Saturday, 21 June 2014

Midsummer at Sofiero and Kullaberg

Ready for our midsummer celebrations.

European midsummer related traditions are of pre-christian origin (Wikipedia). Celebrations tend to centre around the astronomical summer solstice in June while christianity chooses the birthday of John the Baptist as the correct day. Traditions are strong in Scandinavia. Bonfires are traditionally lit to protect from evil spirits, Finns place out branches of birch trees to welcome visitors and Swedes erect a maypole for a reason that is not entirely clear. Anyway midsummer activities like dancing and singing circle around the pole that has been decorated with green leaves and flowers. Food and drink (preferably local produce) are important elements today. And midsummer is not midsummer without singing schnapps songs until the dawn. Our midsummer week-end is well spent; first in Sofiero the Swedish way, on Saturday the Finnish way with a barbecue (but regrettably no sauna) and finally on Sunday with marinated herrings and new potatoes after a classical concert (our own way). Perfect!

Getting prepared; folk dresses are highly popular during midsummer celebrations.

Of many alternatives we choose to visit the western coast of Skåne, mainly because this was new to us. In Sweden free public festive programmes are organized annually in parks around the country. Sofiero Castle organize their own festivities as initiated a hundred years ago by the royal family. The maypole is dressed to become the centre point of activities. The festivity is for the entire family and the program me designed for that purpose. Bringing along your own picnic is also a tradition - some lay out a table with chairs while others place a blanket to sit on. A tent may give you a little bit of shade on a sunny day. Top right a young couple lay down overlooking Öresund. Middle right we have arrived and found our place in the crowd (sharp-eyed will spot Mrs.T) and down right the folk dressed dancers enter. It's all about getting prepared YOUR WAY.

Colourful folk dancers. Over Öresund the castle at Helsingör, Denmark.

Children enjoying themselves.

This Zappy and Colourful happening offer plenty of program for the children; dancing around the pole, running competition carrying a potato or just playing around makes the day for them. Running to win was not essential but having fun and feeling togetherness was the key point. Parents enjoy the company of each others and, once finished their picnic, may opt for a game of cards, following the crowds or perhaps enjoy a relaxing moment on the blanket.

Come as you are and do as you please.

Junior or Senior - everyone enjoy! Some carry competitive camera models.

Good-bye Sofiero until next time!

Our midsummer celebration at Sofiero was over in late afternoon and we continued our journey towards Kullaberg National Park area. A short drive along the coast north of Sofiero took as past picturesque small villages like Viken that comprise old traditional houses and narrow lanes. Was really worthwhile a visit. If you own a Ferrari then you may be able to find a house here, too.

Towards Kullaberg

Kullaberg is nature reserve area in northeastern Skåne with a landline towards Kattegat waters. Steep cliffs and rocky waters dominate the landscape and climbing seem to be a sport of interest here. The area was populated 7000 BC and is today a popular picnic area, also on midsummer eve. Kullen lighthouse is still operational on the peninsula at the opening towards Öresund. With its 1000 Wat electric bulb it is said to be the most powerful lighthouse in Scandinavia (Wikipedia). The Danish astronomer, Tyco Brahe, was the lighthouse administrator here until his death in 1601. Kullaberga offer excellent views, a beautiful nature and a nice stroll in the early evening. 

A view from Kullaberg.

The following mosaic of photos gives an understanding of the countryside in northwestern Skåne. Really well kept with old traditional houses, farmland with ancient windmills and local product at sale along the route (back home).

Countryside in the Högaberg municipality, northeastern Skåne.

The drive to this part of Skåne would not take longer than 1,5 hours along route 21 passed Hässleholm, later the E4 and finally route 111 to Sofiero. We are learning about distances in Skåne and find everything to, yet again, be at a convenient driving distance. The same routes took as back where a bottle of ANNA Cava was waiting for us. 

Kullen Lighthouse behind the cliffs.

This was midsummer eve in Skåne. Have a nice midsummer festivity everyone!


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