We visit a Micronation

The day of our pilgrimage finally arrived, thanks entirely to our friend’s initiative and invitation. Here’s a link to her blog…Our three families met at the Kullaberg lighthouse, which I posted about previously. Then we made our way through the forest to the unmarked, controversial micronation of The Royal Republic of Ladonia.

Ladonia’s fascinating history is very complex so I include a couple of resources which explain how it came to be. I became a Ladonian citizen last year with the idea that I could give Bryant a noble title as a gift for his upcoming 50th birthday. I thought he’d make a wonderful Minister of Mythology or something like that…unfortunately Lord of the Dance was taken. Anyway, as art aficionados and citizens concerned with freedoms of speech and expression, we both followed the story of Lars Vilks, Nimis, and the rise of extremism. When Lars was killed in a car accident last October, I told Bryant about my lordship gift idea and we decided that it would be best not to pursue it just in case it could result in problems with our Swedish residency or have unforeseen consequences. We have conflicted feelings about the existence of Ladonia and what it all means, but it seemed like a wasted opportunity not to visit Nimis while we live in Sweden. It’s continued existence is uncertain, and we were pretty sure the kids would love this hidden fort /sculpture off-the-beaten-path wonderland, so when our friends invited us AND the weather was good, we jumped at the chance to get it done! We found the GPS coordinates and some tips online and were pleased to find that it wasn’t too difficult to locate. Volunteers have marked the route with yellow Ns for Nimis. Most of the trail is part of Sweden’s park system so we could drive to a trailhead and hike a well maintained path through a beech woods to the “border crossing”.

I did have second thoughts when I saw how narrow and steep the entrance was. And though it looked fairly well constructed and efforts are clearly made to maintain the structure, I didn’t have a lot of confidence that safety is a priority! The wooden pieces at arm/ hand level were worn smooth and polished by the many thousands of visitors, and that was reassuring in some ways. Finally I decided that if anyone did fall, the worst that would happen would be scrapes and bruises. There were no long drops and there were tons of sturdy hand and foot holds in case any parts collapsed. I was most concerned about getting back up the embankment until we met folks who were heading back up, using the “trail” that ran alongside the sculpture. They assured me it was not as difficult as it looked and that it was worth the trouble. They were older than us and not terribly fit, so I figured I could make it. Also, it wasn’t really feasible to turn back once we started down!

I thought it would be nice to bring a token of remembrance for Lars Vilks. There were pictures posted of a memorial, with flowers and things, so I made some painted rocks to leave, but the flowers had since been removed. There are several landmarks to visit in Ladonia if you have the stamina for it! I should have read more about it in advance. But we had a great time even if we didn’t see everything.

When you apply to be a citizen of Ladonia, you are asked to join a committee to help with the work of running a micronation. I joined the clean up crew, so I did bring a bag to collect trash but it was remarkably clean. After everyone had explored, and I made my way across the boulders, we gathered to perform the national anthem, the sound of rocks landing in water. Then we made our way back up the embankment. It was steep but manageable. Visiting a micronation was a unique experience to say the least. Waaaaaaaaaallllll!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.