Sunday, July 15, 2018

Glimpses from Gotland

I spent the last week in Gotland guiding a group of 17 cyclists. While there was a fair amount of work arranging everything, actually doing the trip was relaxing and the group was great. The weather was fantastic and we had a good time. Really what I needed at the start of my vacation, since there has been quite a bit of stress lately at work. Some impressions are shown as pictures below.
My Salsa Fargo had panniers for the first time. I also had a photo backpack on top of the rear rack.

Sunset a bit north from Visby. We stayed a night in a cabin next to the sea and it was nice to take a swim immediately after having woken up.

The Lummelunda caves were well worth a visit.

Parts of Gotland has the same alvar nature as Öland. A limestone plain with little or no soil and consequently a very barren vegetation.

The Blue Lagoon is an old limestone quarry, which now is filled with water and provides nice swimming place.

A beach in the north of Gotland.

Oxeye daisy, a rather dry one.

Oakleaf mountain ash (sorbus hybrida), I think.

Fårö was a place I liked a lot. Mostly quite barren and with interesting rauks.


Chikory is very common in Gotland, much less so in Finland, but it was still used as a replacement for coffee during the wars, when real coffee was not available.

Some rauks on the east side of Gotland.

The Ljugarn village, a rather nice place.

Gotland is also full of churches, like this on here built around 1220.

Common thistle.

A silver-washed fritillary (or another Heliconiinae species) on sea holly. Gotland was a nice place for butterflies, I even saw an Apollo.

The beach.

Some steeper cliffs at the west side of Gotland, a little south from Visby.

We spent the first night in Visby, then two nights near Fårösund, the fourth night in Ljugarn, and the last two nights in Visby again. Visby is a fascinating city. The city wall and large number of ruins tells the story when it was an important city in the Hanseatic league.

Gotland can definitely be recommended for a cycling trip. It is small enough that a bike is a viable transportation alternative and large enough for a week or two. And there is a lot to see both in nature and culture. I would like to return sometime in the beginning of June, when the orchids are at their best. It is also very accessible from Turku (or Helsinki). The night boat to Stockholm, then a little over 60 km of riding to Nynäshamn, from which the four hour ferry goes to Visby.

Note to myself: Take a real map the next time. The Google navigation, which works quite well with a car, isn't very good at making bicycle routes. And in offline mode it barely even supports bicycles.

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