Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Finnhamn: Saunas, hiking, row boats, red ants and much more!

ACE family ferries to Finnhamn........

Saunas, hikes, row boats, red ants and play time have consumed the last four days in the Stockholm Archipelago. Here is our trip exploring the archipelago in pictures.

Day 1: Arrive, Check in, Play Chess, Explore Island
Welcome to the Island of Finnhamn. The ferry dropped us off right near Cafe Krog. Finnhamn has actually become 3 islands combined because the water has receded. We stayed on the island named Idolmen which was about a 30 minute walk from where the Ferry dropped us off. 
This is the Hostel where we checked in. This is about a 5 minute walk from the Ferry drop off. In high season it is really important to book ahead or you will not get a spot. We were there in low season so it was a little cheaper and less people which made it feel more 'rustic'. 

Alas... A 30 minute walk and we make it to our cabin. It was a beautiful one room with a kitchenette. A water pump was only a minute walk away and outhouses and showers about a 2 minute walk. Very simple but VERY perfect! 

This is where Etta now sleeps. It's her Nomad tent travel bed. Perfect for little Nomad Etta. We got it from a used website in Denmark and LOVE it! It is a lot better then the make shift beds we were using. For us it was especially important since she is getting more mobile. It only weighs 5 lbs and is smaller then most travel beds. 
They have a big chess game just outside the hostel. Team ACE played a game. Competitive juices were flowing but the game ended in a stalemate. The 5 second rule to help keep the game short and Etta engaged did not allow
for much strategy.

Some of the views as we explored Finnhamn.

Enjoying the ocean breeze in the sun. 

Hanging out in the cabin when Etta is awake. Most of the pictures we have of Etta involve some food somewhere all over us and her especially since we have not used a high chair for a good 2 weeks.

After Etta heads to bed we get to enjoy the outdoors on our patio right outside where she is sleeping. 
Day 2: Sauna and Ocean Dip
This is the sauna. You get to book the sauna for yourself for an hour at a time. 

This is not a painting or a picture. It is the view from inside the sauna. 

One of us would play with Etta while the other one would go into the sauna for 10-15 minutes. Then that person would jump in the ice cold ocean water to seal in the heat. Next they would play with Etta while the other one went into the sauna. Seriously we need one of these in Deep Cove, Vancouver. 
Day 3: Row, Hike, Eat

Today we took a row boat and rowed from Finnhamn to the neighbouring island of Ingmarsö. The store on Finnhamn is closed during the winter months but Ingmarsö has a store that is open. Since we brought the bare minimum of food with us to Finnhamn we decided to take the row boat across to Ingmarsö.

 This is how the row boat works:
 You always have to have a row boat on each island. First you row the boat across to Ingmarsö which takes about 10 minutes. Then you attach the other row boat and row both boats back Finnhamn. Then you leave one boat on Finnhamn and return to Ingmarsö. Then you do it all over again in reverse when you want to head back to Finnhamn.

This is how the hike works:
Follow the blue signs and you will get to the shop in Ingmarsö. The hike/walk takes about 45-60 minutes.

Things I wish we would have known:
- Do not stop for lunch on the rocks right near the row boats. If you follow the blue signs you can get to a picnic table area that is perfect for eating. Without knowing this, I instead decided to try to feed Etta on some seemingly perfect picnic rocks near the rowboat, while Cam rowed to Finnhman and back to deliver the boats. The previously clear rocks were quickly taken over by an army of red ants that were crawling up my leg as I was trying to feed Etta. By the time Cam came back from rowing the boats I was running around with Etta in my arms yelling, ANTS!! ANTS!!!! Cam thought I was crazy and overreacting until he came onto the rocks and ants were crawling onto his bare foot. We grabbed our stuff and brushed the ants off and started the hike at a run!
- Do not follow the red posts!!! You are supposed to follow the blue signs which you will see in one of the pictures below. Unfortunately we did not know this and one of the first blue signs was missing so we ended up following the red posts. This led to an hour of bushwhacking and grown over trails. We almost turned around as the supposedly 1 hour hike at that rate would take us about 4 hours. However after another  30 minutes we found the main trail and arrived at our destination within the next 30 minutes. The hike there took about 2 1/2 hours and the hike back took 45 minutes.

Life jackets on and we are ready to Row! We borrowed all the life jackets from the hostel. 

Off we go!

We arrive at Ingmarso and attach the other row boat.

Cam rows back to Finnhamn while Etta and I are being attacked by ants.

Before we start our hike we do a quick booty change.

And off we go again, this time on foot!!!

Past an old barn. (You won`t actually pass this old barn if you are on the correct trail. This was near the end of our bushwacking adventure)

Across bridges.

When we arrive at the store we have a treat. Cam and I have ice cream and Etta has a cookie!

Follow the blue signs and you will get to the row boat crossing. 
At the end of our trip we row back to our Finnhamn home.

There ends our Row boat/hike adventure. We think it is the most adventurous day Etta has had in her little Nomad life.

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