Mariehamn, Aland Islands
July 9, 2007
We left Rodhamn and had just a bit more than an hour trip to Mariehamn, the "big city" in the Aland Archipelago. The dockmaster came out in his launch to guide us to a series of docks where we could all tie up together, four boats on the dock, 3 rafted up outside. We plan to do some leisurely shopping, get some more wine, and rest for a day or two. Checked out the laundry, and it's 6 Euros(about $7.85) per washing machine, dryer is free. The marina is quite large so one has to sign up for an available time slot for each of the three washing machines, and if you don't show up, you lose your place. Ann on Horizons and I immediately signed up to do laundry at 7 pm, the only available time slot that day. Everybody decided to go to the restaurant at the marina, which is supposed to be very good, so we ran back and forth between the restaurant and the laundry. Each place we visit, it seems we have to learn how to operate another machine, with instructions often only in the local language. Fortunately the instructions usually include pictures to illustrate what to do and most of the time we manage quite well.
The restaurant, Pavilion was exceptionally good. Quite expensive, but the quality of the food made it well worth the price. Peter and I usually order different main courses so that I can try more than one thing, but the Perch sounded so good that we both ordered it, along with a Crayfish soup, which we shared and should have each ordered our own it was so good. The waiter was a delightful, entertaining fellow whose English was excellent (as it was for most of the Finns and Swedes we met). A very enjoyable evening, and the last evening we were all to be together, since Dick and Carol on RHUMB LINE were leaving very early the next morning to make a dash for Stockholm to meet their daughter's family, who were to take the boat for the next several weeks.
I must comment AGAIN, that the world is full of very nice people. As I was sitting at my computer on the boat, I heard a tap-tap-tap, and looked out the window and there was this old man trying to get my attention. I went outside, and he introduced himself to me, and explained that he had been on the boat earlier to look around, and he had come back to bring Peter a souvenier from Mariehamn, a Mariehamn flag, and also to bring his camera so he could take a picture of the boat with us on it. Sven Johannson is his name, and he is a delightful man. His English is not particularly good, but much better than my non-existent Finnish, and we had a nice talk. When Peter got back from his walk, Sven came back to the boat to take a picture of the two of us for his memories. I took a picture of him, too! I am so charmed by the grace of this man.