With the summer rapidly approaching and vacation plans having to be made, my thoughts seem to be wondering more and more to our summer cottage in Finland. For me there is no other location that I would trade my summer vacation for, than Granö (Swedish for Spruce island) - an island in the Sipoo Archipelago slightly east of Helsinki where my family's summer cottage is located.
In Finland the summer vacations for kids are heavenly long - 2 and half months, stretching from June to August. Since I was born and before I started school at the age of 7 I spent approximately 4 months, and after that a minimum of 2 months each summer out on Granö more or less until I was 17. So you can imagine that my urge to be there each year and to make it an important part of my daughter's life as well, is very strong!
We are very lucky to have this place! It has been in my family from my father's side since the early 1940's and everything there with the exception of the current sauna building, was designed by my grand-father who was an architect. The old sauna building was hit by lightning one fall about 20 years ago, and a new one with a huge sun deck was built in its place.
Another nice thing is that I most summers get to hook up with the family, so my sister and brother with their families, my aunts, my cousins and now also their kids. Believe me when I say that when we're all out there at once, it's PARTY-time :)). This of course includes many nice BBQs and many late night sauna's :)!
The upper house with two additional rooms, and our fresh water well.
Here we have the main house, picture taken from the opposite angle. This lawn is perfect for playing football, croquet, or doing gymnastics - yes, one of those crazy families :)
This picture I took from this huge pine which is located next to the sauna building. This tree used to be one of our favourite climbing trees when we were kids... and a little bit older too :). The beach is so much fun for especially the kids. Many nice sand castles, villages and sand cars have been built on this beach. It's also great for a game of "Jeux de Boule".
Here's the tree, and this is how I got up there this time around.
Here you see a corner of the sauna building and a tiny piece of the sun deck.
View of the opposite island - Mölandet
A storm is approaching
My little blueberry picker
Close-up of the sun deck
Our outdoor toilet with a great all natural air-co :)
Little harmless lizzard. Sometimes they come and warm themselves in the warmth upon the sun deck.
This picture was taken during one of our notorius midnight sauna sessions. If I remember correctly I took this one just after having had a refreshing dip in the sea.
These two last pictures were taken at dawn,when the sun just started rising. I believe the only ones who were up were me and a couple of birds that were getting ready for their early morning symphony. The calmness of it all was quite magnificent!
This year just as last summer too, will feel different being at our summer cottage, since my YfatherY who was a BIG part of the island - and always will be - passed away end of last summer...
I'm so looking forward to July and the time I'll get to spend there, enjoying the simplicity, the peace & quiet, the nature, my family, the saunas, the boat trips, the BBQs, the long and late talks with my cousins and aunts accompanied by delicious wine, seeing my daughter enjoying herself,
- in short - RECHARGING my batteries with Finland-energy :).