Glad Påsk! (Happy Easter)

Trip Start Jan 08, 2010
Trip End Sep 27, 2010

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Flag of Sweden  , Gotland,
Friday, April 2, 2010

So far this week has been mostly about eating.  Monday the class went to Miriam's place for the morning and ate so much that Pete and I didn't need to eat for several hours afterwards.  Emelie and I had been asked to bake and bring a cake but in the end there was so much other food we took most of the cake home.  We were talking about gifts and abilities (which is why Emelie and I were asked to bake, to show off our superior bakering skills), and we all had to think of and name 3 things we consider ourselves good at.  This sounds simple but it's harder than you may think and some of us found it hard to actually say the words ''I am good at...''.  To show other people's skills and abilities we watched a video of Miriam singing at a big concert thing in Iceland and a film that Yad made about a children's home in Zambia.  It was a lot of fun to celebrate everyone's talents over a table groaning with food and drinks.

The sun has been out a lot this week and Emelie, Daniel, Pete and I celebrated by eating icecream.  There is an icecream shop down by the harbour with 100 flavours which has no official opening days but only opens when the sun is out.  So there we sat in 4 degree ''heat'' and enjoyed the spring sunshine.

Along with the sunshine have come more and more flowers; they're springing up everywhere and some parts of the botanic gardens have become a sea of glowing white snow drops! Amazing!  Most of the shops and churches have tubs of jonquils and other bulbs growing out the front and most patches of grass around the place have at least a dozen crocusses poking out.  No-one can tell me the names of the flowers and birds around the place so I got some books from the library to help me out.

The Easter celebrations have begun and more and more of those feathery trees are being put up around the place.  There are some other weird Easter traditions around here too; it's customary for the children to dress up as little witches on what we would call Maundy Thursday (yesterday) and march through the town!  All the kids who participate get lollies and sweets for some reason as well.  Again, no-one has been able to tell us WHY! Very odd behaviour indeed!

We had a meal together in the church last night to remember the last supper.  Emelie and I set the room up and Pete and Daniel had the great pleasure of doing the dishes afterwards.  It was a really good night and, again, more food!  The best bit about last night was that Pete and I got the leftover lentil soup which we will be eating all week. I just love free food!

Part of setting up for the meal included, of course, hunting down some leafless trees to cut down and tie gaudy feathers to.  How could we have an Easter feast without feathery trees?  So Pete and I went to Daniel's place and walked for what seemed like ages through often swampy Swedish woods to find the right kind of trees.  Daniel's family have a big block of land for the horses to wander around on and because of the melty snow much of it was almost knee deep with water.  It was so weird to see, these Swedes have so much water they just leave it lying around on the ground! Bizarre!

Today being Good Friday it was appropriate to remember Jesus being crucified, so we went with a group of people from other churches in Visby and walked up the execution hill which is called Galgenberg (Gallows Hill).  If you remember from a previous blog our trip to the museum, you may remember me saying about the hill outside the town where people used to be executed.  At the top of the hill is a circular stone wall with 3 stone pillars.  Between the pillars used to be planks from which people were hanged and other executions took place there too.  Nearby there are several mass graves for the poor people who couldn't afford to be properly buried.  Each year people go up there to remember the crucifixion because if you think about it there are a lot of similarities between it and Calvary or Golgotha or whatever you want to call the place where Jesus was killed.  It is a hill set aside for executions, outside the town and even the 3 pillars are appropriate because of the 3 crosses on Calvary.  It was a really good walk and an amazing view.  It still feels unbelievable to be so close to so much history; that site was only excavated in 2008 but people have never been restricted from going there.  There are even apartment blocks going up only about 100m from the stone circle.  I wonder if they'll be haunted....

We have some days off now so we are going to find some fun activities to do.  Daniel is going to take us on a tour of part of the island and the rest of the time I think will be taken up with reading and copious amounts of tea, as well as the Easter Sunday stuff (more food!).

Glad Påsk to you all!

P.S. Just want to say thanks for the comments we get each week, it's really interesting to read what you have to say and we feel much closer to home because of it.  Please keep them coming and those of you too shy to write somethin please do it anyway, no matter how short, so we don't get homesick!  :)
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Fiona Marshall on

Trying again, Pen tells me that I should be able to do it this way........we'll see...
Angela showed me your communications when she and Pete came through on their way to Adelaide, but unfortunately I didn't try to respond until after they were said I had to be registered, or something!!!!! Sorry, that takes it into the 'too hard basket', without help, plus I hadn't even looked at my emails since last year....a little bit behind!!!! I do tend to avoid it as much as possible, in other're not the only ones falling on deaf ears.
You've taken some fabulous photo's, Myf.....another very good photographer in the family! I'm not so sure about existing in such a climate though......beautiful from the warmth of Victoria.
Sorry, we didn't "do easter' weird religious group in Geelong went a bit too far with a re-enactment in the shopping over the top and gruesome the police shut them down and now they're making a hullabaloo about freedom of speech etc
Felix came home for a few days, which is always good........but he's back in Melbourne as he had work to go to.
Ill try sending this now to see if it works....fingers crossed.
Lots of love and best wishes
Auntie Fiona and Uncle Barry xx

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