Fresh air, physical exercise and daylight
Winter is dark in Sweden, especially without snow. To keep up your energy levels it is important to catch the daylight: Make sure to spend time outside during the light/sunny time of the day. Still, you might need to add some extra vitamin D (available at pharmacies and some food stores), if the sun is not shining.
There are plenty of nice parks and other scenic areas within Visby, and nearby nature trails to explore on Gotland. Why not bring a thermos with your favourite hot drink and some snacks and make a longer trip. To get you started we have put together some suggestions for indoor and outdoor activities:
- Visit the Tourist office at Donners plats 1 or check their event calendar in order to get tips on indoor and outdoor activities. The tourist office also has a special webpage on activities around Christmas and New year. You may choose to read the information in Swedish, English or German.
- Put on your running shoes and take a walk, or go for a run, along the Visby seaside walk (Strandpromenaden).
- Borrow someone’s dog or call a friend to join you for a lovely walk along Kärleksstigen (Slí na Sláinte or 'Path of Health') and Galgberget. Directions from Campus Gotland to Galgberget (link to Google Maps).
- Bring a packed lunch or a barbecue picnic to Södra Hällarna (south of Visby), or to Snäck (north of Visby) and enjoy the view. Yes, this works even in the winter as long as you dress warm! Directions from Campus Gotland to Södra hällarna and directions from Campus Gotland to Snäck (links to Google Maps).
- Map of the region's barbecue places.
- Take a cooling sea bath after the sauna at “Kallis” behind Campus. More information (in Swedish) at the Facebook page for the sauna at Kallis.
- If we get snow... Go cross-country skiing at Svajdestugan (info in Swedish)! When colder than -2 degrees Celcius, they will add artificial snow if not enough real snow comes! Bus 11 will take you to Svajdestugan. Directions from Visby bus station to Svajdestugan (link to Google Maps). You can also go cross-country skiing at VOK-stugan (info in Swedish). Directions Campus Gotland-VOK-stugan. Skis for rent at both places.
- Go by bus or car to Lummelunda and hike along the scenic seaside. Bus 61 and 62 takes you to Lummelunda. Directions from Visby bus station to Lummelunda (link to Google Maps).
- If you like church music, we would like to tell about four different concerts in the cathedral (VIsby domkyrka), 27-31 December. There is a translate function on the website.
- Take the Santa train between Dalhem and Roma on 6 January. More information about the train at the Tourist office.
- 'Vamlingbo prästgård' on southern Gotland is open 3-7 January. More information about Vamlingbo prästgård at the tourist office.
In Visby's parks and green areas, there are several outdoor gyms for you who like exercise and sports or maybe just want to try. The gyms are open and free to everyone and you can work out whenever it suits you. You can find outdoor gyms in Gustavsvik, Bingeby, Tallunden, Gråbo and at Norderstrand.
More information on the outdoor gyms at the Region Gotland website (page translated by Google).
There are of course plenty of other places to explore on Gotland, especially if you have or rent a car, or if you bring your bike on the bus. A number of restaurants are open all year round in the countryside, and you are of course even more flexible if you bring a packed meal. Contact the Tourist office or check for more tips at their webpage. The County Administrative Board has a section on nature reserves to visit, an outdoor guide, and information about the right of public access (in Swedish).
If you want to practise your Swedish, there is also an app called 'Öppet Gotland' with opening hours for many nice destinations on the island. Öppet Gotland for Android. Öppet Gotland for iPhone.
FEELING LONELY AND NEED TO TALK TO SOMEONE?
Activities is usually good but may not be enough or perfect for you. Another approach to fight loneliness in the current situation, academically and in your free time, is to talk with someone.
The Student Health Services is on holiday 23-30 December. 2-5 January, telephone counselling sessions will be available as usual here on 2,4 and 5 January. Jourhavande medmänniska is a phone service available at +46 (0)8 702 16 80, if you need to talk to someone during night-time, 21:00 – 06:00 or Jourhavande medmänniska via chat (info in Swedish only), Sunday-Tuesday, 21:00-24:00, or Jourhavande kompis (Red Cross) via chat, Monday-Friday, 18:00-21:00 and Saturday-Sunday, 14:00-17:00.
If you are experiencing severe anxiety or depression, please contact the psychiatric emergency department: at +46 0498-26 80 05. If you are unsure of who to contact, you can dial 1177 for guidance. If you are calling from a phone with a foreign number, call +46 771-11 77 00.