Woke up to a bright but very windy day. Everyone seemed to have slept well, especially those in the attic! We all walked down through the campsite to the beachfront and sea in search of a playground (theme of our lives!). The site is quite large and stretches down a hill onto a flatter area edging the sea. Lots of huts, very nice and modern, but lovely spaces right on the beach for camping. Found a good playground next to a (closed) restaurant, outdoor pool and spa, and mini golf site. Must be fabulous in the summer. Was a bit too brisk in the wind to stay long, so we hopped in the car and went for a look around. Ended up driving up to Farosund, the northernmost town from where you can get a ferry to Faro, birthplace of Ingmar Bergman. We circled back down the eastern side of the island to come back to Visby. Lovely countryside. Very flat, lots of pine trees but low growing flora - very beachy. Most of the land is farmed and they seem quite self sufficient. Houses are much the same as elsewhere in Sweden but the local churches are solid stone affairs, with boxy bell towers and pointed roofs. The land has a good feel to it.
In Visby we parked just outside the old city Walls and walked down. We didn't realise at first but the town is on a slope and we had parked at the top. Inside the Walls, cobbled streets curve and weave their way downhill towards the sea. There are some wooden buildings and some half timbered but the majority are stone. The town dates from the 12th century, and some of the buildings from the 13th century! An old Hanseatic League town (remembering Bergen) that had good trading with Russia, it was invaded in the late 1300's by the Danes and didn't revert to Sweden until the 1600's. Very well preserved and planned out, there were lots of small up/down alleys between the meandering streets, and the ruins of 10 stone churches lie within the Walls. Amazing. Unfortunately Jason and I had got off on the wrong foot this morning and a fruitless search for his idea of the perfect lunchspot didn't help matters. We decided to have a day off from each other, probably needed after a month of travelling so far.
After lunch, the kids and I went to the museum, notable for a locally found Viking hoard of silver. There were some fascinating presentations of Viking graves, skeletons and artefacts. One girl was afraid of and one girl loved (guess who?!) a multisensorial exhibit on the Danish invasion of 1361, including weapons, armour, injured skeletons and video reconstructions of battle. The silver hoard was fascinating. The first time I've ever seen a real life booty so to speak. So many coins and silver artefacts that were found on a farm. There are huge numbers if historical sites and buried artefacts on Gotland. They take their importance very seriously and are one of few places to have outlawed metal detecting, and successfully prosecuted persons for finding and taking valuable items in the ground.
The girls enjoyed a more hands on room for a while and we finished up. We spent much longer in there than I had thought. We got the obligatory magnet and met j back at the car. I took em to get dinner stuff and we went via H & M to get new trousers for her. Her pink jeans are too tight and her black one's have a massive hole in the crotch! She's not having much clothes luck. Still, we found a nice pair of Jean leggings, and she insisted on leggings that remind me of a jester. One leg dark pink, one leg pale pink. She's so lovely Emily, especially one on one at the moment. Such an enthusiastic, clever, bright, imaginative, kind and thoughtful girl full of ideas and stories. I was telling her how much I like her (channelling mum in giving positive feedback!) when she asked the million dollar question "mum I know you love all of us, meg and me and felix, but who do you like the most?" I just said that I liked them all for different reasons because they were different people and had their own special qualities. On our way back I said I hoped we would be friends in the future and go out for dinner sometimes. She said she'd like that and that "we could meet up for coffee and a chat". Bless her.
Back at camp I made dinner and then laid down as was feeling quite nauseated. Fingers crossed us short-lived.