Friday, 26 August 2016

Stockholm to Helsinki - Part I, Mariehamn



The strong, bright Scandinavian sunshine bouncing off the water when we arrive in Stockholm is always shocking after our cool, washed out English summer light.

This time, we were just passing through on our way to join the boat in Mariehamn in the Aland Islands between Sweden and Finland, but as our hotel was just around the corner, there was enough time for a browse around my favourite design shop, Svenskt Tenn full of gorgeous, covetable soft furnishings.

The Viking Ferry took the scenic route, through the Stockholm Archipelago and we sat on deck with a refreshing gin and tonic, watching the glorious sunset, for once far above the waves and with nothing to do but enjoy the view.


Although my husband had gone out a week earlier, the boat was still in bits when I arrived, but luckily the couple who own the boatyard also rent out several holiday cottages and we were lucky enough to be given the ground floor of the old family home, known as Mormor's (Grandmother's) House. Light, sunny, full of family mementoes and set in an orchard overlooking the bay, staying here for a few days was no hardship as I had often longed to spend some time in one of these charming, traditional, red-painted summer houses.


In Sweden, the idyllic and the industrial are often found in close proximity, so although the view from the front of the house was of the gardens and the orchard, the view from the kitchen window was of a working boatyard, but I found this equally charming as the evening light slowly faded away.


At last our small sailing boat was ready to leave its winter quarters, towed by the local apple farmer, who also runs the boatyard, and was launched into the water ready for our next adventure. 





Home for the next few weeks!

10 comments:

  1. I will be following with interest so I hope there will be some sailing posts!
    How lucky that you were able to have two holidays in one, with a stay in the little old house. That would suit me very well.

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    1. I have to confess, I am playing catch-up with my blog and the holiday was actually in July. Two very different holidays in one was a big bonus! Will try and post about the rest of the holiday very soon, but a late summer in the UK has lured me out into the garden...

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  2. Marianne, what an adventure you have now begun! I am sure that I would also be quite taken by the beautiful Swedish light. The little Grandmother's House in which you stayed looks completely charming, and like you, I think I would also have appreciated the contrasting views.

    Have a grand time sailing. xo

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    1. I love the light in Scandinavia and spent rather too much time browsing interior design magazines, looking for ideas, Frances, but what works there doesn't easily translate to the muted English palette. Very good for my basic Swedish though! We are back in the UK now, boat safely tucked away for the winter, but will post again soon about the rest of our rather special time away.

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  3. so pleased you got around to posting a little of your trip. Such a cute little boat (smaller than I had imagined!) I know what you mean about the difference in light between the two countries, but I think I rather prefer the washed out English light ...

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    1. Made a start, but it is fading rapidly as everyday life takes over, Ann. It is cute and very sea-worthy but incredibly small and basic. I love the light in Scandinavia but am always glad to return to our more muted light too.

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  4. Svenskt Tenn - it's like being in a sweet shop. I contented myself with some tiny scraps of fabric offcuts. It was so expensive. Have you tried the tea room there?

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    1. It is! I spent far too long lusting after a sofa covered in 'Vegetable Tree' and costing as much as a small car, but like you, have contented myself with a few small offcuts to line basket. I am saving up for a small lampshade...

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  5. Wonderful pictures the light looks so different it must have been lovely drinking a gin and tonic and watching the sunset. Grandma's house looks fantastic too. I shall enjoy hearing about your boat trip too. Sarah x

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    1. Scandinavian light is surprisingly strong, Sarah and explains those deep golden tans. Next instalment coming soon.

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