While researching Skane province of Sweden where Hoganas is located, I kept seeing pictures of tall wooden scaffolded towers on a rocky beach. Off and on for thirty years scaffolded towers have appeared in my art, so I was immediately curious. At first I thought it was just some random Google issue but finally learned it is a work of art on the same peninsula as Hoganas, named “Nimis”. It is not only work of art but the micronation of Ladonia. One of its national anthems is the sound of a stone being dropped in water. It has a “Minister of Art and Jump”. Well, obviously I wanted to find it.
We followed the directions we had and walked into the Kullaberg nature preserve and started looking for yellow N’s on trees. It is a deep forest dropping sharply into the sea. We stopped seeing N’s pretty quickly but thought they would come back. They didn’t. We walked and walked. For a long time. Finally we came upon a local man walking with his dog. He spoke no English but wanted to help. He took us on a shortcut, off the trail along the side of the leafy muddy rocky steep slope, at his speed. This was challenging and no fun at all. At one point I slipped and slid down a ways and sat there on my extensive muddy backside panting and said “the nice man can go now, thank you” as I flashed back on many unpleasantly competitive hiking experiences of youth summer camps. But he didn’t. He was determined to help. At times even he was on his hands and knees. His dog was having a great time. At long last we came to pretty much the first clearing, about 50 yards from where we’d started. Kent ventured down the muddy rocky steep slope towards the cliff where, somewhere, was the path down. Our friend managed to communicate that it was too steep for his dog so he didn’t go there himself. We decided that even if we were at the right place & found it we didn’t know how to get back up. Thus ended my quest. Unlike thousands of yearly visitors, I failed to enter Ladonia. I saw the sky above the trees over Ladonia and heard the waves.
As we walked through the foxglove-lined meadow on the way out we met a young blue-dreadlocked man with a backpack and little family “Nimis? Nimis?” He asked “yes!” We replied. He beamed and raised his fists in triumph and cried “yes!”. So I will be satisfied that he probably got there in my place.
But we did not fail at having an adventure. Getting lost in a Swedish forest is not the worst way to spend a morning.