One of the advantages of living abroad is the frequent flyer miles one accrues. When I got my statement from Scandinavian Airlines a few months ago I noticed that I could book a long weekend in Visby, a medieval city on the island of Gotland off the east coast and only a forty-minute plane ride from Stockholm, practically free. So obviously I did.
Booking any kind of event during the Swedish summer is risky since the weather can disappoint, but I had high hopes that the end of June would deliver some sunshine. I'm sad to say that this weekend has been and will likely continue to be chilly and mostly cloudy. That didn't stop Jamie, though, from insisting he and The Swede hop into the pool late last night when we arrived at the hotel.
This morning, the wind was blowing so hard from the Baltic that it was downright cold. Again, we weren't deterred and took a walk and did some training on the beach.
Don't worry, we held on tight and the water was only a foot deep.
We made our way toward the city and into another world. It's not possible to describe the beauty of Visby inside the wall except to say that everything that my eyes settled on made my heart feel too big inside of my chest. I had to stop and catch my breath a couple of times.
Almost immediately when you enter the wall from the north side, there is a gorgeous botanical garden with flowers and trees that I've never seen in my life.
We marveled at all the beautiful plants and talked about the job that the bees were doing there while we moved through the garden.
And the ruins! I'm going to try to get some more pictures tomorrow, but I'm really not doing them justice. I want to invite everyone I love here to see this place live.
Jamie's favorite part inside the wall was probably the water pump that he tested more times than his more environmentally-concious parents were comfortable with.
After a quick tour through the city, we hopped on a bus to Kneippbyn, a little theme park where we rode kiddie rides, hopped, climbed, and played around for the rest of the day.
Now it's almost bedtime and we're all pooped and plopped out in front of our screens eating Subway, grateful for a day of fun.