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Just another American living in Sweden

gotland: a how to

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Remember that list I have? Of things to do in Sweden? (It’s up there on the menu at the top.) Well, guess what? I’m here today to give you a guide on how to do Gotland.

First, the background info. Gotland is the largest island in the Baltic Sea. (Wiki fact, no idea if that’s true.) What I do know is true is that Gotland is an island off the East coast of Sweden:

Gotland

Map of Sweden found here. Edited by yours truly. Yes, that is a ram.

Gotland is indicated on the map above. I have chosen a field of azure with a ram holding a cross staff to mark Gotland, because that is the Gotlandic coat of arms. Fancy, I know. Yes, that white there in the middle is a ram. The flag is actually flying all over Gotland. So it’s totally legit.

Evelina and I traveled to Gotland to visit our dear friend Johanna this summer. Now I’m here to explain to you how to do Gotland the right way.

Step 1: Take a train and or bus, and or combination of the two to Nynäshamn. (Taxi is acceptable, if that’s your thing.) The ferry to Gotland leaves from Nynäshamn rather often in the summer months, so choose a ferry time that fits nicely with your schedule and budget. (Hint: cheap ferry tickets are at inconvenient times.)

Nynäshamn

(Pre Step 1: Be in Sweden. Europe is acceptable.)

Step 2: Enjoy a relaxing ferry ride. It takes about 3 hours, so bring activities. They have wi-fi that you can purchase, but it’s no good for playing games or streaming videos – I asked.

Gotland Båten

Step 3: Upon arrival, take the chance to explore Visby. The biggest city on Gotland. The entire city is enclosed by an ancient wall, which gives the place a very historical feel. Definitely check out the wicked cool pirate ship docked there. (Not a guaranteed landmark, as this particular pirate ship still savages the high seas.) Luckily the Medieval market will be in town, so enjoy people watching and having a good laugh at a guy accidentally whipping himself in the back with his newly purchased whip. (Not guaranteed to be in town.) After an afternoon of exploring celebrate with some ice cream, or glass as the Swedes say, at one of Visby’s biggest ice cream parlours.

Visby 1

Step 4: Drive with your friends to wherever you will be staying. I highly recommend staying in the side house of someone who resides on Gotland. Extra points if they have a beautiful garden, horse, and lovely patio for outdoor meals.

Humble abode

Step 5: After a good night’s sleep, wake up refreshed and ready to explore the island. A hearty Swedish breakfast is recommended before adventuring.

Breakfast

Step 6: The adventure should consist of the following things: driving along the Stone Coast, stopping by the Blue Lagoon and hopping in the water. Lunch is to be eaten at Lergrav. The scenery is to die for and the food is even better. The smoked salmon and smoked shrimp you will eat there will be better than any you’ve had before. Take this opportunity to climb up the rocky hillside across from the restaurant, and pose for pictures in the famous rock formations there. Continue the car trip to Furillen, a hotel by an old factory. The entire concept of the hotel is unique, so it is certainly acceptable to pose for more pictures. On the way home be sure to stop at Rute Bakery, the bread you buy there will be top-notch.

Adventures Day 1

Step 7: Join your friend’s family for a crayfish party, which is a yearly tradition in Sweden. Before dinner a game of brännboll is in order. A Swedish “sport” that is similar to baseball, only there are four bases, the bat is tiny, and you get to pitch to yourself. After lots of good fun it will be time to eat! During the month of August Swedes across the land get together, enjoy some crayfish, alcohol, singing, and general merriment. This is not an experience to be passed up.
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Crayfish & Brännboll
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Step 8: Upon your return home be sure to rest up for another adventure filled day to follow!
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Step 9: Start the day with a visit to the sheep! There are more sheep on Gotland than people, so this shouldn’t be overly difficult. It helps if the people you’re staying with have a few of their own.
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Sheep!
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Step 10: Later, a visit to Lummelunda Grotto is in store. Before venturing into the Grotto take a peek at the mill on site, worth the small entry price. After a very educational video about the origin of the grotto, and how it was discovered. As well as some facts about caves, stalactites and stalagmites (and why you shouldn’t break them – hint it takes an eternity for them to be created). You’ll then continue on a tour of the Lummelunda Grotto. Listen up, the tour guide has some interesting things to say!
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Lummelunda Grotto
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Step 11: Stop by the metal shop and buy an authentic Gotland ring. The story behind the ring is fascinating, and the ring is beautiful. Ask the man who sells you the ring to tell you all about it. Directly following the ring purchase it is time for lunch.
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Gotland Ring
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Step 12: Drive to Krysmynta Garden, where you will be seated by a beautiful glass wall and therefore able to enjoy the beautiful scenery, and lightning, as a storm will roll in just around lunch. The caesar salad comes highly recommended, so eat that.
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Krysmynta Garden
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Step 13: Continue on the road to the Roma Cloister Ruins. This is another great place for a photo-op, so get your model on. There are also a few little shops to explore, including a glass blowing shop and a Swedish clothing store. Of course there is also fika to be had, so hunker down over a plate of saffranspankaka, a Gotland classic.
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Rome Cloister Ruins
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Step 14: Return to your abode and enjoy a lovely dinner on the patio, with excellent wine and the aforementioned bread. The wine is highly recommended.
Step 15: After dinner a road trip into the woods is a good idea! Drive to Gyle where you can see a stone wall which has been built up over time. The story goes that a terminally ill woman would walk along that beach every night, and as she walked she would choose one stone and place it aside, slowly building up a wall. After she passed the people who visit the wall set one stone up, continuing on her tradition.
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Stones
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Step 16: On your final day rise early in order to drive back into Visby. This way you’ll have plenty of time for touristy shopping as you walk through the best-preserved Medieval city in all of Scandinavia.
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Visby 2
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Step 17: Say your farewells as it is time again to board the ferry back to mainland Sweden. Pass the time on the boat by reminiscing on all the fun that was had in the past days.
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It really is that simple! By following these 17 steps you too will be able to experience all the wonders Gotland has to offer. ❤

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2 thoughts on “gotland: a how to

  1. ❤️❤️❤️ Så roligt att ha er här!! Saknar er!

  2. Pingback: surprising evelina on her birthday | Enjoy Not Knowing

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