So. Maybe we are not hitting any heat records.
Maybe we haven't had lots of beach-weather days.
But. Finnish summer is still beautiful.
I like how the nights are cool, no a/c needed (although a few times I wish we had one... it was really muggy a few days ago)
The sun sets, but it's never really dark all night.
(we are at the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska)
The kids can be outside without getting burnt or dehydrated.
They've been picking lots of berries and wildflowers, biking, (they have amazing and safe biking trails all over), rollerblading, playing horses outside etc etc.
Going places there's rarely a crowd.
I've seen packed beaches and parks in my life, so when Finns ask "Was the beach busy?", they mean
"Were there other people than you?"
No wonder this country has more summer cottages per capita than any other country I know!
Finns like solitude.
I can see why, although 3 other families on a beach does not make it crowded in my eyes!!
Going to a Finnish "mökki" (cottage) means driving 30 min out of town, 15 minutes spent on a 2-track road barely useable to cars. When you arrive and open the door the only thing you hear is the sound of nature.
Not your neighbours lawnmower or kids shouting.
No cars or boats can be seen or heard.
Just birds, and the wind in the trees and mosquitos.
Lots and lots of those.
They'll find your ears as soon as you step out of your car and keep reminding you of their precence for as long as you are out there.
The mökki is always on water.
Beautiful lakes with clear water.
Usually little islands are scattered in the water, and in the distance you might see another mökki.
If peace and quiet is your thing, well, this is it.
So... what do you do at the mökki then??
Sauna and swim.
And grill sausages.
Maybe if you have a boat (a rowboat, one with engine would disturb the peace), you take it out on the lake.
And you might do some fishing.
Mostly you enjoy the peace and quiet.
Well. These last few months I've been very homesick for Canada, and we are making pretty official plans on moving back next summer, God willing, but I do have to say I'll miss many things about the Finnish summer. The huge amounts of wildflowers, the ice-cream, the nature, the berries, the sauna's at the crisp lakes, the peace and quiet... Aaaaaawwwwwwww....
So wherever you are, spending your summer, I hope you enjoy yours too.
Here we enjoy ours immensely, since we know we are heading towards cold and dark months in just a short while...