I have been in the lovely town of Uppsala, Sweden for almost a week now. My time has been filled with sightseeing, cycling, Swedish cuisine, people watching, lots of walking, and most recently, academic seminar.
My first few days were spent exploring Uppsala solo, which was an amazing time. I was able to visit Uppsala Castle, the botanical gardens, the Carl Linnaeus museum, one of the oldest cathedrals in Scandinavia, and try dagens lunch al fresco. (Dagens lunch means “lunch of the day” and it is one of Sweden’s better food traditions – it is essentially a fixed price meal that comes with salad, bread, a traditional main course such as chicken with roasted potatoes with cream sauce – everything here comes with cream sauce – and a beverage. It serves as a great source of energy!)
Since this time, my classmates have arrived and we have continued to explore, visiting the beautiful Uppsala University rich in history and home to several Nobel Prize laureates (including Celsius himself!) the university’s student nation system, which is most closely similar to our Greek system, happened upon many fun pubs and restaurants, and attended lectures on the educational system and student entrepreneurship, which was most interesting to me.
Highlights: everyone bikes everywhere in Uppsala; the town’s urban design is extremely conducive to activity and spending time outdoors, between many parks, River Fyris which cuts the city down the middle, and bike paths that run alongside all roads. I’ve been lucky to rent a “cykel” a few times in order to explore old town (the original site of Uppsala) and neighborhoods surrounding the city. Also, as Uppsala is a college town, there are tons of young people that fill the city. They are beginning to filter back into town to begin their school year and are extremely bright, friendly, and accommodating. We feel very welcome here and look forward to continuing the adventure.
(Fashion tidbit: EVERYONE here wears converse sneakers – the original Chuck Taylors. Mostly white and plenty of high tops).
Tomorrow we day trip to Stockholm to visit the Vasa museum and also the education authority. Stockholm is actually 14 connected islands and home to much to see, eat, and learn, so I look forward to reporting back before the end of the week!