Monday, 11 June 2007

Sunset over the Baltic

Just in front of our hotel was a little knoll... and beyond it the sea, giving us a front-row seat for watching the setting sun. We were fortunate that the weather was warm and clear, so sitting outside until the 10:30 sunset was a pleasure. We were just ahead of the hordes of tourists who will descend on Gotland in the next week or so when the days are at their longest, so we had the beaches and shops to ourselves.

The medieval walled city of Visby on the island of Gotland was once the seat of the Hanseatic league, and therefore the trading center of the region, bringing wealth that created a rich heritage of beautiful churches, strong walls, and skilled craftsmen. The cultural diversity can still be felt today.

Gotland is home to some dozens of labyrinths in different forms, some laid in stones, others painted onto church walls. The quest is as important as finding them...

Perhaps the most well-known of the labyrinths is the one just outside the city walls. Centuries old, it is still in remarkable condition, and is obviously walked frequently. After visiting it as a group, we each made little individual journeys back for personal visits, often late in the evening or early in the mornings.

Our days were largely filled with driving as we covered the length and breadth of the island in search of the labyrinths. Why is it that the journey to the labyrinth is often as labyrinthine as the labryinth we journey to see?

After walking this little seaside gem, the urge to create was too strong to resist and the labyrinth-builders amongst us took to the rocks:

1 comment:

Lea said...

old and new... so beautiful... as those of us from afar peek over your shoulders...