Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Gotland, Sweden

Day 10 - April 24, 2016

Gotland, an island off Sweden, in the Baltic Sea is a popular holiday spot. If you love nature, sea and long beaches, this is the place to be. It is a perfect spot for nature photography.

There are 2 ways to reach Gotland, one is by flight from Stockholm or by ferry from Nynashamn. We decided to go by the ferry. We hired a 7 seater, Ford Galaxy to drive to Nynashamn. It was a good option as we could travel around the island quite easily. It is a 45 mins drive from Stockholm. Our ship was at noon and by 10:30am we were on the road. The ferry was on time and we drove into the ferry, parked our car and moved on to the ship deck.

It was lunch time and the restaurant was buzzing with customers. We got our tables and bought lunch. Meat balls and mashed potatoes is a delicacy in Sweden, a right time to savour the dish.
The journey took about 3 hours and 15 mins. We spent the time chatting at the restaurant and taking photopraphs at the sun deck. By 15:15 pm we docked at medieval town of Visby.

We had booked our accommodation at Visby Strandby Norderstrand not too far from the Visby port. A cozy cabin with a fantastic view facing the Baltic sea.  Our cabin was on a slope with our own terrace just outside the cabin to relax and enjoy a stunning sunset. It was equipped with two bunk beds and a loft with two extra beds, suitable for children, hot and cold water, fridge, hot plate, microwave, dining furniture and kitchen utensils. We couldn’t ask for more. A perfect getaway to blend with nature.

We didn’t waste much time and head straight to Hogklint. High cliff, one of Gotland highest with sweeping views of the ocean and north of Visby. The cliff is 48 meters high. A mind blowing experience standing on the edge of the cliff to create this shot. The weather was perfect for taking pictures.

We then head straight to the medieval Hansa town of Visby. It is part of the World Heritage site since 1995. Visby is an example of a north European century old medieval town. A town with defensive wall, a well-preserved network of streets, buildings, church ruins, stone and wooden houses. We strolled down the cobbled streets and took some pictures. The Visby Cathedral is a fantastic piece of architecture. It was like a time warp to the medieval era. The sun was setting and got a good view from the city wall.
It was evening time and we got some stuffs from the supermarket to cook for the night. It was great fun, cooking in the cabin, the four of us helping each other over some drinks, chatting and cracking jokes.

Kids having their share of fun too. Life is sometimes made of such moments and yes this was the moment. That night the temperatures went down to -3c but our cabin was well heated and comfortable.

Day 11 - April 25, 2016

The morning was a little cloudy and we feared the rains would ruin our day. Our destination was Sudersand at Faro islands. There are ferry connections from Visby and enroute to the port it was raining heavily. The ferry ride took about 10 mins and by the time we reached Faro islands the weather became sunny with some cloud patches. Thanks to mother nature.

Sudersand on the island Fårö is one of Gotland’s most beautiful and longest beaches. It is an ideal beach with its soft powdery white sand and shallow water. The disappointing thing was it was too early this time of the year and the tourist season has not yet started.

Due to the rains, the temperature was low and the wind made it even colder. After spending some time there, we head to Langhammars.

Langhammars is famous of its naturally formed large vertical rock formations that have been shaped by the sea through the ages, leaving the core of limestone. They are almost 30 feet tall and surrounded by pebble beach and a barren landscape. A picturesque spot or rather, should I call it a postcard view of nature.

We drove around Faro island for a while stopping at locations we thought was beautiful and took pictures along the way. Later we got back to Visby and all of us were hungry as hell. Max Hamburger is Sweden’s favourite hamburger restaurant chain, and it is also one of the first. The burgers are very tasty and definitely much better than what you get in McDonald’s or Burger King. Max has the most satisfied customers beating them by large margins. If you would like to taste purely Swedish, Max is one location you should not miss.

The rain was pouring down very strong by the time we reached our cabin. We relaxed for a while and then decided to take a walk along the beach if the weather got better, like a miracle it got better. It was much colder but with all the warm clothes we ventured out. The sun just about touching the horizon, the yellow streak of light falling across the calm sea surface reminded me of a view that I’ve only seen in national geography channel. A swan was floating by, oblivious of our presence. I took my camera and began shooting and fortunately the final result came out to my satisfaction. I took many more as we walked through the sea shore.

I walked up the pier, the breeze gently caressing my face, the calmness of the sea and watching the sun set in front of me brought happiness and a smile on my face. It is no wonder they say…..a smile always makes a difference.

Day 12 - April 26, 2016

The next day our ferry to Nynashamn was at 16:30. We did a late breakfast and went to the city wall once again to take some more pictures, we just couldn’t get enough of the building and nature around it.

Finally it was time to return and head to Visby to catch our ferry back to Stockholm. All of us had a swell time and I can only feel proud I could share these special moments with my family.

For more pictures please visit - Gotland, Sweden

No comments: