I’m over halfway through my Study Abroad experience and I can’t believe how fast it’s going! Since my last blog I’ve been trying to make the most of what a Scandinavian Winter has to offer me. This of course included gingerbread (on which they put blue cheese-something I’ve found weirdly yummy) and copious amounts of Swedish mulled wine called Glögg (which I’ve found I prefer as it is sweeter than most of the English mulled wines I have tried). I have also spent my time trying to acclimatise to the dramatic drop in temperature, this we had all been warned about-especially since when we arrived in August we had a highly unusual month of lovely warm weather and the Swedes had ominously claimed that this meant we had a bitter winter to come to compensate.
In early November I, along with two friends travelled to Bergen in Norway for a weekend trip, eager to expand our experience of the Scandinavian nations. We arrived on Friday and I was immediately struck by the mountains dotted about everywhere while we bussed from the airport to our hotel. Once we arrived in Bergen and settled in we decided to wander down to the Bergen port-recognisable for Bryggen (a series of commercial buildings leftover from when the Hanseatic League traded in fish-a fact we became aware of when we went to the museum housed in one of these buildings). We wanted to get our bearings for the following day when we would be going on a tour of the fjords (the principal reason we had travelled there).That night we made use of our time by going up the mountain on a cable car-giving us a breath-taking view of Bergen. The following day we got to the boat early and I experienced one of the best moments of my life travelling through the fjords and seeing the gorgeous views, we even got to drink water from a frozen waterfall. The rest of the trip passed by quite happily.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the 13th December is dedicated to Saint Lucia, otherwise known as Saint Lucy, this led to lots of jokes and the lighting of many candles as it is a festival of light. The elected ‘Saint Lucia’ wears a long white gown, has a wreath of battery powered candles on her head and is accompanied by her attendants carrying candles (also in white), their procession enters a darkened room singing traditional songs. It’s a unique and lovely tradition and I was thrilled that it was included in the Luccegasque that I attended as a Christmas celebration at my nation.
I was also lucky enough to attend a Christmas Carol concert in Uppsala’s beautiful cathedral, a hair raising experience in the best way.
Since coming back from the Christmas break I have been trying to get through my work and cope with the cold, I luckily missed the -20 degree weather that plagued Uppsala the week before I returned!
I’m loving my time here and am looking forward to the coming term!
Missed Lucy’s last blog post? Catch up here: http://bit.ly/2jGl9gl