After all the rural and natural landscapes and the continuous beautifully startling sunsets, we feel like we need a detox therapy from all the peacefulness and and purity, so we head towards the city that is closest to us, Uppsala. It is a university city and it´s Saturday, so we hope we can go out for dinner and see some other human beings in reasonably big quantities, meaning more than 1 or 2 at a time. Maybe there’s music playing somewhere, something going on.
Uppsala does not deceive. First surprise is to find a little camping place next to the river and pretty close to the city center, where they even provide electricity which is totally free. Thank you Uppsala for your hospitality!!! We stay for 2 days and enjoy the city at a slow pace.
As we longed for, we go out for dinner, hear music and see lots of people around. Most of them are students and many of them are thoroughly drank. Everybody seems to be having a good time. The good weather continues, so all the terraces are crowded and so is the park along the river, where groups of people are enjoying self catered BBQ´s and take away pizzas and beer. There’s even a group of students playing beer pong. Passing next to the open window of a restaurant we hear a group of people singing at a wedding banquet. Next door there´s a cinema! Wow! A cinema. Students cycle up and down, many of them clearly dressed for success on this Saturday evening.
Since the whole city was partying the whole night, Christian has the whole place to himself when he gets up early on Sunday to take some photos in the morning light.
Like the pulse of the city. Simple and enjoyable. Suddenly sipping an ice coffee at Sunday noon in a coffee shop becomes something special. Window shopping.
On Monday we leave our urban oasis and head out towards the 2 last little towns we intend to visit in Sweden. Osterbybruk and Forsmark. They used to be 2 important centres to forge iron and the activity has left some pretty historic buildings, which are surely worth the visit.
And so all what’s left to do in Sweden for now is to wait for the ferry that will take us to the Aland Islands, while we use the time to think about our experience in Sweden and the top things that have caught our attention from the society or the people. So here we introduce
CHRISTIAN´S TOP 3
- Automatic Lawnmowers. We wrote always about how neat and nice and overly well taken care all the gardens across Sweden are. For a while I was wondering who has the time to keep you lawn always at exactly 1,25 cm?? Until will found the answer in self-driving lawnmowers! Those little creatures can be found at each corner and drive happily their rounds – OK it is actually more a zigzag. What can I say? I am a technology aficionado and I like intelligent machines that do their own thing for the benefit of mankind – automatic lawnmowers had to make it into the top 3 🙂
- Old-timers. I can’t recall that I have ever seen such high density of very well maintained old-timers in a country. The good thing is that you do not spot them standing around in a garage or backyard waiting for rust to take its toll. No. You see their owners driving them with pride in their daily life. Hardly a day passed that our attention did not get caught by the roaring sound of 8-cylinder engine. Also worth to mention the high number of old and new Ford Mustang
- People sitting in the sun. Sounds obvious as the weather in the month of May was just stunning with temperatures up to 30 C and sunshine from the morning till the evening. But the Swedes really take any opportunity to sit down and turn their face towards the sun. Understandable in your own garden, or any of the countless parks in the city, but also just along the road or on a highway parking – schwups, the camping chairs are out and the sun admiration process begins. Worth to mention that not all Swedish can handle the sun that well and we have seen several very red “lobsters” on our journey 🙂
ISABEL´S TOP 3
- Midget Golf. Everywhere! In every city and little town, no matter how little or how remote, there’s always a midget golf course and a bunch of people hitting some balls and having a drink. Astonishing.
- BBQ´s. The big majority of National Parks, City Parks, Beaches or Monuments we have visited have available BBQ´s for people to to enjoy together grilling away. Many of them have also wood or coal available, that just seems to be there for the use the community. If there’s no BBQ facilities available, people carry their own portable ones. Right now I guess it´s this great weather that inspires this BBQ fever. EVERYWHERE.
- Clean public toilets. This may seem as a strange thing to mention. But it is quite remarkable. Many of the public toilets in Sweden are gender neutral and probably 95% of the ones we have visited have been truly impeccable, which just reflects on how caring and respectful Swedish people are for each other.