Posts Tagged: summer solstice

Life List Achievement Unlocked: Midsummer in Finland by Water

The S/S Ukkopekka docked at Naantali View of the island sea and sailboat from Naantali Midsummer rose, Naantali Museo Back on the S/S Ukkopekka, rain outside Loistokari Island Midsummer's evening on Loistokari Island Steaming away from Loistokari Island

All photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nokia 808 Pureview Camera phone.

Sun 06.24.12 – In November of 2009, in a flurry of dreaming about traveling, I made a Life List that was mostly crazy, off the beaten path travel to-dos. This last week and weekend I checked off #16: Spend a week in a cabin / summer house on a lake in Finland.
When I originally wrote my Life List, I had hoped to be able to spend a week in a Finnish summer cottage on or by a lake, but when it came time to book, in early May, such an event for the last two weeks of June, I was unable to find a rental cottage that was not HUGE in my rental price range. By HUGE, I mean for 18-24 people – overkill.
Carol Chen came to the rescue when she found out that I was planning on attending Devaamo 2012 in Tampere, Finland, by offering to let me stay in her extra room at her apartment in the wooded & lake’d Tampere suburb of Hervanta.
For one week, I had the opportunity to get to attend Devaamo, hang out with amazing geeks, wander around Tampere & Hervanta, and walk around local lakes. Not quite the summer cottage by a lake, but close enough for rock’n’roll without the mosquito bites!
This weekend, Carol and I went to Turku on the far southwestern coast of Finland, which is the jump off area to visit the Finnish Archipelago – Saaristomeri. We left Tampere via the Inter-City train mid-day on Friday, which was Midsummer’s Eve and arrived in a very shut down all closed Turku on 2 hours later.
Luckily for us a few of the tourist options were open, like the Turku Cathedral and a few riverfront bars and restaurants. We had dinner at a nice jazz bar with a swing/ragtime live band, as well as bought tickets to tour a bit of the inner islands on the S/S Ukkopekka for the next day.
Yesterday, Midsummer, we went on two island cruise trips on the S/S Ukkopekka, the first one a day tour to Naantali that included four hours of wandering around old town Naantali and the Moomin island, and the second was an evening dinner cruise to Loistokari Island. Due to rain in the evening, dancing on the island was cancelled, but dinner on the boat with a sing-a-long band was still a lot of fun.
Today I returned to Helsinki with much of life still shut down for the national holiday weekend. I am very fortunate to be able to visit Finland in the summer, particularly over one of their biggest holiday weekends of the year.
People, do not allow any Finn to convince you otherwise, but the big secret they like to keep is how amazingly beautiful Finland is in the summer, even if a bit cloudy and rainy at times. Finland is a truly lovely country.

The Summer, She Begins

Mon 06.21.10 – At the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, today was/is Midsummer, but here in the mid-latitudes (33N), today at 4:28am PDT marks the beginning of the summer season, or the summer solstice.
Now, the specific 33N mid-latitudes that I live in is the greater Los Angeles basin area, of which June 20/21st marks the end of the June Gloom season (May 1st – June 30th) and the start of the Mostly Consistently Sunny Season but before the start of the official Fire Season (Sept 15th – Oct 31st). Thus, Summer in other people’s worlds.
Me, I am not so much of a fan of the season known as Summer, and I am even less a fan of the late Fire Season. I like my mostly consistently sunny season to be Dec 21st – March 15th. I like my sun to come with sharp, crisp chilly weather, not sweltering, stagnant hot weather.
I will leave the love of the hot to the folks of the higher northern latitudes who have a real winter and thus summer is a treat or to the folks of the equatorial latitudes for whom summer is year around and any drop below 68F/20C is FREEZING.
So how, some way, I will figure out how to spend Midsummer to late October north of the 55th parallel line next year. Some how, some way.
And to the rest of you, Happy Summer!

Happy MidSummer Night!

I will be on an airplane flying from Los Angeles to Stuttgart, Germany, most likely somewhere over northern Canada when the official summer solstice occurs tonight 10:45pm PDT (5:45am UTC), which is highly appropriate to be in a northern clime during the actually time of “sun-standing“.
Here is a cool chart from the US Navy on the relative length of longest day and longest night depending on your latitude: If you live just a bit north of Los Angeles at 35N, then today/tomorrow will have 14 hours and 31 minutes of sun, but if you live in Helsinki or Anchorage at 60N, then you will have 18 hours and 53 minutes of sun (providing it is not cloudy, so I should say daylight)!
If you belong to a good old fashioned Sun based religion, enjoy your day and evening… Happy Midsummer!

Happy Longest Day of the Year!

According to the nice folk at the US Navy Observatory, today, June 20, 2008 at 23:59 UT will be the Summer Solstice.
To most North Americans, this is the day we mark as the start of Summer. When I was in Ireland, May 1st was the first day of Summer and today would be considered the high point of Summer. Where ever you are north of the equator and whenever you start your Summer, Happy Longest Day of the Year!
Enjoy it as you will. I will be driving to Lake Tahoe for CampCamp 5.0. I should be on the Interstate 5 driving north at 4:59pm Pacific Daylight Time.