Hej Hej! I’m Sam and I am an Uppsala student who got the awesome chance to travel to Visby in Gotland. Gotland is a beautiful island on the south of Sweden. The island has a city named Visby and that’s where Uppsala University has a campus! For my programme, they sent students of my programme to Gotland to follow lectures and seminars, but also to explore the city. It was an amazing experience and very different to Uppsala. From the gorgeous shores to the saffron flavoured desserts, let’s talk about Gotland.
So, to get to Visby it took us around six hours. I had to take a bus, two trains and the ferry. The ferry was actually very big and even had its own restaurant. The views from the ferry were also stunning, especially when arriving to Gotland!
After arriving in Visby, I dropped my stuff off at the hostel and walked a bit around the city. The first thing I noticed was the amount of sheep around the city. It’s so cute and honestly a bit fun to count how many sheep you can find throughout the city, from statues, to souvenirs, they were everywhere.
Aside from the cute sheeps another thing I noticed about Visby is that it is very hilly. My hostel was at the bottom of a hill and the city centre was at the top. Sometimes it seemed like I was climbing a mountain to get into the city, nevertheless it was worth it! The city is gorgeous and so historical. There were ruins all over the city and the architecture truly combines modern buildings with historical touches and vice versa. Sometimes it felt like walking through old viking cities. Especially when walking next to the city walls. It transports you to a whole other world back in time!
The campus was also modern with historical touches inside and out. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures of the campus to show you all but trust me when I tell you the campus is really cool and has much to offer. The campus is also very close to the seaside. You can even see the shores from the library. But the days are getting longer, so I couldn’t see the sun set from the library while I was there. But Visby has many hiking trails which offer amazing views, especially of the sea. The view from the top of the city on to the shores were to die for! The ocean breeze brushing against your skin with the beautiful silhouette of the sun setting onto the open shore. These sunsets catch you in moments you do not expect them and makes Gotland truly magical.
The food at the campus was also great! The cafeteria offers meat, fish and vegan options, and a salad bar with different spices and sauces to add to your plate. The price for the food also includes coffee and tea. So, after a nice lunch at the cafeteria you’d be entirely full and satisfied. The cafeteria also had two floors where you could sit and enjoy your food. So, you’d always have somewhere to eat on the campus. The cafeteria also offers smaller cakes, sandwiches and cookies if you aren’t looking for a big lunch. Even ice cream! The cafeteria in Gotland really is awesome and has something for everyone.
AND did you know? Visby has an ice cream shop that claims to have the most ice cream flavours in Europe. They have about 300 flavours! The ice cream shop is on the way to the campus, so you can get ice cream before class, or walk to the shop after class or during the break on a hot sunny day to get some delicious ice cream. Gotland also have their own Visby beer; I tried one in a pub, and it was tasty and fresh. They also have their own berries, called Salmbär, that they use to make jam, ice cream and much more! And, if you’re ever in the mood for saffron, Gotland is obsessed with saffron. They put in pancakes, sauces and even in ice cream!
All in all, Gotland is a historical place, with lots to do, lots to see and definitely lots to eat and drink. Visby is vibrant, warm, and beautiful. From gorgeous ruins and sunset views to delicious beer, pancakes, and ice cream the island is worth a visit. And if you’re ever in the mood for more, there are many more cities in Gotland besides Visby. While I haven’t been there yet myself, I have heard they also have much to offer and will definitely be going back to Gotland soon and explore more of this gorgeous island.