|The city wall around Visby, built in the 13th century and still standing strong.|
After a 3,5 hour drive south-east and a 3 hour ferry ride northeast, we arrived to Gotland, an island situated smack in the middle of the Baltic Sea. We spent a night in a hostel that only 15 years ago made up the islands prison. We slept well in the old cell but woke up to heavy rain that kept falling the whole day through. Used to windy and wet weather on islands, we weren't bothered and strolled the narrow hilly streets of Visby, before heading east and to the other, more barren coast. It was just out of season, and the roads were almost empty. We saw sheep, alvar lands, sea, rauks (stacks), wild bunnies, cliffs and a lot of grey sky.
In the second evening, we got to sleep on the floor of the ferry that would take us to Stora Karlsö the next morning. I slept badly, sharing a tiny mattress belonging to the captain of the boat with Martin. After a short but windy boat trip we arrived to the worlds second oldest National Park, Stora Karlsö. The landscape is made up by a large limestone plateau, alvar, juniper berry bushes and high, steep cliffs were birds are nesting in the summers. It wasn't only my love for barren and windy landscapes, sea water and islands that bring us to this place, but Martin's brother who have been working there for the summer as a chef. We went to pick him up.
We spent 32 hours on the islands, taking the guided tour, watching sheep, eating food in a restaurant with a giant window towards the sea and enjoying the island where no one but the guides, chefs and hostel-guests are living. I went swimming of course, and we took a walk along the coast line, getting wet and looking at fossils.