Car drive in Gotland during 4 nights 3 full days in June 2022.
Travelled by car and passenger ferry (RoPax) – operated and owned by Destination Gotland. Departed Nynäshamn on a Monday evening, and arrived to Visby by midnight same day. The first 2 nights we spent in Gothem, a small village about 1 hour drive from Visby.
The midnight drive is through fog laden fields, on semidark countryside roads. One can see the light of the sun mirrored in the sky northeast. Must be that we are just under (south of) the line where the sun never sets.
Arriving and finding your room at the bed ‘n breakfast named Gothem Logi in mid night was easy – instructions waiting for us. We booked through Booking.com. Can recommend. A huge room with 4 beds, sharing bath and shower spaces. Being a former school of 2 floors, the shower space is quite large.
Gothem is located on the eastern coastline, about midways if look at the whole length of the island.
Next door (to the hostel) presents a mideaval church, with interesting frescos preserved. Gotland holds some 90+ preserved churches. Every farmer, who could afford one, had one built near his own house – so as to not have to travel to the neighbour village.
In this next door church, named XXX. Particularly interesting is the altar, which holds a lamb. Which directly brings to (my) mind Lamb-offering. Which gets another dimension on Gotland, as the island is known for its many sheeps – and the industry around what (products) sheeps can give.
My wife Polina had well ahead figured out which churches is worth paying a visit to. One reason is that the churches were the first ones to afford to pay artists money – for paintings. Therefore churches are in away museums of the oldest/ preserved works of art.
By the way, the flag of Gotland holds a proud lamb pictured.
Our hostel neighbours, seeking shade in the early morning. The young ones barely seen in the heigh hay.
Enough about lambs. On day 1 we head for the island Fårö, just off the coast of northern Gotland. A 10 minute Car ferry takes you there. (Be ready for an hour que time in high season.) So, once on this island, on our way to the very northern tip of the island Fårö, I forget to adjust (tell) our navigator that we are travelling by car – not by foot.
I notice this a bit late. First we are delighted that the many cars ahead of us disappear to the left at a crossing. We continue happily ahead, enjoying no cars ahead and the Absolutely lovely eastern coastline on our right.
The asfalt turns to gravel road. Open fields, and private summer houses here and there. After a while gravel turns to forest road. Ok, a bit further between houses, but still cars seen parked at houses. Not a private road, so we continue. Have passed a few cattle dividers – the road constructions of parallel pipes, about 2 meters of road – that cattle doesn’t know how to cross. And thereby stay fenced in, while vehicles can pass.
By this time, we are so deep into the forest, that we don’t want to turn back. The trees are smaller, much shorter than on Gotland. Short, as seen when crossing a certain altitude in Lappland in the northern countries. We meet a closed gate, and I have a major deja-vu “I am in Greece now” feeling. Because, the nature is so warm, sunny, dry, sandy and rough.
The sign at the gate says keep closed, to not let sheep pass.
After this gate, the forest road turns to tractor road. Meaning, a bit higher in the middle, topped with grass, and uneven tracks. Have to really slow down. The seams of the body of our van are increasingly complaining louder. The van slowly wagging from side to side like a ship in rough seas. We meet a few couples walking by, looking at us ‘how in the world did they end up here?’.
Well, we finally met asfalt again, and all in all our detour wasn’t a long one. The northern tip of Fårö is known for its sandstone pillars. Definitely worth seeing. Children love it here. Clear water, one can study the waterline as well.
Along the road to the northern tip are many interesting spots where one can stop and have a look. I found this Mill construction interesting. Looks like it has been driven (powered) by animals walking in a circle.
Just a bit west of the northern tip of Fårö lies this gem – a former fishing village. The nature and human made constructions are weather-beaten.
Some boats are restored, with a fresh coating. My son Tomas and I are taking in the results of the hand work.
Another world is the collection of at least 25 American old classic car. Rusting away, but still beatiful. How did these end up here?
It’s a lunch place, serving delicious pancakes will a wide choice of filling.
And a Volvo. Fitting into the environment.
Oh well, another church. Named Hellvi kyrka.
Probably has the smalles organ – I have ever seen. One sits at the short end of this construction – see the seat and pedals on the left side.
A closer look at the Bell tower.
A third church – one a day to keep my wife happy 🙂 This was a large church construction, more towards the central part of Gotland.
That’s one technically interesting construction – to lift the lid of the babtizing bowl. Not to mention the paint works on the wall.
We visit the caves in Lummelunda, named Lummelundagrottan – where remains of fossils can be admired. Guided tours only.
Google screenshot above : In the upper right corner is the cave entrance. Up left is seen a small shallow pond, from where the water was led on a wood construction – high above ground – to the mill house with the grand water wheel.
Northern Europe’s largest mill water wheel.
Just with a radius of 5,5 meters… wood construction -built on site. 80 years ago. Not many similar constructions elsewhere are still holding together.
Very stylish rock dressed houses, outside the mill building, next to the shallow pond.
Stealing a Google screenshot, as the St. Katarina ruins looks better photoed from above. Fun fact : the sign that says “Move within the ruins at your own risk” is located inside the gates of this former cathedral.
The pillars stand high and straight, while the archs barely seem to hang on. Fragile, I would say.
Visby town, inside the stone wall. The wall is actually quite long.
Didn’t find the energy to walk up to this ruins on a hot day
Visby cathedral, which is outside the old city wall.
Always need to have a close-up on the ‘masterpiece’.
Made my day!
The other 2 nights (out of 4) we made tenting, just south of Visby. Choice of location was mainly because of proximity to Visby – as we wanted a short ride as possible to the early morning (07:15) ferry to mainland (Oskarshamn).
Named location : Kneippbyn Camping. A paradise for children, because this area holds : a large water park with long tube slides, and foremost – Villa Villekulla. The house of Pippi Långstrump – Pippi Longstockings.
Kneippbyn Camping seen from the ferry. The water park seen on the left, with blue tubes.
Down on the left is seen a little of the roof of Villa Villekulla. We had a nice view of this attraction, which has daily theater shows. We had our tent located close to the white van seen (almost) center of photo.
Below the camping, at the waterline, is a nice place to grill with a nice view over the sea.
The southern border of the camping is flanked by a vertical cliff – a high wall.
Imagine living like this, with 2 sets of vertical falls – forest between – before reaching the water.
The coastline here hides many interesting places. Alternating between long sand beaches and almost vertical stone walls.
Visby and its maritime port, as seen from the ferry.
More on churches on Gotland : Guteinfo