A long weekend in Stockholm sounded like fun. And off I went last October with a college friend, John. While Stockholm was the focus, I have always wanted to see something of ‘rural’ Sweden: lakes, charming homes, and lots of green. At least, that is how I envisioned it. So, once in Sweden, I was eager to get on the road at least for a day of driving around. As I looked at the map, Uppsala caught my eye: I knew it was a university town AND it was approximately 1.5 hrs away from Stockholm so not a stretch for a day trip.
The streets of Uppsala
After veering west and exploring, the day ended in Uppsala. It was getting dark but we got to walk around the pedestrian friendly town center where we saw the university grounds, the cathedral, and the shopping district. Being fall made the streets by the main cathedral and university a lot more charming with all the fallen leaves. It was beautiful.
Erik the Holy -or Saint Erik-, patron saint of Sweden, is buried at the cathedral, the site where he was killed a long time ago (12th century if you want to know!). The cathedral itself was finished in the 15th century and it claims to be the largest church building in the Nordic countries.
We were a tad surprised that a university town did not have an obvious ‘bar scene.’ Perhaps tainted by the U.S. college town experience? Probably. But we were wondering where to go hang out and grab a bite to eat; a place with personality.
And an online app suggested what turned out to be the perfect spot: the Churchill Arms gastropub. We sat at the small bar where I ended up teaching the young bartender how to make a Manhattan. Then the loungey chairs (just two of them) by the bar freed up and we decided to grab them instead of going to one of the regular tables in one of the wood-paneled eating rooms. There, we could see everyone coming in and out. I enjoyed some mussels (moules marinieres) in a white wine sauce – mmm!!
Once again, going off the beaten path proved rewarding. If you ever go to Stockholm, hop over to quiet but charming Uppsala. It was beautiful in the fall, I can only imagine how it would be in the summer and spring. After dinner, we headed out back to Stockholm to wrap up a day of semi-aimless driving around and seeing what we came upon. Another post will share more of what else we saw that day!