Finding History and Nature in Gorgeous Gotland

In my last post I write about Visby, a perfectly preserved medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Swedish island of Gotland; but the colourful labyrinthine alleys of this Baltic-blasted, cobbled town are

In my last post I write about Visby, a perfectly preserved medieval town and UNESCO World Heritage Site on the Swedish island of Gotland; but the colourful labyrinthine alleys of this Baltic-blasted, cobbled town are not the only thing worth exploring.

Skeletons and Stones in Gotland Museum

Gotland Museum is a fascinating museum that is well worth spending a couple of hours in.

The entire first floor of the museum is dedicated to huge Viking stones that have been collected from all across Sweden and are dated between the 5th and 11th Centuries. Unlike rune stones these stones are beautifully inscribed with depictions of scenes from Norse legend; including longboats, warriors, and horsemen.

Round closed circles are generally believed to be sun symbols.
Round closed circles are generally believed to be sun symbols.
Certain animals could represent religious beliefs.
Certain animals could represent religious beliefs.
Ships become more common between 500-600 AD
Ships become more common between 500-600 AD
Snakes represent human rebirth

Other things that can be found in the museum are hoards of Viking silver, gruesome accounts of medieval execution, ancient skeletons, and the chance to try on chain mail.

Bones from Viking times
Bones from Viking times
Evidence of a violent death
Evidence of a violent death
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Fun in chainmail

Exploring Gotland’s Dramatic Coastline

Being an island, you are never very far from the coastline on Gotland, and there are some pretty beaches and shorelines to be found. We took to public transport (not recommended – hire a car) to visit Farö a tiny islet off Gotland’s north coast. With a population of only 600, and few public services – there are no banks, post offices, police, taxis or medical services – it is a great place to truly escape from it all amongst a beautiful nature reserve for a while.

Infact, Farö feels surprisingly rustic at times, almost mediterranean even. It is easy to forget that you are in Sweden.

Rustic Farö
Rustic Farö
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Bikes are probably the best mode of transport here

We also spent a day at Högklint Nature Reserve, which offers spectacular coastline and great views of Visby from across the bay

Looking out from Högklint towards Visby
Looking out from Högklint towards Visby
The Swedish Med.
The Swedish Med.

Would you like to visit Gotland? Please let me know in the comments below.

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