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Thursday 30 June 2016

Celebrating the Almost-Midnight Sun

A comfortable drive from our friend's home in Copenhagen got us to Sjaellands Odde
in time for a late-lunch.

Clockwise above: Laying the table, dressed in my Dorothy Perkins black jersey dress !  A cocktail made of gin and tonic, grapefruit zest and rosemary - it worked amazingly well. Pudding of rhubarb crumble, lemon merengue and strawberry tart.  And keeping an eye on more prawns and egg - Skaal!
We spent the second half of our holiday in the north of the island of Sjaelland (Zealand), on the spit of land called Sjaellands Odde.  We stayed at our friends' summerhouse.

The weather during our holiday was HOT!  So after we'd lunched (above) we then went swimming in a beautifully warm sea, in the sheltered bay just a few minutes stroll from the house.
It is quite a anomaly (to me anyway!) that in summer, the further north one travels, the higher is the temperature and the warmer is the sea.

The spit creates a bay with nearby land.  I quickly discovered that the bay's shoreline was filled with jelly fish; it was a rather strange experience, wading through these little transparent blobs to get to a height for swimming. They are much firmer to the touch than I imagined.  I accidently and rather sadly stood on one at some stage, I did yell out "yuck" and I feel bad about that.  It makes me sad.

Later, with salt water and eau-de-jelly fish showered off, it was time to celebrate Sancte Hans Aften.

We became the Stripey Team for the evening.  We realised we had all packed striped tops, so it just had to be done!

A community bonfire was lit on the beach down by the harbour.

I'm pleased to say that no witches were sacrificed, as folklore would have it.  You can just about make out the effigy of the witch in the LH pic.  And then she was gone!  Bit cruel really, considering that witches back in the day were essentially the only healers in the community and witch was a misunderstood name-tag.

The children cooked sausages wrapped in dough on the bonfire, as we did as children.

Bonfire attire was my Magasin stripey top, my Primark scarf and my lovely grey Peacock jeans.

My friends' taught me the traditional song for the event.  We sang about nature, growing crops, meadows ... oh such lovely things to sing about.  We belted it out!

The singing over, the sausages eaten and the bonfire burned and soon it was time to leave the beach. 

We followed some lively music to a nearby bar where much fun was being had.  I was asked to dance by one of the locals and it seemed rude to refuse. 
And No, I am not posting the pictures and video that were taken!

We woke up to another hot day, filled with lots of swimming and chatting.  We spent the day on the beach.  Oh how I love this life.

The relaxed, inclusive way of cooking out in the open air.  Cooking with care, thought and love.

Then later, a leisurely meals with loved ones, eating much later than normal because it seems like one's body clock changes when the days are. soooo long.  Mine did, anyway.  I was up till LATE each day.

Surrounded by a nature at peace with itself

It's magical watching the late night sun playing on the trees.
The summerhouse we were staying in is set in woods.  Deer come up to the house.  Hares spring up from the long grass.  The picture below right is of the so-cute guest house.

The sun setting.  Late.  At this time of year up north, the evenings are warm and still and the sky starts to darken late.  Around 11.30 pm the sky becomes dark enough for stars to start coming out.  Then a few hours like the sky quickly starts to lighten again.  It is rather magical.

When it was truly dark, we ladies left the men putting the world to rights on the terrace over a glass or two of single malt, whilst we retired indoors to play music.  And dance into the wee hours. 
There is no photographic evidence of the dancing, I'm pleased to report, but you wouldn't want to see the spectacle of me dancing,  anyway!

 After breakfast and chatting, it was time to drive back to Copenhagen after having enjoyed some blissful days in the countryside of the land of the almost-midnight sun

A few happy days getting back in touch with nature.
(Flowers picked from the garden before breakfast.

I hope you have enjoyed travelling with me through the island of Sjaelland in Denmark. 
I took in culture, I strolled through my favourite city. I learned, I swam.  I ate well and danced badly.  I saw beautiful countryside and shoreline. I stayed up late enjoying the long days, "occasionally"* with a glass of wine..  I shopped a little and chatted a lot.  
But the best part of the holiday was spending time with my special friends who took care of us so amazingly well.  My thanks and gratitude goes out to you.  In bucket-loads!
*inverted commas inserted by The Photographer!

 I hope my posts have given you a good taste of the Denmark.  A little amuse-bouche of just a small piece of the country and its warm, friendly people. I hope you have enjoyed the diversity of what the island of Sjaelland has to offer ... the city of Copenhagen with its rich history, unique style and architecture, the beautiful countryside and shoreline, a cuisine that goes back to nature and the peoples' roots.

Maybe you would like to spend midsummer in the land of the almost-midnight sun ...

A la perchoine.

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