Tuesday, June 28

Juhannus

Juhannus is a Finnish holiday that celebrates Midsummer's eve which marks the longest day. Everything is closed on the weekend. Juhannus usually falls on Friday but occassionally Saturday. Last Friday the 24th was the Juhannus at my uncle Jouko's summerhouse in Forssa (halfway between pori and Helsinki). C and I went with my cousion Mikko and my äiti and mummo on a van trip to Forssa from Pori. It took an hr and 45mins I think. I was chatting with a friend the entire time until we drove onto unpaved road into a dense forest and my pager lost
connection. For next two miles, we were rocking around in the van... Eureka, we had arrived Jouko's summerhouse which is smack right on the edge of a lake. We were greeted by my uncle Jorma and wife Soili...

Jouko and wife were there. Ky, my niece, already was there as well. Two of Ky's second-cousins were there. More cousins and their partners or offspring came by (three came after me; total of cousins included me was nine). We were constantly EATING. Potatoes, potatoes, bread bread and cheese cheese! Then to top it off-- pastries. Every time people want coffee, pastries are offered. Kids were sugar-high the whole weekend. C went ballistic with the mosquitoes and put on mosquitoes-repellant much as he could.

Jouko got two summerhouses; one was recently built and it was VERY nice. Loaded with electricty and got a full functionable kitchen (sink, oven, stoven, amd microwave) unlike the old summerhouse which only has stovetop.

C and I did use the sauna by ourselves which was a huge relief because I hated to go to sauna with my relatives (females) and I am sure C didn't want any close encounters with the in-laws! My family kept teasing C about mosquitoes and swimming in the lake.
Before we flew to Finlandia, he was already firm in his mind that he won't swim in ocean or lakes. "Germs!" he said. I kept begging him to bring his swimsuit to Jouko to swim in the lake. He gave me a cold shoulder. Blah!

I still swam in the lake (it was like 60degrees-- brr!) with Ky. we swam around and there were several warm patches in the lake (somebody probably peed there!). C took some pictures of us. Ky did have fun even tho she kept chickening out whenever it was time to swim in the lake. C and I slept in the loft in the new summerhouse with Jorma & Soili and cousin Tiina. Everybody else slept at the old summerhouse (you have to remember the total of relatives at the summerhouse was more than 15!) in the attic where it was kept warm by the sauna downstairs.
The second night was Juhannus and we did have our holiday bonfire (see my moblog in top right corner)... Jorma and Soili were plastered (ppl were drinking on Juhannus night) and came to bed at 5 A.M.! Third day, it rained and rained. Typical of Finnish summer. People were looking crappy with hangovers and cigarettes-- especially my aunt Liisa. C and I left to the city of Forssa to Jouko's home because I had a quiz I need to complete online. We spent the night there-- at a REAL house with indoor plumbings. (At the summerhouse, there is a small outhouse... "Water closet" as all Europeans call it).

On the fourth day, we went to the national park in Forssa-- we climbed a "natural" tower (it is definitely man-made) which oversaw an endless marsh and forest. Took several good pictures. It was a short hike. 1.5km, I think. (1km = 0.62mile). Finally we drove back to Pori... Jorma did take us to sightsee through Kilomari (I think that was mispelt.)... Ky was bored out of her mind and we were getting tired of seeing same things. He quickly moved on to focus on his driving.
I did add some pictures I took with my pager from the weekend and it is located at my moblog. The link, like I said, is up at top right corner where you should see an animated picture of different pictures. Enjoy! More to come!

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