Continuing on from my last post, I wanted to visit somewhere outside of Stockholm that wouldn’t quite be achievable on a standard twenty four hour layover. I researched into the best places to visit, and one that kept on popping up was Uppsala. Just a short forty minute train ride away from Stockholm with incredibly frequent trains, it seemed like the perfect fit for some exploring of Sweden.
I woke at 9:30am and aimed for 10:20 train to Uppsala. The train station was just around the corner from the hotel and I even managed to squeeze in a coffee stop before jumping on the train with thirty seconds to spare. Talk about cutting it fine?
The train ride over was gorgeous, the most beautiful scenery as we travelled the 70km up North to Uppsala. I was completely mesmerised looking out the window. Not long later, I pulled into Uppsala Central and exited the train station. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining, and I set off in the direction of the cathedral.
Uppsala is known for being a university town and they had some of the swankiest university accommodation ever! I wouldn’t have minded going to university here at all.
It took me right through the heart of the town and across the river. Uppsala is such a picturesque quaint town, I really wasn’t expecting it to be as nice as this and can see why many people suggest venturing out of the capital city and out into the country to see places like this. It was giving me a similar vibe to Durham in the UK.
I wandered along the cobbled streets with something new to look at around every corner.
The cathedral dates to the late 13th century and, at a height of 118.7 metres (389 ft), it is the tallest church in the Nordic countries. Originally built under Roman Catholicism, it was used for coronations of Swedish monarchs for a lengthy period following the Protestant Reformation. Several of its chapels were converted to house the tombs of Swedish monarchs, including Gustav Vasa and John III. Carl Linnaeus, Olaus Rudbeck, Emanuel Swedenborg, and several archbishops are also buried here.
I didn’t venture inside as it was such a nice day, so I continued on a little further up towards the Uppsala Botanical Gardens.
The University of Uppsala Botanical Garden, near Uppsala Castle, is the principal botanical garden belonging to Uppsala University. It was created on land donated to the university in 1787 by Sweden’s King Gustav III, who also laid the cornerstone of Linneanum, its orangery.
Uppsala University also maintains two satellite botanical gardens. The older of these is its original botanical garden, created in 1655 by Olaus Rudbeck, now called the Linnaean Garden (in Swedish Linnéträdgården). The other satellite is Linnaeus Hammarby (Linnés Hammarby), the former summer home of Carl Linnaeus and his family.
I must have wandered through the gardens and sat soaking up the sunshine for a good hour or so whilst I chatted away to my Grandma on the phone. It wasn’t soon after that my stomach started to rumble having only had a coffee that morning and I made way across to a cafe I’d found online that seemed right up my street.
The Melrose Cafe located back in the centre of town was a cute cafe that served up an abundance of dishes. Not that I can tell you what, as the entire menu was written in Swedish. Pretty difficult for myself who doesn’t even know one word of Swedish…
I asked the lady at the till if she had an English menu (as it was all written on a board above the till) and she said she didn’t, but she could recite it vocally for me if I wished. I seriously wish I’d have taken a picture of this menu board because the poor lady translated the ENTIRE thing for me out loud before I opted for the option written “AVOKADOTOAST”…
I honestly wanted the ground the swallow me up, I felt so awkward having had her translate it all for me. However she said she didn’t mind and was more than happy to help! It came with a hot drink, and since they didn’t have English Breakfast tea I opted for the strawberry and champagne flavoured black tea!
The food was amazing and the avocado toast came served with smoked salmon, cream cheese and a lovely side salad on Swedish sourdough. A different kind of bread, no something that I’d had before but it was super yummy! I polished it off in no time and contemplated a slice of one the delicious cakes they had on display before I decided holiday mode was over and I needed to be good!
I left the cafe and walked along the river towards the town. There were people milling about, relaxing on their lunch breaks and a few ducks floating down the river too. I love a day like this, no specific plan, just seeing what happens and when at my own pace. Paired with gorgeous weather and an abundance of greenery, I was really content. A great layover to bring me back to work.
It wasn’t long before I entered some shops that I’d seen the day before. I spent an hour mooching around the shops before taking the train back to Stockholm.
A beautiful day well spent exploring some more of Sweden. Definitely venture here if you’re ever in Stockholm, it’s worth the visit and makes for a great day out.
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