August 14: Got up early this morning so was able to watch the ship pull away from the dock at Stockholm at 8:00 AM. Our destination for the day was Sandhamn, Sweden which is a resort island where sailors and yachters meet. All shops, restaurants and tourist information are located in one centralized area; there are no cars allowed on the island. The area is very clean (the Swedish take clean environment very seriously), and the people quite friendly.
While we were on the island, a storm came upon us with lightning and thunder; looking at one of the above pictures, you can see the dark clouds in the distance.
There was not much to see in Sandhamn but I enjoyed walking the narrow paths and looking at the various home fronts. The Wind Surf set sail for Visby, Sweden at 6:00 PM so all were on board by 5:30. That evening we attended the Captain’s Cocktail Reception and had dinner with a couple from Australia, Ray and Vicki. Was very tired this evening so went to the cabin around 9:30. Tomorrow I will be going on my first Windstar tour of this trip called “City Sightseeing in Visby”.
August 15: After breakfast, the group going on the sightseeing tour of Visby gathered. The tour began with a drive up to Hogklint, a steep cliff south of Visby, for a spectacular view of the Baltic Sea and the walled city of Visby. The guide explained that the cliff has been called the Elderly Steep because throwing off the cliff was Vikings way of getting rid of the elderly.
Upon leaving the cliff, we proceeded to the Visby Ring Wall which was constructed in the 13th century and is now a World Heritage site; it is the best-preserved city wall in Northern Europe and surrounds many ancient stone churches and houses. On our way to the wall area, we walked through the botanical gardens which is considered one of the best in Sweden.
We returned to the ship after the tour and had lunch. Today is the one year anniversary of Tom’s death so I had a chocolate fudge ice cream sundae with peanuts in his honor. After spending the afternoon reading and visiting with other guests, Ginni and I had dinner with a couple from Canada Sharon and Richard. After dinner, we got a drink in the Compass Rose Bar where there was a talented jazz duo playing/singing. I ended the evening by raising my wine glass and giving a silent toast in Tom’s memory. Tomorrow we will be at sea without any stops on land.