On Saturday at Mia’s parents house, I wanted to go running, so I did. There are endless country roads around her village, all of which are mostly flat, like I mentioned, and I was really in the mood to do some exploring. I really hadn’t seen much of the scenery yet because of the rainy car ride and the early darkness. But Saturday it was dry, overcast and not too cold, so I set out.
I ran down the gravel road out of Mia’s village, past the neighbors (still with smoke coming out of the chimneys) around someone’s farm, and onto a paved road. When I don’t know the area, I usually just run a simple out-and-back track with maybe one or two easy turns instead of trying to make a loop and getting lost. The first road I turned onto was flat and long, with farmland on either side. But it wasn’t like farmland you’d picture at home, and it’s hard to explain. There are lots of boulders in the fields, like huge boulders. And there will be a field, and then some forest, some bigger boulders in the forest, and then another field. So it’s not endless stretches of flat farmland, but rather more diverse, with more forest and more stuff to see.
The road then started to incline ever so slightly and entered a forest. The forest felt really “alive,” and different from home. There was green everywhere. Moss grew on absolutely everything, and again there were huge boulders in the middle of the woods that stood like 5 meters high or more. I was really enjoying just watching the scenery go by, and I love running in new places for this very reason.
I’m going to fast forward a bit to yesterday and what it’s like in Uppsala. We actually arrived in Uppsala on Sunday, after going to watch Mia’s brother Erich play in a handball game in a small town about halfway between here and her parents’ house. The teams for kids are by town, kind of like our Little League, and even the high schools don’t have sports teams, just the towns, which I thought was interesting. Erich is the goalie and it was fun to watch him play.
Our apartment in Uppsala is nice, with hardwood floors, a small balcony, a massive walk-in closet and a nice kitchen with a pass-through counter to the living room / dining table. It’s about a 30 minute walk into the center of town. You can see the cathedral from almost everywhere, and it is ridiculously huge. The three spires rise to 118 meters (almost 400 feet!), and the whole thing is just huge, and very impressive. It basically marks the center of town, and if you can find the cathedral, it’s pretty easy to get around town.
There is a river that runs through the center of town, and most of the businesses are on the opposite side of the river from where we live. The main square is pedestrian only, and all of the buildings are very old, which gives the town a really neat historic feel. The streets are narrow and cobbled too. More to come...