On a Saturday a couple of weeks ago we jumped on a plane headed to Visby, on the island of Gotland. I gave Kalle this trip as a gift for his 30’s birthday earlier this year, and now it was finally time to enjoy it. After the shortest flight ever we touched down in Visby, the biggest city on the island. In Stockholm, you can find an Uber almost wherever you are, but on Gotland, there is no such thing as Uber. We couldn’t even find a traditional cab at the airport, but since the weather was nice we decided to walk the 3 km from the airport to the city.
The inner part of Visby is encircled by an impressive medieval wall, built around the year 1250. We passed through an opening in the wall and found our hotel almost immediately. I had booked a studio apartment, which meant that we had a fully equipped kitchen, including a coffee machine 😬 After a quick little lunch break we spent most of the Saturday afternoon exploring and wandering the pretty streets of Visby.
Visby is full of small, old and super cute houses. It’s often called the city of roses, which makes total sense since almost every street is lined by rose bushes. They were not blooming at this time of the year, but the cherry trees and magnolias were and it was so, so beautiful. When you wander the streets of Visby, it sort of feels like you’ve traveled in time. I imagine that it was like this to live in the 50’s; small houses, no cars, and cobbled streets. You don’t go to the supermarket for groceries, rather buy different products from different farmers. Potatoes here, cucumbers there, you know?
It seems like the Gotlanders are still living like it was the 50’s, in a way. It’s charming and no one seems to be in a hurry. Such a contrast to Stockholm, where everyone is always running to something, even if they’re not late. It’s a mentality, I guess. In smaller towns, people seem to embrace the concept of slow living in a totally different way, and I must say that I’m attracted to this way of living. The big city life can be stressful at times, and I really enjoy leaving Stockholm from time to time to unwind, relax and breathe some fresh air. Now, let’s have a look at some photos from Visby!
On Sunday morning, we picked up a rental car that I had booked beforehand. We got this big Jeep, four-wheel-driven and all. Anyway, we decided to head south and spent a couple of hours watching cute houses, sheep, windmills, and beaches from the car. We made a few stops along the way, but before we knew it we had reached the southern tip of the island. We walked around the stacks and took quite a few photos before we decided to head back to Visby. Having driven along the west coast on the way south, we drove along the east coast on the way back. Just to see as much of the island as possible. Later that evening we went for a long walk in Visby, watched the sunset and I found my dream car (see below)!
We woke up early on Monday morning, made a big breakfast and prepared some picnic food before we took the car and drove north. Our plan was to visit the small island Fårö and spend the day there. We got lucky because the sun was shining from a clear blue sky. It was quite windy, but it didn’t bother us that much. After about an hour drive, we arrived in Fårösund, from where we took a 5-min ferry to the island Fårö. As soon as we could, we left the main road for smaller ones and drove along the west coast. Pretty soon we found ourselves on a beach full of tall stacks (rauks), and it was so beautiful. A bit windy, but absolutely amazing. It looked a bit like it did on the southern tip of the island, only with more stacks and a prettier landscape.
We continued driving and passed by small villages, old fishing houses, more sheep and more windmills. We were basically alone on the roads, which was very nice. During the summer months, the entire island of Gotland is crowded – so many tourists from all over the world are visiting. Going during the spring or autumn months is something I can highly recommend. Anyway. We drove around, quite randomly, on the island for another couple of hours. We made a few stops to enjoy the beautiful views and the rather special nature scenery that can be found only on Gotland. If you’re thinking about visiting Gotland and Fårö, I highly recommend places like Helgumannen and Langhammar’s Raukar, both places are wonderful (photos below). Somewhere along the road, we had our picnic and then it was time to return to the main island and then return the car.
On the 30th of April, we celebrate Walpurgis night in Sweden. To us, Kalle and me, the 30th of April is even more special, since it’s the day we met. This year we celebrated 7 years together so in the evening we went out for a stroll through town and then a glass of wine. Such a pretty place to celebrate your anniversary.
Tuesday was travel-day, but we had a few hours in Visby before we had to leave for the airport. We decided to take one last walk through town and then share a (very expensive) nacho platter for lunch. Since the sun was shining from a clear blue sky we decided to walk to the airport. It wasn’t that far and we had done it before so we why not do it again? Plus we got a lot of fresh air and time in the sun so it was rather lovely. Then it was time to board the plane, and about an hour later we were back home in our apartment in Stockholm. Such a lovely little getaway and I hope Kalle enjoyed his birthday gift <3