|Day 289/365: Uppsala, Sweden
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
I spent most of my last day in Sweden in Uppsala rather than Stockholm, as I have a friend there who works at the Swedish Institute of Space Physics. They met me at the train station and we went for a stroll followed by lunch. Uppsala is beautiful and very Oxbridge-y, which makes sense given that the university there prides itself on being the oldest in Sweden (founded in 1477).
We were very lucky with the weather, as up until about 12 hours before my journey north, the forecast had been predicting it would rain all of Sunday. Instead, I got to see the town in bright autumnal sunshine.
Bench sculpture, warmed by the sun, along the banks of the river. Friend’s husband and child can also be seen.
First glimpse of the castle, which looks more like an outsized Mediterranean villa.
The cathedral bell is located separately from the cathedral, just in case the cathedral burns down. Apparently this is because all the wooden buildings used to catch fire a lot. Never mind that the bellhouse is also made of wood.
Closeup of the bell in its house.
Me with the bellhouse (taken on my phone by my friend).
View down the formal portion of the castle’s botanic garden to the Orangery. I was reminded of the Belvedere in Vienna, and so was my friend when I mentioned it to her.
Friend’s child clambering over the cannons facing the cathedral.
Cathedral through the autumn leaves.
Visual evidence that I was there. (Again, photo taken with my phone by my friend.)
Rotunda of one of the university buildings.
I would have loved to get a proper portrait of this blissed-out person sitting on the cathedral steps with their headphones on, but I would’ve had to get all up in their grill to take it, and I didn’t want to harsh their mellow.
The well-kept cobbles and arch of Valvgatan.
Something about this spot pinged a memory of a very similar location in Cambridge.
Anders Celsius, inventor of the sensible temperature scale. I’m afraid I started quoting lines from this John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme sketch when I saw the statue. ”The problem with the existing scale is that it’s, you know, a little bit crazy.” (Link goes to a YouTube clip of the sketch.)
This is a model of Titan, hanging over one of the streets in the shopping district. You see, there is a scale model of the Solar System in Sweden which has the Sun in Stockholm. Saturn is meant to be in Uppsala. But apparently they never got round to putting a model Saturn in the town.
The English Bookshop which, um, does what it says on the tin.
Pretty rows of shop fronts.
So many pedestrian footbridges over the river.
Shop shutter art, signed “Stephanie Abdallah 2016”.
Midday sun over the cathedral.
Bronze bear sculpture on the path by the river.
The bear looks cute from the other side, and then you walk round and discover that its junk is blatantly on display, and a number of passing hands have stopped to appreciate that. Ahem.
Further shades of Cambridge.
This sheep statue sits on the riverfront outside one of the student accommodation buildings, Gotland House.
Riverfront restaurant, which I’m told is a very pleasant place to sit outside in summer and have a beverage.
Lunch location! The Stork Cafe serves Greek mains and Swedish puddings (i.e. lots of varieties of cream cakes).
Cafe interior, with coffee cups.
I found the cluttered, battered, homely furnishings a refreshing counterpoint to the famed minimalism on display in so many other places.
Princess Cake, because if you’re going to have a cream cake, you might as well have the creamiest one, no?
Full of spanakopita and cream cake, I toddled back to the train station to begin the long slow journey back to Brum.
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