Gotland 2008

This summer my mom moved to Gotland, an island in the middle of the Baltic. She made all of our family promise we should come and visit her very often, and the result has been that she has not had a moment to herself yet, and I think she has had a higher family doses in 2 months than she's had over the past 10 years.

Due to the fantastic scenery, it is far too easy to get "trigger happy" with the camera, and I have more shots from this years 2 visits than any sane person can browse through without going bonkers. So I decided to devide the 2 trips in to separate documents. As I write this, I haven't finished sorting the next batch, so this became sort of a necessity. So the first pictures are from the week when we moved mom over. It wasn't perfect photographic conditions, many photos came out semi ok, I promise, the next bunch will be even more spectacular!

Visby, the biggest city on Gotland, is an old Hansa city and was once the big trading centre of the Baltic. Land around Visby was rich, suitable for farming, and the merchants in the city became very wealthy. They kept safe within this spectacular town wall:

It is easy to imagine how strong and safe they must have felt within those walls.

This is the main church in Visby, Visby Domkyrka. It is still an active church.
This photograph does not do it justice, but it is the only one I have...

I'm still practising photography, photographing stained windows I find very difficult.

Visby is built right "on" a cliff, with part of the town below the cliff, the other part above. Makes for some spectacular views!

Gotland is famous for a few things. One of them is ruins.
There are ruins everywhere, many of them extremely well preserved and in good condition.

Visby looks like a fairytale town, with cobblestone streets, small houses and flowers everywhere.

There are some sandy beaches, but the rocky ones are more interesting. Ouch ouch ouch, cold cold cold.

Mattias (my brother) has just claimed this little rock to be his property:

His daughter Julia decides she wants to live on that rock as well, but she is a little cautious.

Now that we've claimed this land our own, we can mock people who are not fortunate enough to be allowed to stay here with us!


Ouch ouch ouch, stones, stones stones, where did I put my swim shoes?



The following 2 shots are the ones I'm the most pleased with from the entire trip.
My brother in centre, with his daughter Julia to the left and his son Christoffer to the right.
Sometimes you just get so lucky with a shot!


Not till I looked at this photo on a big monitor did I notice that it actually has a small skull embedded in the rock!


Looks nice and warm, but it was actually quite chilly and very windy!

My mom:

All roads on Gotland have the most fantastic flora around them. And there are poppy flowers everywhere!

If ruins is one thing, then old mills is another thing.


Gotland is an island that consists of limestone.
It is thought that the island was once a part of Greece but broke off and travelled north and ended up in the Baltic.
No idea if that is true, but it sure is rich in chalk. Next batch of photos will have more rockformations.

Here are two shots of a limestone quarry.


An island like this of course has caves. I guess they aren't very big compared to the ones in France, but I was still impressed.
The photos in here were all taken without flash on long exposure.
First time I've attempted to take shots like that, and I'm very pleased with the outcome!



It's life, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it!



Last day we went down to the beach.
The cliff on the first photo is called Högklint and this is facing south, on the west coast of Gotland.

This is taken roughly from the same spot, but facing north. Visby is on the other side of that cliff.

This shot is from the peak of Högklint. It is taken down to something called Getsvältan, Goat starvation.
Called so, because in the old times, when goats were set lose here, they sometimes fell down to that ledge, and eventually starved to death.

Those dark patches in the limestone is not cave formations, it is where moist has leaked through and made the stone darker.
Here you can see the layer formations of the stone very clearly.

And this concludes the first batch. Next to follow as soon as I've sorted through them, straightened out crooked sea-lines etc.