Thursday, June 28, 2012

Midsummer in the archipelago of Sweden

Per per my previous post, we already know a bit about midsummer and how important it is to the Swedes..  (any excuse to drink, hey? ;) )

We went back to utö and stayed in ålö from last Thursday to Saturday.  There were 3 couples and .. a single guy in the group.  The weather hasn't improved much since the previous trip there, considering it's supposed to be summer now, but when the sun comes out, oh my.. I could do a little dance and a little skip around the place.  No wonder people get sooo happy!

As we were travelling to the archipelagos, I met up with 6 of S's friends at Coop near our place to stock up on grocery (as groceries can get quite expensive there) and carry them via bus, train, bus & ferry to get to the utö where we had a taxi driver waiting for us to drive us to ålö.  That were a lot of transport hopping and .... a lot of grocery buying..  Great for building up those arm muscles, I say!

Sitting by the piers at ålö
Part of the group who shopped for grocery and lugged them all on the 2x buses, train, ferry and cab!!  We are a mixed bunch here..  A couple from Seattle, USA, an Aussie (excluding me as I was taking the pic!), 2 Swedes (although one was originally from overseas)

View from the ferry going to the archipelago

This photo says it all..  Blue sky, blue water and the Swedish flag flying proudly

The bright sun shining sooo brightly.. but it was really chilly though...

Part of the alcohol supply we carried with us MINUS all the schnapps we had in the freezer

Our very well stocked fridge to last us from Thursday to Sunday.. hehe.. See the huge yellow blob on the first shelf??  That's a HUGE tub of cheese!!!  I've never seen such a huge blob of cheese!  by the time, I left on Saturday, we barely scratched 10% of it..  Wonder who ended up bringing it home on Sunday ;) 

First lot of BBQ for our first night there

Getting ready for our first dinner..  There were BBQ salmon, BBQ veg kebabs (zucchini, capsicum, mushroom, cob of corn, onion all in a stick), BBQ sausages (some badly burned as you can see ;) ), BBQ steak, freshly made new potato salad, salads etc...
My plateful of fresh produce!  I love the potatoes with soooo much parsleys and the salmon was BBQ well!  Not overly cooked...

I had to take a picture of our kitchen.. Everything was a mess when we came in... and look how neat it was by the end of the night.. LOL!

Our neighbour from across the road... and S with his bright purple pants =P

One of many snails going about with their evening strolls in the evening!  At least this one still has his shells..  Most were strolling around shell-less!  was so weird.. and it was soooo cold at night too!

The neighbour's cat enjoying the sunset from the window

Walking through nature and coming across a junction.. Left.. or right??

One of the fairies out in the forest enjoying an evening sip during midsummer evening

Enjoying the sunset.. 

The next morning, after a hearty brunch, we went out flower picking!!  This is Inga.. from Sweden.. hehe.. I jest.. This is Ylva.. Ain't she gorgeous?

It's serious business picking up flowers as we were going to make crowns for our hair and decorate our homemade Maypole

I love how bright the sun was shining
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I had to refuel with some oreo cookies.. hehe
We met an interesting character standing by the fresh water pipe...  He told us he was running away from his wife and children and is going camping out in the woods =P
We came across one of the piers and sat there enjoying the sun and the beautiful view....

Our legs enjoying the sun.. Wheeee!

The group...

There's always someone in the group who's brave enough to test the freezing water!!!  This time.. it's him!!

Flower picking!   Ylva taught me about all the different wild flowers we found and what they were and what their names were... Was an educational afternoon ;)

We had all our plucked flowers in a pail and paper bags!

Sweden is well known for their gender equality.. but this is ridiculous... no? haha

Is this how you do it, Ya? Ya?  hehe

Our Maypole ready to go up... decorated with birch and wild flowers

Mighty pretty I must say!

Check out those 2 circles.. Very symbolic, no? ;)

Meanwhile... on the other side of the house....

Pouring schnapps is also serious business...

Schnapps for toasting.... Guess which one is mine!!

We even put up the Swedish flag.... and it's flying proudly in the wind

Our beautiful Maypole right under the bright bright sun!

Sills or Herrings in 3 different flavours..  A must for midsummer!

Our Midsummer feast!  A mixture of everything from Swedish to Aussie (BBQ!).. 2 different types of potatoes - loads of new potatoes (I love them.. so fresh!), chives and sour cream, Swedish pies, salads and we had smoked salmons as well which hasn't been put down on the table as yet!

Oodles of goodness.. and those fresh asparagus were just soooo yummy!

We even had songs in Swedish to sing and toasting throughout our feast

Then off we went for some dancing and singing around our Maypole...

There was even some hugging going on with the pole....

Singing by the Swedish lasses!

My handmade crown for my head =)

Our dessert was strawberry cheesecake which was made from all raw materials..  The base was made from crushed cashews and macadamia nuts...  Not sure what the middle was made from (but no dairy products were used at all), but the top was made from blended fresh strawberries and mangoes... which was then set in the freezer...

Yum yum???

Every morning/noon when we wake up, there's always a HUGE breakfast ready to be consumed!!   Eggs, bacon, leftovers from the night before (pies, meat, etc)

Brunch!!!  More BBQ food, BBQ vegetable skewers, diff potatoes this time round!  More sills and fresh salad!

and the nicest carrot cake!!  So moist!!!  YUM!

....and we were off to the pier.....

... and caught the ferry back to Stockholm.... ahhh..

Back to Stockholm... Back to reality!  Back to schooool!!

Enjoy the lovely sun!!!  I love love summer!

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