Sweden’s Ales Stones-Older Than Stonehenge

image:Sweden's Ales Stones

Sweden’s Ales Stones

Big Stones Big Burdens

I stumbled onto this archeological site, unprepared for its magnificence, during the last time I was in Sweden.  I am one of the roadies for Mai, when she takes her international #HotLifeHotLove show on the road.  I love watching my little rock star going around the world dramatically improving women’s lives.

When I stood there at the Ales Stones, I wondered “WTF? What possessed ancient cultures to do shit like this?”  “How long did it take them to do it?”, “How did they do it?”, “What really went on here?” “Why take on such a big burdens?”  Speaking of burdens, did you know that Sweden ranked third on the list of the 10 best Countries for quality of life, based on the Conference Board of Canada criteria in 2013.  And Sweden made 7th place on the list of the happiest places to live.   Yet what I am learning from the women at Mai’s events is that they are exhausted, overworked, overwhelmed, and in general very stressed out with their lives.  They are constantly run by fear that they are not good enough, and guilt that they are not doing enough.  The burden to have, and keep up with having it all, is getting to them.

Fertility Rites Under the Full Moon?

Again it made me wonder: “Is it all an illusion? I looked at these stones and fantasized about full moon rituals, with lots of fertility rites and fun naughty scenes. I make up a story that it was all mysterious, hot, and sexy in my head.  Is that like us reading these statistics and daydreaming that it is better and happier over there, in Sweden and the Netherlands; the “grass is greener syndrome?”

Or, maybe nothing happened at Ales Rocks, despite talks about a king being buried here.  And that, after they were done putting the stones there, they moved on to something else.  End of story.  Just like being ranked among the best places to live and the happiest place on earth are just big burdens in disguise?  And that the people are suffering here just like everywhere else?

BTW, if you are, or know, a woman who relates to this present condition; exhausted, overworked, overwhelmed, and in general very stressed out with your life, are constantly run by fear that you’re are not good enough, feeling guilt that you are not doing enough, and want to create real happiness for yourself, check out Mai’s free 2 Day Live Event in Stockholm next weekend.  I have to give her a plug here.  Being  one of her roadies, I get to see the transformation these lucky women go through after only two days.  And it is quite impressive. We’ll be at Olympia Teatern, Ogdenplan, Stockholm on Oct 4-5, 2014.  Come and let’s Fika.

Mai-Maria-and-Me-at-the-Ales-Stones-thin

Playing Tourist After the Work is Done

Following the 2-day event last year in Malmo, we did some sight seeing our final day in Southern Sweden.  Our friend, Maria, drove us around. We had some fabulous food and desserts at a well known (to Swedes) place out in the country, then drove along the coast heading back to Malmo.

image:Dry Dock

Dry Dock-HDR photo

Our last stop, with sunset approaching, was the little seaside hamet of Kåseberga.  It didn’t look like much really, all I saw of any interest to photograph was a boat which had been pulled out of the sea. The barnacles were gone and it was getting a bright fresh paint job. Almost all ready to go fishing again.

Like Stonehenge, Only Older

Evidently I hadn’t heard Maria say that we were at the Ales Stones. Without much excitement I got out of the car and took a photo of the boat in dry dock, not yet aware of what was about to be revealed nearby. I didn’t know that we were actually at the site of the old Ales Stones; 59 massive boulders arranged in a 220-foot (67-meter)-long outline of a viking ship. This place is like Stonehenge, only older!

Hike to the Ales Stenar (Ales Stones)

image:hiking-to-the-ales-stones

Hiking to the Ales Stones-HDR photo

These famous stones, are located up on a high, flat, grassy bluff overlooking the sea.  It’s about a half mile to the top of the path and I finally realized where we were when I could see the boulders in the distance as the path crested onto the bluff.

It was about then that I was realized and was sorry that I’d left my tripod in the car.  Well, I didn’t have time to walk the half-mile back to the car before losing light… besides my laziness wouldn’t allow that to happen anyway.  Losing the light sounds like such a good excuse though, right?

For the next 30 minutes we explored the boulders, the bluff, in the soft golden light of the late afternoon. We hugged  (krem) the stones, feeling their ancient energy. Even the view from the edge of the cliff looking west out over the ocean was peaceful even though a brisk wind buffeted our faces and the grass stubble growing on the bluff.

 

The Tomb of Mythical King Ale-A Little History

Most historians believe the Ales Stones is a burial monument which was erected toward the end of Sweden’s Iron Age about 1,500 years ago. Local legend has it that the mythic King Ale lies beneath the site.  Recently, an excavation next to the Ales Stones revealed what seems to be a burial site from 5,500 years ago.  The prevailing assumption is that this is the grave of a stone age chieftain and that some, or all, of the boulders were used to construct that tomb.  About 4,000 years later, the stones were dug out of the burial site and re-arranged into the shape of a Viking ship in their current configuration.  But who really knows?

Ales Stones Photo Gallery

Most of these are HDR photos processed using my Perfect HDR Workflow. A couple of them are just single RAW frames where I used various Trey Ratcliff Lightroom Presets available on his website.  When I’m in a hurry or feeling especially lazy and still need unique images, Trey’s presets help me get there in a flash with just a click in Lightroom. If you choose to get his presets, he gave me a discount code to pass along to my readers; PerfectHDR. Click the banner below to see what he has available today.

The Ales Stones Photo Gallery

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image:The Bridge to Gamla Stan-Stockholm Sweden