We just spent 2 days on the Swedish island of Öland with friends (a couple and their two teenage girls), bevor heading on to Gotland. We had a charming bed and breakfast on a farm near the middle of this looooong and thin island.

The place is just popping with little square, wooden windmills. Seems every little farmer had his own little mill. We made it to a beach (went in for a few minutes to cool my feet, but it is still a bit cold for swimming), did some sightseeing, bought some fish at a little harbor. This guy had two boxes of smoked fish in his garage right on the water, one box was of smoked flounder. Never tried that before, so we bought one. Greasy skin, tons of bone, but very, very tasty.

We took a trip through the Stora Alvaret, an immense uninhabited expanse on the south half of the island. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site, and what a sight it is to see: nothingness. A bit of shrubbery, some stone walls, some teeny-tiny flowers, and this goes on forever or so. Except for the line of cars pilgrimaging through.

We stopped at the Möckelmosse and walked down to the lake. This is created every winter when it rains, and it dries up over the summer. There were all sorts of birds there, even a heron standing near the water waiting for a fish - but how would a fish get there? Anyway, there were a bunch of Danish biology students there taking a gazillion pictures. Teeny2 was enthralled, as she wants to study biology.

The second day we chugged down the island to Eketorp, a reconstructed middle-ages castle that was also used as a garrison for some time. They do the full regimen of middle-age stuff: making stuff out of tin, baking flatbread, petting sheep and pigs. Teeny1 enjoyed the bow and arrows, Teeny2 stayed home because she didn't want to go to a booooooooring museum.

In the museum they had a game of Hnefatafl, also known as Icelandic chess. Wow! We enjoyed the game and played a few rounds at the B&B over the Internet - outside, using my swanky new modem. I suppose we will now have to make a game, it really is overkill using the Internet for this, as Teeny2 pointed out before heading off to play with the cat.

We drove all around the south of the island, playing tag with the other Germans going the same way. We kept meeting them at every interesting stop along the way - and then we all seemed to convene at the ATM in one of the little towns, the only one on the south of the island. As the Swedes say: Öland is just plain expensive, Gotland is nice. But I did rather like Öland. Anyway. Gotland in the next episode.

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