We were walking in the dark blue. The sky was almost black but the horizon in front of us it was still purple and orange. 1 a.m. Salty air. I was walking a little behind my friends with my heavy back pack trying to guess what this city looks like. “Here!” One of my friends in front shouted. We stopped and started to build the tents. Waking up on the next morning with the eyes still closed I heard the waves murmur. I pulled my sleepy head out of the tent and half-opened my eyes. White beach. Rocks. Turquoise water. Good morning, Gotland.
The trip to Gotland takes more time than I thought. From Stockholm you have to take the commuter train (pendeltåg) from the central station (T-Centralen) until Nynäshamn (it takes about an hour), then from Nynäshamn the ferry takes a little more than 3 hours to arrive to Visby, the main city of Gotland.
Gotland is an island halfway between Sweden and Latvia. Three reasons to go there. It’s a part of Unesco-heritage, one of Sweden’s most interesting historical regions and it is famous because the northeast island Fårö was the last shelter for the film director Ingmar Bergman. On the second day we rented a car (which is surprisingly cheap – about 100 SEK per day for a 5 seat car) (which is around 12 euros) and headed to the North. The plan was to make random stops on the way to Fårö and camp there on our second night.
OH! CAMPING. I haven’t told you about my new fetish: camping. Basically I’d never camped before in my life, so it was my first experience. Camping in Sweden can be particular. Because you never know what the weather will be like. So don’t forget warm clothes.. even in June. The amazing thing about camping in Sweden is that you can camp almost anywhere you want (whereas in France it is very regulated and you can camp only in specific areas). I love to hear all these weird sounds through the sleep, trying to guess if it comes from the branches rustling with the wind, from a flying bird… or from a ghost.
You can get from the main island of Gotland to the smaller island of Fårö by a ferry which takes only about 10 minutes and which is – surprise again – free.
We arrived to Fårö around 6 p.m. The weather was perfect and we stopped several times during our trip to eat, read and just enjoy the sun and relax. In Fårö we couldn’t find a better spot: a completely empty beach with a small forest which hid the tents from the wind (oh yes! because it’s windy down there).
I’ve never been one of these persons who can admire mother-nature for hours. But in Sweden… I was watching the beach for hours, the sea and the sky with the endless sunset and couldn’t stop telling my friends cheesy sentences like: “Oh! Look! Oh! It’s sooooo beautiful! Oh! Ohhh!”
We swam naked, made a big fire, grilled sausages and marshmallows, drank some wine… It really felt like summer. The next day we went to see the famous rocks which are on every ad for Gotland on the buses in Stockholm and the ones you can see in Bergman’s movie “The Seventh Seal”. It was cloudy so the atmosphere was a little depressing and heavy but I was quite amazed by the stones which looked more like some giant sculptures.
Then we head back to Visby because one of our friends had to go back to Stockholm, so we dropped her at the harbor and took the opportunity to visit the town. To our surprise, Visby appeared to be a very beautiful medieval town with narrow streets and hills. We ate incredible ice-creams (I tried the one with saffron and honey!) and after several hours we decided to drive South.
Randomly we found a very good spot for camping and settled there. There was a big green field behind the beach… full of rabbits! I’d never seen so many rabbits at a time, there were 10, 15, 20, all running under in the sun! My friends made fun of me because I couldn’t stop being moved by their cuteness. (Cheesy!!! again, but what can you do?)
Plop… plop plop… plop… On the third morning we were awakened by with the sound of rain dropping on our tents. Anyway we were supposed to go back to Stockholm on that day, so we weren’t too bothered. It confirmed again my conviction: NEVER TRUST THE WEATHER FORECAST IN SWEDEN. The proof is that the forecast for the next three days changes every day… We packed very quickly, got into the car and drove to Visby… But I’m sure we we will be back some day.