We went rogue for Christmas this year and booked a mini break on Gotland. It was quite a last minute decision but we fancied getting away for a few days after being cooped up at home with Covid for so long. Plus it’s somewhere we always come away from feeling mentally and physically recharged — we were in desperate need of both.
The three and a half hour ferry journey is always a nice opportunity to decompress. It was too cold to sit out on deck, even for part of the journey, so we sank into our assigned seats and fought the urge to sleep. We passed the time eating sweet treats our friends sent us away with. I went up on deck later in the journey and it was snowing!
The bowl of marshmallows in this window display represents julgröt (rice porridge). You’re supposed to make some for Tomte on Christmas Eve — Tomte is gnome that watches over your home throughout the year. He lives in the barns and pantries of farms, and under the floorboards in urban homes.
Dinner on the night we arrived was a Sichuan meal at Surfers restaurant. Six dishes and two piña coladas later, we were absolutely stuffed and ready to sleep.
We went for a frozen coastal walk on Christmas Eve and cooked instant ramen on the beach. I wrote about that separately in this post, if you are curious.
Christmas Day gave us eerily calm sea and low sun. The water was so still, you can barely see it in the photo below. Of all the times we’ve visited, this was definitely the calmest; there wasn’t even any wind.
We bummed around on the beach for a while and then went for a walk around town with our cameras. It was “warmer” than the previous day but we still ventured out with another layer under our trousers.
Tiny patches of sun weaved through gaps between buildings.
As you can see, the town was deserted. Everything was closed apart from a couple of steamy windowed cafés but feeling like we had the place to ourselves was actually really nice.
Walking up to Lågan gave us a great view over the harbour. It also helped us discover a whole new residential area full of nice houses; I mentally moved us in to a few.