Monday, June 14, 2010

Grimeton

Nearly a decade ago I was persuaded to go on an organized bus trip to Paris. On the way to the ferry in Varberg I remember passing by six imposing pylon antennas known as “Grimeton”. Built in the early twenties, the Grimeton transmitter was used for transatlantic radio telegraphy and came to play a key role during the Second World War when all cable communications with the US were cut off.

The six antennas, each measuring 127 metres, were aligned so that its ultra long waves (17 km) could pass south of Norway yet make it out across Skagerrak and the North Atlantic. Far on the other side, at Rocky Point on Long Island, there was a similar station receiving and transmitting back.

Back then on the bus trip I had not been to either Long Island or the US but, much like Amerikahuset here in Gothenburg, Grimeton came to spark my imagination at the time. And yesterday, when driving home from Kalmar I decided to pay Grimeton a visit. Unfortunately, the exhibition had already closed for the day but just walking through this World Heritage site triggered a profound sense of escapism or “Fernweh” as the Germans would say.