Aland. Pronounced almost like Holland, without the “H”.
What a charming, beautiful place. We arrived at 12.30, and were greeted by a local band, in a fabulously clean port. I joined our group of twenty or so for a cycle ride, and we went around 20 kilometres, slowly, firstly through town, then to a beach area full of teenagers taking in the sun.
After cycling through pleasant residential neighbourhoods we crossed onto several other islands by bridge, and the stopped for coffee and an Aland pancake; more a semolina flan, with raising syrup. Delicious.
We had a photo stop at some fantastic boathouses, including the only Thatched boathouse I recall seeing, and watched the preparations of the Maypole for tomorrows midsummer festivities.
Then to a fishing village, then into town and a photo opportunity in one of the older streets, before returning the bikes, and enjoying a local beer.
The island has lovely cycle paths, and is just quite simply, pretty. A cross between the Canadian east and west coasts, with magnificent trees, everything from Oaks to Rowans to Horse Chestnuts to pines. Lovely.
The people were also extremely lovely. A highly recommended port.