And so the adventure begins…

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Welcome to Uppsala – a quaint little city with plenty of charm and hundreds of bicycles

I arrived here at the beginning of August with three huge suitcases, no knowledge of the Swedish language and no friends (boohoo). I moved into an unfurnished empty room located in the well-known location of ‘flogsta’ (I’ll talk about that later) and within days I was well into my intensive Swedish language classes. For months I’d been ‘googling’ this city, looking it up on google street view to ‘get a feel’ of the place and checking the course webpage religiously, however, no matter how much I tried to prepare, expectation and reality were so vastly different.

This is botanical garden as seen from the castle, the building at the end is owned by Uppsala University and earlier on in the year they hosted the ‘peace party’ which was basically just live music in celebration of 200 years of peace in Sweden… Hurrah!

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 Now we have the big pink castle (Uppsala Slott). Although you can’t see it in its full glory here, I thought the sunset was rather beautiful so I’ll share it anyway. Besides being a 16th century royal castle, it’s also an art museum and a great meeting point.

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Here is the river; I was actually eating in a restaurant when this photo was taken. I also found it quite amusing but there’s a little floating ‘garden’ that goes by this part of the river. It’s basically just raft with beanbags and a white picket fence and it goes up and down the river whilst you can sit and drink a beer and wave at the locals. Haven’t tried it, but probably should.

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Here’s a lovely photo of my old folks by the ‘duck pond’. It used to be full of swans but not anymore. Summer really is incredible here and it’s lovely and quiet too! If you ever decide that Uppsala is the place for you, come during the summer so that you can acclimatise before the hustle and bustle begins.

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Before and after: look at my empty room, look at it! It looked so sad … but with a little help from IKEA (of course) and voila! There’s no place like home.

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Oh so warm and cosy: I even have my own kettle so I can drink tea all day every day!

I also now have a purple bike called ‘disco’. I call it this because for weeks, I genuinely though this was the name of the bike, only to realise later than the letters ‘very’ had been rubbed off. Oh ‘discovery’ you shall always be my disco. As I write this, I’ve been here now for 9 weeks and what an experience it has been! Even though the autumn has arrived and the degree is well underway, the fact that I’ve moved to a whole new country that I’d never visited before and been made to adjust as though it was second nature has been a task in itself. It’s life changing, at times it’s stressful but most importantly, it is incredible. You will not leave the as same person who arrived, that, I know is true!

I’m sure there’ll be hundreds more photos of Uppsala but before I go, let me leave you with a photo of my two friends riding a tandem, because, well why not?

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Written by Francesca

07 Oct 2014