Welcome to Havsvidden!

Our cottage is the one on the right.

What brings us six friends together – and to Havsvidden? We are Finnish but have lived (some of us still do) in Stockholm during the past ten years. So what would be a better a Midsummer get-together than meeting half-way? On the Åland island, which belongs to Finland but where people do everything to be as Swedish as possible. 

”Är jag svensk eller finne?” Celebrating Midsummer under a midsommarstång is a Swedish tradition. What’s the point? Where’s the entertainment value? I could easily replace it with kokko, a bonfire – which, in turn, is a Finnish Midsummer tradition. Actually, all we need is some more timber around it…

Okay, Havsvidden is very quiet: basically a hotel surrounded by cliff houses, of which one was ours for three days. How to spend those?

 Apart from reading and sunbathing, you can make an afternoon cocktail…

…or take a nap, or…

…watch old tv-programmes? This does not fit together with the nightless night and the scenery. (Unless you’ve sunbathed for five hours already, and the programme is Solsidan – a very popular Swedish comedy series.)

But long an social cooking & dining was definitely one of the most popular activities! We had packed (too much) food to go from Mattsons at Godby. On the first evening, we set up a hamburger buffé inspired by Glorian ruoka & viini magazine. With handmade buns (Mikko) and pulled pork (Hanna), to begin with. I don’t eat meat, but I had to take a bite of the pork. It was good. I think. At least my friends didn’t want any of my veggie bites!

Aijai, hampurilaiskastikkeet heti rinnuksilla!

Eton mess by Heli. Mums!

Cooking, day 2.

I’ve become a master peeler, thanks to frequent visits on Silja and Viking Line for the past 30 years. 😉

Now we are talking: skagenröra, gubbröra and Melker Andersson’s lax tartar – only to mention some highlights of the Midsummer Eve menu. Sverige douze points! As a grape on top, a lovely Finnish-French friend couple joined us, and we got tasty wines from Bordeaux. Marvellous delicacies days in and out (except for Alanmies, who apparently missed home and enjoyed a number of ”roiskeläppä” pizzas during the weekend. With Finnish beer.)
Luckily we had digestives, too.

”Sill och nubbar”. Things cannot get a lot more Swedish than that. Where are the Finnish Midsummer traditions? 

Well, drinking a bottle of Beska droppar ”via Österbotten”  like Alanmies did seems drunk-driven. Very Finnish! With a bitter Swedish aftertaste. And our favourite songs are Finnish, too: Eino Leinon juomalaulu and Pikku kakkosen posti. As my favourite singer Teemu was not around, I had to lead Eino Leino. Fun!
Eino Leinon juomalaulu

Monta päivää juotuaan,
pessimisti tuskissaan,
tuumii: jo on, jukoliste,
saavutettu päätepiste.
Nuoranpätkä kourassaan
hiipii nurkkaan kuolemaan.

Mutta toiset nähtyään
yhden poissa pöydästään,
sydämissä syvä hätä
alkoi etsiskellä tätä.
Löytyi veikko nuorastaan,
vainajana suorastaan.

Saatuansa spriitä,
virkistyi hän siitä.
Kohottaen lasiaan,
virkkoi: ”veljet – asiaan”.

(Vinkki: jos suomalaisseurueessa joudutte joskus esittämään juomalaulun eikä ainoatakaan tule mieleen, kannattaa hoilata Pikku Kakkosen posti. Kaikki osaa! Paitsi ruotsalaiset. Testattu on. 🙂

Did we ever finish the dining? Maybe not. Everyone just took their bathrobes and moved some steps up to the bathing area.

As the nightless night started to turn bright again, we found back to our Finnish roots. The most popular activity didn’t have much to do with Sweden:  the magic combination of sauna & palju. (A jacuzzi, actually). The sauna was equipped with a Finnish IKI-kiuas  – not Tylo or other Swedish ”aggregat”. Well done, Havsvidden! 

Some of us would have spent the nights bathing, if they hadn’t been woken up at 3.30 am…
Do you know the origins of the Åland flag? I bet I do now.

What a weekend.
The best of both worlds.

Kiitos & adjö.
We’ll be back.