringfort was still accessible. Only the indoor museum, shops, and exhibition was closed. Oh, and the restroom too. Being at a place, where the landscape is flat as a pancake – the highest place is pretty much the pile of manure the cow next to you has just dropped, and vegetation so low that it all resembles a Japanese miniature garden, finding a private place to do your business isn’t that easy.

The Eketorp Ringfort dates back to the Iron Age and was constructed around year 400. It is believed to have been used for religious ceremonies originally. A few hundred years later, it was abandoned for reasons unknown. In the early year of 1000, it was put into use again and was rebuilt, reusing the original structure.

The ringfort is open for the public, and houses a museum that shows some artifacts found during the excavation in 1974. It is worth a detour if you’re interested in Scandinavian history. There are a couple of other forts on Öland, Ismantorp, and Gråborg (Swedish).

Although it was very windy, I did fly my drone, but the batteries were emptied very quickly. It was difficult to get steady shots and the controller kept warning for crosswinds recommending immediate landing. Besides Thonny and myself, there was only about 4-5 people at the site.

Tall John

We spent maybe an hour, or so, and we rode on towards to south cape of Öland, Långe Jan (or Tall John in English). I had been there before, in 2013, on a family trip, so I kind of knew what was in store. But we were close, and we had originally planned to visit both capes as well.

To get there, you go through an area with livestock grazing, freely roaming the area. So watch out for animals on the road.

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The south cape seems to be a hub for bird watchers. There were bird watchers all over the place, and this being a natural reserve, and with strong crosswinds, I decided not to fly the drone. It’s propellers are razor sharp, so I was imagining the situation if I accidentally decapitated a rare bird they had all been waiting days or even weeks to see.

Tall John, or “Öland’s Södra Udde”, which is the official name

There is a cafe, and souvenir shops, and is a nice place to sit and relax. Prices are a bit high, coffee not above average, so if you have your own gear, primus, jetboiler, or similar stove, and the weather is nice, it is a great place to relax for a couple of hours.

The name Långe Jan is from a burnt down chapel, named Skt. Johannes (St John)

The name Långe Jan (or Tall John) origins from the medieval chapel, “Capella Beati Johannis”, or “Sct Johannes (Jan)”, that sat at the old fishing village, “Kyrkhamn”. Kyrkhamn was burned to the ground by Danes in 1563. The stones and material from the burned down chapel was used to build the light tower.

There is no parallel story to the name Långe Erik (Tall Erik), but it is assumed that it got its name to align with Långe Jan (Tall John). Both Långe Erik and Långe Jan are nicknames. Their official names are “Ölands Norra Udde” (Öland’s North End) and “Ölands Söddra Udde” (Öland’s South End), respectively.

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