As some of you know, half of our family comes from Sweden. This week we traveled back to the Island of Gotland, in the middle of the Baltic Sea and today we had the opportunity to visit the small Island of Fårö, where we all lived as children.
Gotland and Fårö has a special beauty in the landscape, a place where cold winter winds blow across limestone beaches and the pines and junipers are gnarled and low to the ground. Our ancestors have lived here for generations and we started our day at the church and cemetery.
We went on to the incredibly eccentric, quirky and fun place that is Kutens Bensin and Elsie’s café. Here you can find an old cemetery for cars, vintage signs and an atmosphere filled with days gone by.
We drank coffee, tasted the organic and home baked goods and enjoyed looking at all the vintage furniture, lamps and china. If you are ever in this part of the world, we highly recommend a visit. In the summer and a few times during the rest of the year, Kutens Bensin have live music and the pub is an absolute marvel, you can visit the FB page about it HERE (in Swedish).
We went for a slow car ride along the winding limestone roads and admired all the special features of the landscape. The limestone contains myriads of old corals, plants and animal remains, compressed millions of years ago. The fossils are present on all the beaches and remind us of the fact that this was once a coral reef, situated much closer to the equator.
During the KRIM war in the 1850’s many British Soldiers was stationed close by in Fårösund. A cholera epidemic broke out and the soldiers that died had to be buried and the English bought a piece of land for this purpose. The English Graveyard is still there today, close to the beach and with many tall pine trees growing all around. It is a long way from England, but at least the Soldiers were put to rest in a place of peace and breathtaking beauty.
Close by is one of the many thatched traditional sheep houses, where the animals can find shelter from the wind. When I grew up on the Island, we had a bigger barn with similar thatch made from reeds.
We were fortunate to see a couple of cranes but the only photo we managed to take shows them from a distance as they are fairly elusive creatures. We did enjoy their loud calls and watched as they flew away over the pines and junipers.
Fårö is a place of incredible beauty and we love going back for visits now and again. In the summer many thousands of tourists congregate on the island and we prefer visiting at other times of the year, as it reminds us more of all the years we spent living there. Nature feels ancient and timeless and as we took the ferry back to the mainland, we felt very fortunate to have grown up in such a special and magical place.