Monday, June 23, 2014

Celebrating the start of "summer"

This past weekend, we bundled up and celebrated what is meant to be the start of summer. In such high latitudes, the longest day of the year - June 21 - is a big deal. 18 hours and 37 minutes of daylight is certainly worthy of pomp. Bring out the trumpets, let loose all reason. Will there be games? Yes! Should I have a whiskey at noon? Absolutely! Indulge to your heart's content - it's Midsommar!

And so we did - although under the most un-summer-like conditions. Clouds covered the sky for most of the day and the gorgeous island we were welcomed to was a wind haven. But no matter - we (15 of us in all) hunkered down in whatever clothing we could get our hands on and made the best of it, with a roaring fire in one of the three tiny cabins to bring back the feeling to our toes and fingers when we could no longer deny our numb digits.

a roaring start to my lap around the island

That fire was especially critical for me after swimming around the island on Saturday morning. The water was just under 60 degrees F (about 15 degrees C) and the air was a bit cooler, made more so by the rain spattering throughout the day. But I'd lugged my wetsuit all the way from Stockholm - 5 hours by bus, 35 minutes by car, and 10 minutes by boat - and by God it wasn't going to be for nothing. It's only about 500m around the island, but in such temperatures (and with the fear of whatever creatures could be lurking in those treacherous waters), it was a feat.

the sky just a bit before midnight

Thankfully the spots of rain let up in the evenings so we could sit on the north-facing deck and enjoy long dinners with this view. It is truly an incredible place to be in any weather. Now for some summer temps please!


  1. Looks like a beautiful place and an incredible way to spend the Midsommar holiday!! What kinds of creatures DO LURK in those waters??

    1. Yes, it really is. I actually don't think there are any scary creatures in the Baltic - but it's easy for your imagination to go wild when you're in the water on your own!