Our next stop on this Sweden adventure is the island of Gotland. As hardcore wool nerds, Jaime and I have long dreamed of visiting Gotland to see some very special sheep.
We hopped on a ferry from mainland Sweden to travel to this magically sheepy island in the Baltic Sea, and were so excited when we arrived to see the Gotland flag waving at port, featuring an adorable sheep!
Gotland Island is the home of a very unique breed of sheep--the Gotland sheep--rarely seen outside of Gotland island. They are one of our favorite heritage sheep breeds. Gotlands are known for their grey, curly locks with a ton of sheen. If you are both a sheep nerd and a Lord of the Rings nerd, you may know that the silvery-grey Gotland wool is what Elven invisibility cloaks are woven from. This is a magical wool indeed. Gotlands come in a rainbow of grey, from silvery-white to charcoal black.
Gotland proudly celebrates its sheepy heritage, with a sheep coat of arms, ram and ewe sculptures aplenty, and sheep-themed public artwork. How can you not love this place!
Beyond amazing sheep culture, the island is a stunning place with tons of medieval charm. We stayed in the main town of Visby, where church ruins, cobblestone streets, ocean views, and the old city wall make for one of the most picturesque places we've traveled.
Outside the city walls, the rural parts of Gotland are full of natural beauty. We drove north for a day and explored Fårö, a small island just a short ferry ride off the tip of Gotland. Throughout Sweden, Fårö is known as a summer destination, with stunning natural rock formations and sandy warm beaches. It was indeed a popular spot--the wait for the ferry was almost 2 hours, but the ride itself was only 5 minutes! The wait was worth it, though, to get a chance to see Fårö's unique beauty.
The island was the home of Ingmar Bergman, and is known for the ice age monoliths on several of its rocky beaches. The landscape is otherworldly. We were also surprised to find perfect sandy beaches, and we went for a dip in the Baltic Sea!
Also dotting the island are traditional cottages for both people and sheep.
We fell in love with the look of the rustic, witchy-looking thatched roof huts, and upon closer inspection realized they were sheep huts! If you ever get the chance, we highly recommend a visit to Fårö.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our adventures on Gotland where we get to visit sheep farms and the Gotland Spinneri, which spins all the yarn on the island!