gotland – ancient land, heaving sea

It used to be an equatorial coral reef, but that was 450 million years ago. Now, it’s a large Swedish island in the Baltic sea – a magical place which still shows signs of its ancient history.

I’ve always wanted to go to Gotland. I’ve heard of its abundant fossils, its open landscapes, its unique animal and plant life, and specifically, its stunning sea stacks (raukar) – all of which, by the way, are thanks to that old coral reef. In June, as I was visiting my aunt in Sweden, I finally and surprisingly got the opportunity to go there for a few days. I charged my camera batteries and tried to tell myself that I wasn’t allowed to just run off the minute we got off the boat. After all, I was there with my dad and two aunts. Got to play the social game.


The view as we arrived: Visby, the only city on Gotland.  As special as the island itself, it deserves its own blog post.


Fishing has naturally been a very important part of island life. This fishing boat has retired and instead become a beautiful model.


The largest sea stack on Gotland (and in all of Sweden) – with my dad at the bottom.


I’ve always loved Swedish lighthouses, and this idyllic scene certainly lives up to my standards!


Looking north from the (rainy) southern tip of Gotland. It’s not a large island, but somehow they’ve fit 93 churches on there: as we were driving, there was always a church within sight.


Stunning golden sunset light. The large boulder at the tip of the land is a sea stack – made by tiny corals at least 450 million years ago.  


After sunset, the Baltic sea shows its most beautiful side.

What a perfect trip! The only complaint was that I wasn’t there long enough. Turns out the relatives were a great bunch to travel with, too – they were laid back enough to let me be in charge of the map as we were driving, and they didn’t mind that I took dad’s car one night and disappeared to a nature reserve for several hours. Gotland is certainly high on that ever-growing list of places I want to go back to. Will I live long enough?

4 thoughts on “gotland – ancient land, heaving sea

  1. Pingback: mellow & vivid visby | alternative viewpoints

  2. Pingback: the best of 2014 | alternative viewpoints

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