Scott MacNeill

Visby, Gotland

Today we left for Gotland at 7:35am and arrived at 8:05am. We took a little plane with propellers over. Gotland was our plan B in the event that Kiruna (arctic circle) did not work out. Well what a score! We may have missed dog sledding and the aurora but we got to hang out in the medieval city of Visby which is an old Hanseatic viking town that is surrounded by a huge fortified wall. The best way to describe this city is The Lord of The Rings or The Legend of Zelda. I have felt like Link for the past two days. Visby is one of about 400 cities on the World Heritage List.

The first thing to notice about Visby is the old mixed in with the new. Gotland is known for its masses of old Medieval churches and Visby has its fair share. Everywhere are the remains of old 13th century churches with the more recent (past 300 years) buildings erected around them. All the streets are cobblestone and its easy to get lost on the narrow windy roads and hills.

Visby also has a botanical garden situated in the rear center of the city. This botanical garden is obviously not in bloom but still retains its beauty. In this garden are more medieval ruins that are covered in different ivy's and vines. The city is surrounded by a wall thats almost fully intact and the back of the city walls are right on the beach of the Baltic Sea. Outside the wall facing the sea is a catapult. This is the first real catapult I have ever seen. I don't think I can try it out though.

Today we walked around the entire outer and inner perimeter of the Visby wall and conveniently got lost amongst its streets and pretended we were lost in the town of Bree. We had lunch in an old Kaffe next to a fireplace and then had coffee and pastry in an old kaffe that was build over a cemetery and the tombs are visible in the
basement (so they say).

There is so much about this city that it is hard to write it all briefly. This city will be the most memorable of this trip!

Note: I will be posting another blog right after this post to bring the journal up to date.

Here are a few pics from today:

The Visby Wall

Entrance to The City of Visby
Inside St. Catherine's Church. 1233
Drotten Church circa 1200
Drotten Church 2
Drotten Church North Side
House in Visby
Gazebo in Visby Botanical Garden
St. Olafs Church circa 13th century
St. Olafs Church with roots in stonework
Jess and I right inside the Visby Wall
An actual Catapult
Catapult and outside of Visby Wall
Outside The Visby Wall
Outside The Visby Wall 2
Outside The Visby Wall

Inside the Visby Wall
Visby Wall Breached by past Attacks
Visby Wall Tower and Gate from inside the city wall
The Medieval City of Visby
The Medieval City of Visby

Sankta Maria Kyrta circa
14th century

St Catherine's at Night
Swedes only show the time in Swedish cities (which are all in same timezone).

Date: 2008.02.21


A map of our traveled path.