Saturday, June 20
Having a kesämökki* ("summer cottage") of one's own is a dream every Finn has, or at least is supposed to have**; I guess the idea of a mökki painted with Falu red and situated by a lake is still deeply rooted in the minds of many Finns, even though nowadays a mökki can be a modern house with all the modern conveniences. Still, traditionally mökki is a place where Finns can be one with nature, with no neighbours in sight.
Come midsummer, the cities and towns in Finland empty up when the Finns travel to their cottages en masse. I, too, have spent most of the midsummers of my childhood out of the city, and even if midsummer in a city can be a good thing (there's something magical about how much a city like Helsinki changes; it's really empty and quiet), it still doesn't feel quite right.
I've spent the last few or so midsummers in Helsinki, due to having too much work to go anywhere, but this year The Boy and I followed the masses, borrowed his mother's car and drove some 300 kilometres to Rautalampi. The cottage we're staying in has been built by The Boy's grandfather in 1950s and is situated by the lake Konnevesi. It's built on a cliff, so the view of the lake is wonderful.
Unlike our summer house on the island, here we have electricity and even running water, so by my standards this is pretty high-tech! There's also a sauna (Finnish mökki isn't a proper mökki without a sauna), another mökki built in 80s and an outhouse. I like how every small building has been built so they fit in the rocky forest landscape; apart from the main building, you can hardly see them from the lake.
We arrived late on Thursday night, or early in Friday. The nights are short and light right now - the first photos I took at ca. 2 a.m.
*According to the Finnish Wikipedia article Mökki, mökki is "a smallish building often made of wood and meant for holidaying ".
**I do know that for some people, staying in a mökki is a nightmare; they've been forced to spend too much time with mosquitoes and people they do not like, and that has scarred them, some for life. Though I bet having a mökki of your own will be the next cool thing amongst those hipsters who have already picked up knitting.