It always surprises me how small-yet big- the City of Uppsala is. One can easily walk or ride a bike everywhere, but if you are looking for something – you will most certainly find it in Uppsala. It sometimes reminds me of a small, cozy, convenience store where you can find anything; you know where to find everything you’re looking for, but you are also oftentimes surprised by the new things you unexpectedly find. Metaphorically that would be a summary of my last week in Uppsala. I met 4 people – 2 from my high school and 2 from the University of Richmond – who were visiting Uppsala. Yes, it’s a small world indeed!
On Tuesday morning I woke up to a message from my friend saying that he was in Uppsala and asking me where in Sweden I was studying since he might come and visit me. I sprung out of my bed and sprinted to the downtown to meet him. He was traveling with one more of my high school friends and they decided to visit Uppsala. I was so happy to see them since I haven’t seen them in years. We had so much to catch up on and we did so while I showed them the best of Uppsala. We spent the entire day walking around, touring the iconic pink castle of Uppsala, the Botanical Garden, museums, Carolina Rediviva, Domkyrkan and many other places in Uppsala. They had a great time and I enjoyed being around the people who brought back so much memories, but also made me think how far I have come since my high school days.
Next reunion surprise came even more unexpectedly on Thursday. Since Thursday evening has become a “Stockholms Nation evening” among my friends, we went there. Next thing I knew I saw CJ (Swedish student who was on exchange at UR last year) and he was telling me that he had 2 friends from Richmond visiting him. It was great meeting new people and talking about Richmond. Actually, it felt a bit odd to talk about D-Hall, B-School, Commons etc. and have the people know what I was talking about without me having to explain it to them. Both UR students I met were also studying abroad: one in Italy and the other one in the Netherlands. Even though it made me miss Richmond, it was great talking about it. It also made me feel kind of ‘home.’
But the fun of seeing new (and already familiar) faces didn’t stop there. My friends and I took a part in the International Students Cruise to Riga, Latvia. International students studying all over Sweden gathered in Stockholm harbor in order to go on a 3-day-cruise to the Latvian capital. It was really nice meeting other students studying in Stockholm, Lund, Gothenburg, and some other cities in Sweden and hearing about their abroad experiences. Seeing the city of Riga was also a great experience. I enjoyed the Old Town, as well as the more modern party of the city . And once again we were happy to have nice weather and no rain. It made our travel experience just so much better!
And just when I thought the week could not go any better … well, it did! I was lucky enough to enjoy sighting the Northern Lights once again. Cold night and clear skies made it possible for the green lights to be seen above Uppsala in the direction of the North. It made me really happy and now I can say I have already seen Aurora Borealis twice this year! I am hoping to see the Lights again. It is always stunning to see Mother Nature and her beauty. 🙂