Saturday, May 28, 2016

A GREAT Day in Beautiful Visby!

Saturday, 28 May, 2016:

Get something to drink and a comfy chair, this is going to be a long post.

Day Two in Visby

General Visby Sights

A lot of walking today as I criss-crossed the city several times in search of the perfect photo op.

By the way, the Criss-Cross was my favorite Wing-T play back in the day.

Deep Purple sang
"Smoke on the Water" right?

 Adelsgatan is a big shopping
street inside the medieval walls

As you can probably tell, I was up early and beat both the crowds and the shop owners.

I probably would have bought
it if they had been open

 Too early for BBQ

I would love to see this!

In August, a Scandinavian Crime Writers Symposium is scheduled in Visby.

If you follow my blog you know that I am crazy over the Scandinavian crime noir genre.

Two old timers were up early

Or more likely, had not gone to bed yet.

 I should eat here on Sunday

In Swedish the abbreviation for a male Saint is written S:t.

For a female Saint it is abbreviated S:ta.

 The Baltic Sea

Art on a stone bench

Coffee Break

Half-Timbered House

Yes indeed, the old Visby Prison
is now a hostel

The Visby Prison was built in 1857

The Prison's most famous inmate was Konrad Tektor Lundqvist. He was decapitated as punishment for murder, robbery and a slew of minor thefts.

His beheading on May 18, 1876 was the last public execution Sweden.

 It stopped being a prison
in the mid-1990s

 Visby has everything else,
why not a couple of windmills?

Tribute to the transportation
modes onto the island of Gotland

You can arrive here via air routes.

You can arrive here via sea routes.

You can arrive here via human cannonball routes.

Visby's Medieval Wall

 The 13th century wall has 40
towers and is quite a sight!

It is about 3.5 km/2.2 miles in length and offers lots of interesting views.

 Near the Söderport Gate

The Söderport Gate

It's a BIG, THICK wall

The Old City lies ahead

 The bread in this store smelled
good but I was saving myself
for a special lunch treat

 Not everyone has a medieval
tower in their backyard

The Rackarplatsen
is inside the City Wall

Until 1861 a house was on this nice plot of grass. It was the home of the Executioner's Assistant, in Swedish he was also known as the rackarn. 

He held the least honorable job of his time which also involved slaughtering horses and emptying latrines in the houses of wealthy and distinguished burghers.

Townspeople complained of the stench from his humble abode and eventually forced him to move to a new home outside the City Wall.

Spores, Molds and Fungus

A staple of any self-respecting European, medieval City Wall!

 Strong Fortifications

 Pastoral but Mighty

 Tall Lisa

At six stories, it is the tallest tower in the City Wall.

 S:t  Göransporten
Let's check out an arrowslit in this
tower's fourth story

A stone missile catapulted hundreds
of years ago at S:t Göransporten Gate
is still wedged in that arrowslit!

The S:t Göransporten Gate derives its name from the fact that its location provided a passage between the town and St. George's asylum that housed lepers outside of the City Wall.

Of course, fear of contagion was the reason for keeping the asylum's patients at more than an arm's length.


 A Saddle Tower

 The Lübeck Breach

Popular tradition has it that this part of the City Wall gave way when armed forces from the German city of Lüback attacked Visby in 1525.

It may have just collapsed of its own accord.

Now THAT'S Medieval Looking!

 Modern Art seen through an
opening in the City Wall

That's the Baltic Sea in the background.

 Is another wall collapse

 The Gunpowder Tower

This is the oldest tower in the City Wall.

In the 17th and 18th centuries it was used as a dungeon. A woman named Ingeborg died here in 1705 accused of witchcraft. She died in the Winter in a barren room in the Gunpowder Tower that had no creature comforts.

Ingeborg died before her, I'm sure fair and impartial, trial ended.

 The Flogging Square is
near the City Wall

This is a copy of the whipping post that once stood here. Flogging, running the gauntlet, having body parts hacked off or having all of your bones crushed while still alive were all the rage as laudable forms of punishment until King Gustavus III abolished torture in 1771.

Talk about a wet blanket of a king!

The Dalman Tower

At 17 meters, it was not as imposing as the Tall Lisa Tower but its position high up on the hill above Visby's port made it an important landmark for ships approaching the island of Gotland.

 Important Info on the Dalman Tower

 The flock is coming into town

It was really impressive to
circumnavigate the City Wall

Of course a local . . .

. . . or two just has to incorporate
the City Wall into their mail box art


Our Wäsby Warriors U11 Head Coach, Johan Lundqvist (no relation to the previously mentioned beheaded Lundqvist) recommended a favorite spot of his for lunch.

At least I think that Johan is not related to the late Konrad.

 The Crêperie & Logi

 An artsy, Bohemian feeling inside

They are known for their large main dish galettes and large dessert crêpes that are famous in the Brittany region of France.

Galette or crêpe? Which would it be?

Why both of course, I'm on a mini-vacation so calories don't count!

Do they?

My honey, almond, spinach
and feta cheese Galette

It was SO good!

My cinnamon crêpe with a large
scoop of saffron ice cream

And yes David Lassen . . .

Later I was back down by the harbor

It was getting hot so a double scoop waffle cone of Glaissmagasinet ice cream, also recommended by Johan Lundqvist was a must.


The Botaniska Trädgård

This is Visby's peaceful Botanical Garden.

Serene Entryway

More Deep Purple

Lush Green is Good
Monet where are you?

Carl von Linné
Pioneering Swedish Botanist

Just a nice white tree

Man reflecting on life

Picturesque Homes

Visby has a lot of these, let's take a look at a few.

I like the welcoming red doors


Reminded me of Laurie

Log Cabinish

A fixer-upper

No, this is Gotland not Ireland

Rich Red is a common
house color in Sweden

See what I mean?

This red house faces the Donners
Plats where the city's Tourist
Information Office can be found

A Church and Church Ruins

Domkyrkan S:ta Maria

Domkyrkan S:ta Maria hoist perhaps

Grass roof of the
S:t Nicolaus Church ruins

S:t Olaf Church ruins

In front of S:t Olof Church ruins

S:ta Katarina Church ruins

Domkyrkan S:ta Maria Tower

S:t Lars Church ruins

Drotten Church ruins

As I understand it, most if not all of these churches were built by Catholics and went into disrepair after the Reformation swept across Sweden.

The Gotland Museum

This is a great regional museum that highlights all things Viking and Gotland related.

Thinking about Laurie . . .

Great old cross

I love these ancient Rune Stones

A Hunt

Picture Stories work for me!


What is that creature that is
about to devour that man?

The Bowen Knot
It is used today to signify historic sites
on road signs

Hey, what finger is that?

Laurie would have loved the gold jewelry

Battle on Gotland

Body Armor or early Shoulder Pads?

You make the call.

This is why you never take your
helmet off during practices or games!

Three crossbow arrows to the noggin will give you an Excedrin headache to be sure!

If only he had been wearing his
helmet like this Viking on the left

A Peregrino on Gotland?

He is a long ways from Santiago de Compostela in Spain!

Cool Mask

Silver Bracelets

These are part of the July 16, 1999 discovery known as the Spillings Hoard that turned up 87 kg/192 lbs of preserved silver treasure. It is the largest single find ever of silver treasure at one site.

And finally . . .

Reading Is FUNdamental 

Great Read!

Mike D'Antuono first put me on to Coben's work when he shipped me about five of his crime novels while I was coaching the Hassleholm Hurricanes in the Skåne region of Sweden back in 2010.

Coben is getting better!

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