Amanda Bergman has been coming to Gotland since she was a child. This little white island provides the backdrop to so many childhood memories – from gravel-scraped knees to a pounding teenage heart. Now, Gotland has inspired Amanda’s latest song, ‘Falcons’.
An island of inspiration
Gotland is limestone country. Gravel roads appear white in the bright sunshine, which shimmers
on the water’s surface as if it were dancing on the Mediterranean rather than the Baltic. Encased in stone, you can find the fossilised plants and animals that called Gotland home over 400 million years ago. Magnificent, mushroom-shaped sea stacks line the coast and reach for the sky. These natural towers, and the stunning cliffs that keep them company, form the unique silhouette of Gotland’s landscape – a landscape immortalised by none other than the late, great Ingmar Bergman.
Over the years, Gotland’s inspirational atmosphere, majestic light and powerful allure has attracted artists, authors, politicians and filmmakers in need of creative nourishment.
"I believe nature brings out
a desire to pause and reflect."
Amanda Bergman, Musician
“I know the fire’s slow/Lock and leave it, go/I had never been so hurtful before/Leaving love in a haze/Falcons circling for days” – Lyrics from ‘Falcons’ by Amanda Bergman.
Music as a mirror
"To Swedes, Gotland’s landscape is so different from that found on the mainland. But this is what draws people here. When you’re presented with a foreign landscape, you perceive things differently. It becomes easier to lose your preconceived notions of how things should be”, explains Amanda.
As well as inspiring musicians and filmmakers, Gotland has a strong connection to the world of literature. For many years writers have rented cottages here, which they use as both a source of inspiration and a place of solitude. To write a novel or compose a poem isn’t just about setting
words on a page. It’s about the art of listening and observing the world around you, while having the patience and emotional tools at your disposal to realise your vision. For Amanda, Gotland provides all of these things and she uses songwriting as a way of discovering more about herself.
"Music becomes my own personal therapist in a way. When a song is finished, I find myself in a completely different place to where I was when I started writing it. My music allows me to examine a different part of myself. This is why I find songwriting so rewarding. It can take you from one place to another – both physically and mentally."
Lobster fishing in Sweden
Nowadays, it seems a growing number of people are taking the time to learn to do things the traditional way. It may take a little longer but the reward can be well worth the wait. It was in this frame of mind that we set out to sea to try out a spot of traditional lobster fishing, and discover if there really is pleasure to be found in patience.
Travelling without a trace
Even though we might complain about the cold, our winter landscapes are extremely beautiful and valuable. Wouldn’t it be great if we could focus on protecting and enjoying them at the same time?
The Scandinavian model
Oslo’s mix of busy streets and laid-back Scandinavian attitude is the backdrop as we discover what makes the new XC40 the perfect SUV for the city.