Saturday, 25 June 2011

Midsummer in Lemland, Åland

After a sleepless night when it never got fully dark, my post about midsummer in Åland is going to be a rather picture-laden one.

The house is traditionally decorated with silver birch branches. 
The festivities started almost as soon as we settled in on Midsummer's Eve. Wood-buring sauna was followed by champagne, and lots and lots of food.

Some of the food we consumed last night.

Smoked salmon cheesecake made by my mother. It was more than delicious.

Various types of cold smoked fish.

This was the starters...I kid you not.

Schnapps to go with the fish.
We sat outside drinking schnapps and beer with various herring and other fish dishes - gravad lax, cold smoked salmon and whitefish, singing drinking songs and generally having a jolly old time.

Traditional Åland decoration for midsummer.
When it was time for bed, we didn't forget to pick seven different kinds of wild flowers for Daughter to put under her pillow. According to folklore on this magical night the flowers would ensure she dreamt of her future husband.

As we walked down to the sauna cottage - our sleeping quarters for the holiday - the Englishman and I just could not believe how light it was at midnight. 

The sun was just setting at midnight.

Our view as we finally made our way to the sauna cottage.
We both promptly woke up at three am when the sun rose again. They say in Finland Midsummer is not sleeping, but for feasting. I may be too old...

Same view at three am today.


Crosby Kenyon said...

It's always nice to be taken to a strikingly different environment...nice little sleepover.

Mwa said...

I love that you did that thing with the wildflowers. I read about that when I was a little girl, and always remembered it as a very romantic thing to do.

Sartenada said...

Very beautiful photos. I love them.