Today’s post is rather surprising, also for me. I have not looked at these photos for a long time, but the autumn melancholy made me browse through some very old archives. Everything outside is gray and rainy now, and it reminded me of my visit to Ålandach a couple of years ago. The islands were cold and uninviting, with nearly everything closed, but they still had a lot of charm. Empty, quiet and mysterious. That time we visited them only for a while, and only aroud Eckerö on the west end of the archipelago, where it is the easiest and cheapest to get from Stockholm.
Many say that Åland Islands are not especially interesting, most Swedes and Finns I’ve asked said that they don’t ever plan to go there, but I have a strong sentiment for this place, and I am sure I’ll be going back there again. Maybe it’s because it was a destination of our first ever holidays together, a year ago a destination of my first solo trip, maybe it’s because of Tove Jansson, or maybe because they are a bit “different”, somewhere inbetween Sweden and Finland. But if you plan to go there, don’t start from the capital, choose a smaller place, one of the smaller islands, take a boat, or a ferry, and enjoy the beautiful peaceful scandinavian landscapes.
Four years ago when I took these photos, I wrote: “Last time the waters were calmer, the ferry ride was much more pleasant. This time everything is different. The main shop is now spookily empty, the beach where I used to bathe is now all covered in grass. There is still lots of blueberries, and it’s still as calm and quiet as the last time. And there is still the most charming tiny marina, and three cafes. Three is actually a lot for a place where you would see around dozen people during a day, but one of the cafes is now closed, after 26 years, the other (where we had the great Åland pancakes last summer) is now closed for a winter season, and the third one is actually a part of the gas station. Apart from the ferry terminal, it’s where you can meet some people now. You can have a coffee, browse through some local magazines, look at the childrens’ drawings on the walls, or read a book about the Swedish royal family.” Oh, I’ll be back, I am sure, but hopefully during summer this time. An island, a tent, a boat and a landscape filled with charming scandinavian houses, that’s all I want.