TALLINN – Runbjarn, a historic sailboat of Estonia's Coastal Swedes that started its journey to Ukraine on June 12, arrived in Paris at the conclusion of the third stage of its journey, after sailing across the Baltic Sea and passing seven countries.
The boat made stops in Gotland, Kiel, Rotterdam and Brussels. The voyage has gone according to plan, despite the difficulties caused by the heatwave that has hit Europe. Next, the Runbjarn will sail along canals and rivers to Budapest, where it will spend the winter.
Plans are for the boat to arrive in the old Swedish village in the Kherson region of Ukraine in the early summer of 2023. Although the region is currently occupied by Russian forces, the crew's hopes are on the imminent arrival of peace, and thus the opportunity to sail across the Black Sea and make the dream of mooring on the bank of the Dnieper come true.
The final destination of the journey is the village of Gammalsvenskby in Ukraine, which was founded in 1782 by Swedes forced to leave Hiiumaa island. The aim of the trip is to bind together old coastal Swedish ties and to promote the message about ties between Ukraine, Estonia and Europe, which is so important today. The trip is divided into 10-day stages.