The second to last weekend of my European adventure, my boyfriend and I went to Sweden. His grandparents live in Uppsala, the second biggest city in Sweden. We timed our trip perfectly (not) so it was in the middle of a blizzard over all of Scandinavia. This meant our train from Freiburg to Zürich was delayed, but other than that it actually didn’t have much of an impact. Following in the footsteps of many euro-tripping-twenty-something’s before me, this adventure included (an attempt at) sleeping in the parking garage of the Basel train station, because it was the warmest place we could find. Other than that our train and plane rides went exceptionally smoothly, and we landed in a winter wonderland-greeted by two of the sweetest, most adorable, Swedish grandparents I’ve ever met.
Uppsala is a small town by American standards, and even perhaps by German standards. There is a beautiful church, called the Uppsala Domkyrka, pictured below.
We wandered around the silent, snow muffled town from the church to the castle, an untraditional building with high pink-orange walls and domed towers. No castellations, ornamental architecture or big gray bricks. Just off the side of the castle is a raised platform with six cannons, pointed directly towards the Domkyrka, said to be remnants of the historical power struggle between church and state.
The next day we went to Stockholm and did a speed-walking tour of the city. It is absolutely beautiful, especially in the snow. Sweden’s first largest city is a huge step up in size from its second largest. We visited Fotografiska- the photography museum. It had an amazing exhibit from Elliot Erwitt and a few others from artists all around the world.
My favorite part about Sweden: the coffee! And the chai tea lattes. It’s so cold up there, they’ve really got to do hot beverages right.
My least favorite part: crawfish soup. I really just can’t get on board with that. Sorry, Sweden.
All and all it was an amazing weekend and I really really want to go back for a longer stay and explore more.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">Hillary Bliven grew up near Seattle, Washington before moving to Tacoma, Washington to attend Pacific Lutheran University. She is double majoring in German and Studio Arts with a minor in Biology. Hillary’s passions include pottery, drawing, good food, science and German. Studying in Germany for a semester provides a wonderful opportunity to experience people, food, and art from a different perspective. See Freiburg through the eye (and the pen) of a Northwestern Artist.</span></p>