This article is part of the series “2018-05: Gotland”.
Today is Tuesday and the day starts as Monday did: with a breakfast on the roof terrace under a blue sky. The air is calm and warm and we want to make a bicycle tour again, this time with e-bikes. At the bike rental we hand back our normal bikes and get our e-bikes which we want to test for two days. Yesterday we cycled north, today we’ll head southwards.
Right south from Visby we leave the main road and enter the Södra Hällarna, a natural reserve.
The ground is dry and the vegetation looks more Mediterranean than Swedish. To the right there are cliffs by the sea.
With a normal bike we could follow the minor paths, but the e-bikes are too heavy to carry. We keep left and land on the main road again. The next stop is a bit special.
No, it’s not the tree houses, even though they look both interesting and beautiful. It’s this:
Here, in a amusement park in Kneippbyn stands the Villa Villekulla, the house of Pippi Longstocking! Everyone who knows the series from 1969 and the two films of 1970 also knows this house, that was used for the outdoor shots of the series and films.
The amusement park is closed – it is still off-season – but the door is open and we are able to creep in to take some photos. Pure children memories!
Some other nice spots nearby: Fridhem and Högklint.
Now we try to choose smaller ways for our bicycle tour but we do not succeed. South of Kneippbyn lies Tofta Skjutfält, a military training area and the ways that Google Maps proposes are blocked by fences or serious prohibition signs. So we stick to the main road, which is a bit boring. But at least there’re possibilities to get food, e.g. in the Suderby Herrgård.
We continue to Gnisvärd. On the way there we see the large stone ships, old graves from the later Bronze Age surrounded by stones in the form of a ship.
And much more is to see, from ancient rune stones to cozy cabins by the sea.
Later we follow a small path to Tofta Strand, a sandy beach. It’s more than 20 °C and it feels even warmer in the sun. Hardly imaginable that I photoed ice and snow less than a week ago. Annika and I take a bath. The water is still cold, but the sun warms us after the bath.
Later: Annika and I are back in Visby and take a stop at Glassmagasinet, “Swedens biggest ice cream shop”. And they do have a huge amount of different sorts of ice cream, anything from dark chocolate with 78% cocoa to bright blue Smurf ice. The best thing is not the assortment, it’s the taste. The ice cream is real Italian ice cream and tastes fantastical! Attention: This place can be very crowded even off-season.
It’s seven a clock. We cycle to the beach, sit down on a breakwater and look at the sun going down. It will take almost two hours until it has sunken down at the western horizon. A rare experience when you live in Umeå or Skelleftehamn, where the Baltic Sea is in the east.
A last photo from our roof terrace. We won’t sit here for long. It has been a long day and we are tired. Soon we fall asleep. Tomorrow: Another cycle tour.