Travel Diary: Summer Vacation Part One – Midsummer in the Archipelago

Sunny weather, delicious flavours, workouts on the pier and some much needed sleep. My first week of summer vacation was a welcome break and a chance to recharge. We spent most of the week in Korpo, but also had some time to embark upon a little adventure to Houtskär (Houtskari).

Finally Some Sleep

Watching a beautiful sunset is one of my favourite ways to end the day.

This year my summer vacation is split up into three parts. My first week off was the fourth week in June, the same week as Midsummer.

In addition to my chronic migraine and headache I’ve been struggling with insomnia as well as iron deficiency. A week before Midsummer I got my second dose of IV iron. I don’t know if it was the iron boost or the fact that I was on vacation, but I finally managed to sleep.

After one year of barely sleeping at all it was amazing to get a whole week of 7-7,5 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night!

Exercise, Reading and Meditation

My fiancé still had work most of the week so while he was working I spent most of the days devouring book after book in the sun. Every once in a while I’d go for a dip in the sea and just relax.

For nearly two years now I’ve been practising mediation regularly. It’s something I often struggle with, as my mind often feels like a cartoon squirrel on a caffeine overdose.

However, there’s something about the peacefulness of the archipelago and watching the sea that always calms my mind. That zen-state seems just a little bit closer watching the waves roll by. I also love doing yoga or any kind of exercise on the pier and the weather was perfect for this the whole week.

Exploring Houtskär

Right before Midsummer we decided to head over to Houtskär, located next to Korpo. The ferry to Houtskär leaves from Galtby in Korpo and takes around 30 minutes.

Houtskär is such a beautiful place to explore during summer. There are lots of charming old wooden houses in traditional archipelago colours, tiny villages and plenty of sea views.

One of the main attractions is the 18th century wooden church overlooking the sea and the archipelago museum located next to it. We also climbed the Borgberg observation tower and admired Houtskär’s numerous boathouses built over the water.

Boathouses in Hyppeis in Houtskär.

Midsummer Delights

The food at Nestor’s Backpocket not only tastes amazing. It also looks like art!

To kick off the Midsummer celebrations we had an excellent meal at Nestor’s Backpocket in Korpo. It was my third or fourth time there and the food is always amazing – I highly recommend a visit for any foodies out there!

The rest of the Midsummer was spent in a traditional manner at the summer cottage in Korpo with good food, sauna and swimming.

I love spotting animals and had seen the eagles on a nearly daily basis as there are a lot of them in this area now. But on Midsummer Day I managed to spot something we don’t see every day – a seal! They usually like to hang out a bit further out in the archipelago, but during the past twelve months I’ve spotted one three times, which I’m pretty excited about.

Part two of my three-part summer vacation is the first week of July.


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