Hei everyone! Muttler is back with a brand new site and a brand new adventure!
This is a bit of a different one for me than usual, as I am away for MUCH longer (over 3 months!) and it is more work than pleasure. But surely working in Sweden, England, and Finland is partly pleasure amirite? Plus there will be time for shenanigans with my lovely lady in England, Scotland and Turkey, so this will be a fun one.
The first proper post on the new muttler.net comes to you from midsommar celebrations in Uppsala, Sweden, where I just arrived about 10 hours ago. A long, but fairly uneventful, series of flights (HK to Helsinki to Sweden plus train) has me in Uppsala to visit the ITiCSE conference to start my research and holiday adventure. I have the first couple of days to get over jetlag and explore before the conference starts in earnest on Sunday afternoon. But I sure have arrived to an odd one.
Uppsala is a thriving university town, but you see, it is Midsommar, or the Summer Solstice, and it is a big deal here in Sweden, so much so that I hear it is pretty much THE main holiday. What it has also meant that Uppsala is dead quiet today (although this is certain to change tonight), as very little is open, including all the things for a tourist to do! But that is OK, as today I am in a bit of a zombie-like jetlagged state, so surviving as much of the day as possible means just wandering, which is what I did.
All roads lead to the river and the old town, which is where I wandered. It has a nice mix of European city does Uppsala. Everyone riding bikes, an old town, beautiful gardens, big cathedral, you name it. First stop was the cathedral, which alas, was not open. The cathedral is impressive as far as Scandinavian ones go, but lacks a little when compared to many others around Europe. But it will still be worth a visit when it reopens in a day or two.
It was then just wandering the quiet streets, visiting the (also closed) city castle and its gardens perched high up above the city. This allowed nice cheesy self portraits with dramatic cathedrals in the background.
From there it was a wander into the gardens of one of Uppsala University’s several locales. I was quite enamoured with this big head that just sat there looking moody in front of the beautifully manicured gardens.
Operating on only a few hours sleep in a sleepy town meant that a casual wander back (stopping by Simpsons themed restaurants… or so I would like to believe) for a bit of a catchup with one of my work colleagues, before retiring to watch World Cup from the comfort of my hotel room, was the order for the rest of the day. While Uppsala gears up to celebrate the summer solstice, I am electing to find solace in my pillow and a good nights sleep.
Stockholm tomorrow if all goes to plan!