Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I recently revisited some photos from our trip to Sweden two summers ago and was struck by the beautiful, rustic simplicity of the Stockholm Archipelago. The 24,000 tiny Baltic islands were formed at the end of the ice age and you can still feel the history of the steely, rocky landscape. We stayed with friends in the quaint town of Dolero, situated on the shores of the Baltic Sea. Our charming little red cottage was perched on the edge of the water with both a sail boat and motor boat ready for our daily morning trips. The Swedes relish the opportunity to be close to nature and expect their guests to be "sporty" too. "Sporty" was a catch-all phrase for a daily list of athletic exploits which ranged from taking a morning swim in the bracing sea (yes) to scaling a mountain and jumping off a cliff (no way). Our days were spent traveling from island to island by boat, picnicking on the rocks and surveying the local landscape of cheery red and yellow cottages. By nightfall, our hungry and exhausted group enjoyed local fish and simply prepared vegetables-bedtime was welcomed by all!

 It must be heaven to spend Christmas in Dolera, amongst the tall, whispering pines, nestled in a cosy cottage with a roaring fire-no swimming in the sea but a nice, hot sauna would do!

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