I spent a day in Stockholm before we (myself, Henrik and his mother) took the ferry out to Ålön, one of the many small islands in the Archipelago. We are staying with Henrik's Uncle, who has a beautiful cottage near to the sea. Friday was spent enjoying the sunshine and relaxing with a good book. We also went out on the boat to a nearby island to get some shopping. It's a bit surreal here in the Archipelago, as people don't travel by car, but by boat. Before going to the shops, we first pulled in to a little petrol station on the water (literally, a Shell Garage) and a man came out and filled up the boat with fuel before we carried on our way. The island with the shops was very quaint, with a small grocery store, a coffee shop and a few other amenities. On our way back we did a little sight-seeing, taking in the beautiful surroundings and looking at the various houses people have built and restored out here.
Yesterday was my 22nd Birthday, and the morning was beautiful and sunny so I had my breakfast outside. Everyone sang to me and I opened my present and card that my parents had instructed me to pack and open on my birthday. The day continued to be lovely as the sun remained shining, so we decided to take a walk to the rocks and do some swimming. During the walk, however, the clouds gathered and blocked out the sun. We decided it was too cold to swim, but spent some time at the rocks anyway to enjoy the view and do some reading (see picture). After a while we decided to walk back to the house and on the way it began to rain. Then it didn't stop. The rain continued through the afternoon and into the night. It was still very beautiful though, and the house was very cosy. Henrik's mother had made a fantastic summer cake for my birthday, covered in strawberries and cream. We had it after a dinner of Salmon and a potato salad (which I had 2 portions of as it was so delicious!). One of the neighbours joined us for the dinner and we had a lovely, social evening. I also managed to Skype my parents and sister at home and fill them in on what I've been up to!
The rain continued through the night and eased off this morning. It's lovely and cool, but certainly not weather for swimming. So today has so far been one of those wonderful days where you stay inside and read, do crosswords, play cards and enjoy the fact that if you wanted to you could do nothing at all. This afternoon we might go for a walk around the island, and take another trip to the shops in the boat. Tomorrow we will head back to Stockholm as I have to meet a potential future employer on Tuesday (!) and Henrik and I also promised to help his mother with the Grandchildren, so that should be interesting!
I'll update again soon, when I am back on the mainland.