Leaving work, I feel the nervous excitement of a new adventure. I ride my bicycle to a new location. I've walked by here before, but at the time was not in need of bicycle parking. I've allowed too much extra time for such a simple task, and of course, I am early. It has started to become colder, and as I wait outside, I regret not having worn a heavier coat.
Standing outside. Looking for some people I might recognize. Is that one? I think I recognize her. She also looks like she is hoping to meet some people here. I mention something about folk dance and am glad to find she is here for the same purpose. One becomes two, and two become a dozen. We notice a group has formed nearby, so we join them to become many.
A very old bus drives up and in we go.
We drive out of the city and deep into the woods. The windows of the bus are fogged up, so it is impossible for me to know where we are. I am made to realise we are on a narrow road when our headlights come face to face with those of a smaller car, who must back up to find a wider part of the road.
We arrive. A path is lit by candles, which we walk along until we reach the cabin. The candles do not provide much light, and I make a mental note to locate my headlamp for the return trip. Inside the cabin, candles are burning everywhere, and at least two fireplaces and a wood stove are keeping the inside toasty. Coats are removed, shoes are changed. The main room is filled with long tables, where we find seats. The organizers of the group welcome us and share the history of the cabin with us. They speak in Swedish of course, but I've been lucky enough to sit next to someone who readily volunteers to translate.
And we are given coffee or tea and sandwiches. Simple and delicious.
After our meal, the tables and chairs are cleared away. Fiddles have been brought out, and dancing begins. It is tradition to bring the beginner's course to the cabin for a dance party. Mostly we do dances we've learned, but we also add in a bit of variety.
There is a break for fika upstairs, but the fiddlers keep playing, drawing out the more experienced dancers to the open floor. I skip fika in favor of watching the dancing. And I get a little extra dancing in as well. The floor fills up again. I'm mightily impressed with the progress our group has made since that first bumper-car lesson. The final dance is the långdans från Sollerön. Many sing along with the fiddles, and still the "dum da dee da dee dum" repeats in my head.