Midsommar 2021

Midsummer is a really big deal in Sweden. The celebrations and official holidays are not always held exactly on the solstice, but thoughtfully on the closest Friday so that folks don’t have to go to work the next day. The traditional thing to do is to go out to your summer house in the countryside, or your parents’ summer house, or friends etc. The first midsummer we were in Sweden we got a fantastic invite to friends-of-friends country houses, but being half-vaxxed in 2021 we were less keen on big groups and more interested in the nature and countryside part. So, we decided to head out to a large nature preserve in the Stockholm area, in a park called ‘Paradiset’ (‘the paradise’). It is a really charming historic farm with adjoining forest, hiking trails, lakes, and some great camping amenities. We will definitely go back, and happily it is close enough to be a quick local visit. Fun note: as an upgrade from the vindskydd (wind shed) we used, they have an adorable mini-hut called the owl hut. Guess how much to rent for the night? FREE, first come, first served, and leave it nicer than you found it. It has a little chimney, so I guess there is a stove. Could be nice for a fall (or winter?) camp too!

We intended this trip to be a short pilot test for the bike tour we plan to do in Gotland later in the summer. We wanted to try out the bike racks and paniers, see how much we could carry, how much gear we needed for a comfortable sleep and good hot meals. We even got to do some trailside repairs, so we know the repair kits works too. I am sure there will be some adjustments, but it looks like this works. We did order a few things at online camping stores when we came home. Gotland here we come!

Safe to say we did not take the most direct path there, although we did get to see some additional parks and lakes, and even a great smultron (wild strawberry) patch. What a nice treat! I stung some on a long grass stalk and pinched the end under the mattress bungee to save them unsquished for later.

Midsummer usually ends up being pretty close to Graham’s birthday, so that means a double celebration, and that he gets all the rad seasonal specialties, like strawberry cream cake, baby potatoes, and cheese pie. He doesn’t like to make a big deal for his birthday, but he was delighted to get some gifts from Canada. Thanks Mum and Elizabeth for sending those (I’m sure I will get some of those treats too)!

Perhaps you’d like to learn more about traditional Swedish midsummer traditions in the funny video below.