Monday, May 30, 2016

My Last Day in Wonderful Visby


Sunday, 29 May, 2016:

All good things must come to an end and this fun weekend in beautiful Visby was no exception.

My boat to the Swedish mainland did not leave Visby heading back to Nynäshamn until 4:00 p.m., so I had a good amount of time to explore further.

The one thing that I wanted to do today was take a bus North from Visby to the famous cave at Lummelunda. 

Unfortunately, since it was Sunday, only two busses were making the round-trip run to Lummelunda from Visby today. I was concerned that the time that was best for me would cut it too close to my boat's sailing time so I opted to stay in Visby for further exploration.

When I return to Visby someday, I will definitely have Laurie by my side and a rent-a-car at our disposal. I think an auto would greatly help navigate this gorgeous island in order to give us the full Gotland experience.

We'll see . . .

CHURCH RUINS

To review, there are nine churches inside Visby's City Wall.

Eight of these 12th century churches are in various states of ruin. These are the church ruins of S:t Nicolaus, Helge And (Holy Ghost), S:t Klemens, S:t Drotten, S:t Lars, S:ta Karin, S:t Hans and S:t Pers.

Only the Domkyrkan S:ta Maria is a fully functioning, well maintained and refurbished church from that medieval era.

Why so many churches in such a small area? Simple, in medieval days peopled showed off their wealth by building a church in their town. Gotland had a rich populace back in the day as the over 100 of old churches on the island will attest.

Today we show off our wealth through a house in the Hamptons or a Mercedes or, perhaps, a run for the Presidency of our country.

I keep revisiting old churches and/or church ruins like these because they simply fascinate me.

Why you ask?

 I like the adornments

I like the statues

This is a statue of Christopher Polhem (1661-1751). He was a prominent Swedish scientist, inventor and industrialist.

Other than the fact that he was born on this island of Gotland, I have no idea why this statue is near the entrance to the S:t Nicolaus ruins. 

Powerful looking but I'm not sure
which of the ruins this is

 S:t Klemens

 Trinity of Holes in S:t Klemens

 Burial Stone of a long
forgotten Gotlander

S:t Klemens

Domkyrkan S:ta Maria

I really like the trees on the left with the bright yellow leaves.

 Mini-Gate to the Domkyrkan
S:ta Maria

Grass Roofed Ruin

As I said, ruins fascinate me.

So does . . .

People Watching

Man Reading

People biking by the Baltic Sea

People enjoying a picnic

Of course I'm also a fan of Visby's . . .

Houses

 A house backing into
a ruined church

A quaint house

A house for the X-Men?

 A BIG house

A stone house

A house with an interesting window

A half timbered house

A Cottage

A sturdy house . . .

. . . with bubbling wood?

A REALLY big house

So I like churches, ruins, people watching and colorful houses.

But what I like more id interesting food!

 Thus a Fika break at the
Café Gula Huset

Nice, reasonably priced menu

Dining in the garden sounded
like a good idea

 Serene, I was actually admitted
about 15 minutes before Sunday's
noon opening time

Coffee is ALWAYS part of the
Fika experience

To be sure, some classical
music was playing

 FIKA TIME!!!

The highly nutritious dessert on the right is a Gotland specialty, saffranspankaka.

Delicious, it was OH, SO GOOD FOR ME TOO!

The owner/chef took time to
talk to me before the Café opened

He was engaging, funny and well versed in all things American. He only had one question for me and it was how is Donald Trump pulling off this nomination.

I offered my reasons and he offered me a job at his Café should Trump win the general election in November.

I accepted.

Meandering

It is what I do best.

I thought a Mexican restaurant
was a better choice

Apparently, Gotland also has a
special breed of horses

I did't see any on this adventure.

A band of roving Vikings

Fortunately I spotted them first and was able to hide in the tall grass. Otherwise I would have been their prisoner/slave.

Just ask Tony Curtis in the 1958 movie The Vikings.

 Visibly small boat harbor is,
well, small

 The prices are good,
the ice cream is GREAT!

And I only stopped in three times in three days.

Flowers in full bloom

The Almedalen Park

An stylized eagle I believe

A park, a wall and a church

Milling around near a café

A waterless fountain

 A ram guarding against cars

 Interesting Window

Heraldry

I have often stated how much heraldry intrigues me.

A spear and heraldry

I was in a good place.

Vise's main square is
that-a-way!

A church holding a mini-parade

GREAT door!

At the time of his assassination
in 1986, Olof Palm was Sweden's
Prime Minister

To date, no one has been brought to trial in his murder case.

A wall and a frame

The City Wall enchants me

Medieval times can be romantic
with a venue like this

Visby's Baltic Sea Coast

A tree losing flowers

 I just liked it

The stern Powder Tower

Design in someone's wall

Blood Right Here

On the 27th of July in 1361, blood from a battle at the distant Söderport flowed all the way to this point near the harbor.

Badly equipped Gotland farmers had to battle the well equipped, experienced army of Denmarks King Valdemar Atterdag. A total of 1,800 men died that day in the fighting.

So, the weekend was over. 

Visby was more than what I expected

I have nothing but good
memories from this weekend

Well, true, I also have a small bag of souvenirs.

Again, tack så mycket to the Wäsby Warriors for prodding me into making this journey!!!