Stora Karlsö

Discussion in 'Scenic, Architecture, and Travel' started by Rasmus, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Sometime during spring, my Mom called me and talked about a trip to Stora Karlsö she had made in her teens, and asked me if I wanted to join her on a return visit, 50 years or so later. She mentioned big bird colonies, and that might have been what convinced me to go. Of course I came with my F-Stop Satori EXP completely full of gear, knowing that I would not be carrying it any long distances.

    Stora Karlsö is a small island near the coast of much larger Gotland, and before going to Stora Karlsö we spent a night in Visby, the only real city on Gotland.

    Harbor view. E-M1 + Panasonic 12-35/[email protected] mm. F/7.1, 10 s, ISO 200

    The skyscrapers of the 1200s. During the middle ages, Visby became one of the most influential cities in Europe, and wealthy merchants constructed buildings whose height were on the limit of what was possible with medieval technology. This one was almost destroyed in a 1936 fire, only the outer walls were undamaged.

    Panasonic 12-35/[email protected] F/7.1, 13 s, ISO 200

    Next day, we're at Stora Karlsö. Listening to the welcome speech is mandatory for all visitors.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/2, 1/2000 s, ISO 200

    Gotland is sometimes referred to as "Limestone Hawaii". Swedes often spend their vacations there, the island, essentially a 420 million year old coral reef, consists almost entirely of limestone, and the beaches have some of the whitest sand I've seen anywhere in the world. Fossils are abundant.
    P12-35/[email protected] mm. F/5, 1/800 s, ISO 200.

    Time for the main attraction: Birds! Thousands of common murres call Stora Karlsö home. Some have a ring around the eye and are called bridled guillemots. I can see one in this picture.
    ZD 300/2.8, f/5.6, 1/500 s, ISO 200

    More murres. ZD300/2.8 + EC-20, f/7.1, 1/400 s.

    There is also the occasional all-white common murre. I don't know if they are actually albinos or not.
    ZD 300/2.8 + EC-20. F/5.7, 1/640 s

    There are also at least as many razorbills as there are common murres, and they also come a bit closer.
    ZD 300/2.8 + EC-20. F/5.7, 1/800 s

    Birds! Birds! Birds! There are birds everywhere on the cliffs!
    ZD [email protected] mm, f/2.8, 1/1000 s, ISO 200

    (to be continued)
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
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  2. Tenpenny

    Tenpenny Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 16, 2015
    Nampa, Idaho
    Brent Watkins
    Wonderful series of photos. Looks like it was a magnificent trip!
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  3. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    I'll have to update my bucketlist.....
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  4. Balinov

    Balinov Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 8, 2015
    Fabulous shots, personal favourite is the white murron in flight.

    Pls post more whenever you can. Cheers B

    Sent from my ONE A2003 using Tapatalk
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  5. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Thanks for your likes and your kind words!

    Stora Karlsö means big Karlsö, hinting that there might be a Lilla Karlsö ("little Karlsö"), and here it can be glimpsed.
    ZD 300/2.8, f/5.6, 1/640 s, ISO 200

    Toward the evening on the first day, the grey skies cleared up and brought a typically long golden hour.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/5, 1/80 s, ISO 200

    Panasonic 12-35/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/50 s, ISO 200

    Stora Karlsö is the second oldest nature reserve in the world, after Yellowstone National Park.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/160 s, ISO 200

    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/9, 1/13 s, ISO 200

    Linnaeus ash. On June 22nd 1741, Carl Linnaeus, the inventor of th modern binomial system of naming species, visited Stora Karlsö. Back then, grazing had made the island almost completely barren. This ash, protected from the grazing animals by the bronze age burial mound it grows in, was the only tree on the island.
    Carl Linnaeus was also the guy who figured out that having zero degrees denoting the freezing point of water and a hundred the boiling point on the temperature scale was better than the other way around.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected], f/7.1, 1/8 s, ISO 200.

    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/9, 1/13 s, ISO 200

    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/9, 0.4 s, ISO 200

    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/9m 0.8 s, ISO 200

    Some bird has made a few footsteps in the concrete.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/9, 4 s, ISO 200

    (more to come)
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  6. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Adding a few more. Here is the harbour rock. People who committed crimes were often put on the harbour rock, without any supplies. In a time when very few could swim that was a severe punishment.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/6.3, 1/1000 s, ISO 200

    Allium ursinum, according to Wikipedia known as ramsons, buckrams, wild garlic, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear's garlic, covers the ground in the forested corners of the island.
    Olympus 9-18/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/15 s, ISO 200

    The lighthouse. Due to the often harsh weather, the lighthouse was integrated in the lighthouse keepers house, the only lighthouse in Sweden that was built that way.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/8, 1/500 s, ISO 200

    Coastal landscape.
    Olympus 9-18/[email protected] mm, f/11, 1/320 s, ISO 200

    Typical west Gotland shoreline. The water is shallow a bit out , then the seafloor drops drops vertically to 40-50 meters or more. According to Gotland lore, swimming over the edge is likely to be your last bath ever. Somehow the steep underwater cliffs supposedly generate powerful currents that quickly sweep swimmers far out. According to some it's some kind of thermal effect that causes water to rise to the surface and create a current, accoring to others it's just a normal but strong rip current. Stranger explanations also exist.
    Olympus 9-18/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/320 s, ISO 200.

    A closer look at the edge.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/5, 1/800 s, ISO 200

    Apart from birds, sheep are the most numerous inhabitants of the island. Here are a few of them.
    Olympus 9-18/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/800 s, ISO 200

    A few visitors heading back to Norderhamn, the main settlement on the island.
    ZD 35-100/[email protected] mm, f/7.1, 1/640 s, ISO 200
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  7. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    Fantastic! Didn't know it was the second oldest nature reserve in the world. Must go there sometime, "just" have to cross the country :)
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  8. ak300

    ak300 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 18, 2014
    Karlsruhe, Germany
    Top! Thanks for sharing.

    Best regards,
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  9. Gerard

    Gerard Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2015
    Vleuten, Utrecht
    Sweet memories. I grew up in a street called after Linnaeus. It was the first difficult word I could spell correctly.
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  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Beautiful work!
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  11. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Ooooh! More kind words, and my first featured thread! Thanks a lot!

    Adding a few extra pictures. About half way to Stora Karlsö is Högklint. I'm not completely familiar with the local dialect, but I believe it just means "high cliff", and the coast all the way up to Visby is visible from there.

    You might want to see how close to the edge you dare to get.

    By the way, if you want to book a few days on Stora Karlsö, here is the link:
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