Tjena allihopa!

So the end of the summer is soon here, and like most Swedes, I seem to have taken the whole season off as holiday. Forgive me for my lack of communication. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun and soaking up the sun. I wanted to give you a brief update on how things have been.

It’s been a blast of a first summer in Sweden including trips to theme parks in Denmark, road tripping in Gotland and sunbathing in the archipelagos of Stockholm. Our travel eyes always seem to be set for the far off world, so a little bit of Scandinavian exploring was a refreshing and easily overlooked adventure. Here’s a few words about our recent trip to Gotland.

A friend of ours, Irene, has been living in Gotland for a while due to work and was kind enough to invite us to visit. We of course took her up on the offer and hopped on a tiny (well at least from my flying experience) plane for the short flight over the Baltic Sea. This was the first time that I had actually been in a propeller plane, so I was a little freaked out by how close the blades were to where my arse was planted…Really close as it turns out.

We were greeted at the tiny, and I mean tiny, airport by our personal chauffeur (and very good friend Irene). She was wise enough to hire a car for a few days so that we could road trip a bit around the island and explore everything it had to offer. Which was a lot.

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Visby, where we were staying, is as picturesque as it’s made out to be. The central part of the town is surrounded by a huge medieval wall and there are church ruins dotted here, there and everywhere.

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Everything is very well kept and you’re free to explore the ruins by yourself. That means scratching your way through old stone stairwells into dark and cramped places and trying your hardest not to trip and cause serious injury. In the UK, these areas would certainly be roped off due to danger but in the happy, go lucky Gotland way, you’re free to do as you please. These structures were more than impressive and left you wondering just how on earth they managed to build these way back when. But, however they did it, they’re still (partially) standing today and evening being used to host events and weddings.

The week that we visited was just after Almedalen Week where the town becomes a host of one the most important political events of the year. It also has a flock of tourists come to take part in this event but they seemed to have dispersed back to their homes by the time that we had arrived. This was perfect for us as it meant that the town had returned to its calm and gentle atmosphere that we were seeking. Cobble stone alleyways vibes everywhere.

The rest of Gotland was spectacular too. With fields and fields of greenery and stone, spectacular clifftop views and beautifully sandy beaches. The one below was located on the small island of Fårö which is a little ferry ride from the central Gotland island. The ferry ride was free for everyone and only took about 10 minutes so was no hassle at all.

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Sudersand, Fårö.

The water was surprisingly warm so we of course had to have a little evening splash…

We spent every day exploring the island. Seeing new places. Trying new things including a little bit of pottery spinning and a trip to Pippi Longstocking’s house. And of course eating some great food. But I think that this update is long enough now and will save those tales for another time.

I’ll leave with one simple suggestion though. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Gotland, do it. That goes for the countless Swedes who I’ve spoken to as well who know that it’s a great place but are yet to visit. It’s a lovely place, full of soul and a reinvigorating energy. Also, thanks again Irene for being the best host! It was great fun!

Vi ses!

Dave

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