Yesterday we needed a few things for the boat, so a trip to the chandler was required. The chandler is a few KM out of town, but they kindly lay on a taxi every morning at 10 which takes you to the shop and back again.
Next a haircut was on the programme. I had not had one since Cape Town in April so there was some urgency with this. Fortunately there are several hairdressers in Mariehamn, one of which eve offers a pensioners rate. The few haircuts I have had in Scandinavia (and in London for that matter) have all been given by non-English speaking immigrants, mainly Eastern European. Strange....
I have been in Åland once before, 21 years ago during my Optimist days. At that time I met Ralph, a born and bred Ålander, whom I last saw in 2000. We got in touch with him and last night he took us to a jazz performance plus nice meal:
It was a very nice evening. When we got back on board at quarter to 11, the sun was still above the horizon which is a bit confusing time wise!
This morning Ralph took us by car first to a former sea captain's mansion. This proved very interesting as the captain concerned was the captain of the Herzogin Cecilien, one of the last grain clippers which stranded on a rock in the English Channel near Salcombe in 1936. Åland was the base of Gustav Erikson, the biggest shipowner of the grain trade. The mansion had a lot of interesting history and a movie about the last voyage of the 'Herzogin ' was shown.
Then we had lunch with Åland beer. And noticed the local version of the 'stång', the pole used during the midsummer celebrations which is ferry different from the Swedish stång:
It's now almost 9pm and the yacht club's gun will be fired to tell us to take our flag down.
Tomorrow the wind will probably be too strong to start our exploration of the islands, which is no problem as we can use a 'chill day' after the last two busy ones!