Getting to Gotland

We had talked about a bike trip to Gotland since the fall when we got the first trip-capable bike. Once we got the second bike in the spring it seemed like it really could be a thing. After the test camp at midsommar we decided that this summer was as good a time as any to go to Gotland. The problem is that Gotland is very popular in the summer and especially so this year with the “hemester” (home vacation i.e. within-Sweden) movement due to COVID. Once we had figured out good dates we looked at booking ferry tickets. Most Swedes plan out their summer pretty early, so our last minute search compounded with COVID-related capacity restrictions on the ferries meant that most of the good sailings were sold out. The two available options included arriving in Gotland at either midnight or 03:40 with the latter being quite a bit cheaper. With either option we’d want to get at least a few hours sleep on arrival and given that sunrise in late July is around 04:00 it seemed like we might as well take the cheaper option and have some light to set up camp.

With tickets booked, the next step was determining how to get to the ferry terminal in Nynäshamn which is about 50km south of Tullinge. There is a public transit option, but it involves lugging the bikes on to two commuter trains and ends up taking about 90 minutes. We figured given that the ferry didn’t depart until midnight we might as well take our time and ride the 50km and see some new things along with way. Finding a route that would avoid busy roads was a bit of a challenge, but with a combination of Google Maps and Komoot I came up with something that looked like it would be decent. We expected the ride time would be around 3 hours plus any stops so we left after lunch so we would have the option to grab a fika at Müllers konditori och Cafe on arrival and then have a relaxed dinner/hang out before the ferry. With only a couple minor wrong turns everything went quite smoothly including a nice stop at the Häringe Slot (castle).

The route

After a great fika at Mullers we checked out the church (which is up the hill from the harbour and used to be the site of a lighthouse) and then ate dinner in the park by the ferry/train stations. We had some made-ahead quesadillas and some smoked salmon from Nynäs Rökeri. Once it got dark around 22:00 we checked in for the ferry and then had a very uneventful crossing where we both got a minimum amount of sleep. It didn’t help that we were seated right next to the automated tobacco dispensing machine (that didn’t seem to be operating correctly leading to various nicotine-craving grumbling). Upon arrival we immediately biked to the nearest park (~1km from the terminal) and set up camp on a former military training ground as the sun was rising.