Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Midsummer Night's Tale

It's not a dream. Doesn't even have anything to do with Shakespeare's play. It's my reality, my own simple adventure.

It happened on the eve of Midsummer, June 22, 2012. Midsummer this year was June 23. We were going to Silkeborg, Denmark to attend an English district convention for the whole Scandinavia. It would take a distance of about 1,300 km to travel one way from our place to our destination.  The occasion was set for June 28-30, but we started out early so we could visit other places in the southwestern part of Sweden. We had planned to spend the nights in different camping sites.

Our first stop-over was Ludvika, Dalarna, the birthplace of my hubby. He wanted to show me where he came from. So this was a time travel, back to their old house in a forsaken little village, where happy childhood memories resurfaced along with the unpleasant ones.

After traveling for a whole day, we needed to stop somewhere to sleep. We checked on some camping grounds, but unfortunately, the receptions were closed due to the midsummer eve's celebration. The sites  were full of trailers and camper cars where people chose to spend some of their summer days.

Where should we stay? Midnight would come soon. We scouted around, tucking away the thought of staying in a camping site. Somewhere along the lake in Dalarna, we saw a homecar/camper parked in an open ground, and we decided to put up our new pop-up tent nearby. It turned out that our camping neighbor was a German family.

It was already past 10:00 p.m. when we prepared our dinner. The sun remained suspended in the horizon.  The place was so quiet with only the sounds of ducks and our neighbors interrupting the silence. I was bathing my soul with the serenity of the lake when noises of playing children from the house across the lake reverberated in the air. And then I saw the smoke from a bonfire. They were celebrating the midsummer's eve!


When I studied Shakespeare in college, the play A Midsummer Night's Dream was one of his comedies that we were required to read. Although I had loved the story, I didn't really understand the significance of midsummer at that time. It was only when I moved to Sweden that I got a real picture of the renowned midsummer celebration. And it's a big thing in this part of Europe. (You can read more about this holiday HERE. You may scroll down to Sweden.)

We retired to our tent around midnight and slept in the stillness and brightness of the midsummer night.

Midsummer day came with the sun. The wildflowers and the meadows all over cheerfully greeted us good morning.

After packing our camping paraphernalia, we went about for a short tour. We passed through this "time portal", under a short railway bridge to visit my hubby's old village, which seemed to be forgotten by time. I was so immersed in his nostalgic stories as he showed me some memorable spots that I forgot to take any pictures of the place.

Jaunt over, we stepped back to reality and moved on to our next destination: a section of the northern shorelines of Vänern, Sweden's largest lake.

Follow me to my exciting journeys in my future blogs.