Uppsala: ‘It will make you fall in love with Sweden’

In the The Locals new series My Sweden, where we profile readers’ favourite hangouts, sights, and eateries in their own corners of Sweden, we talk to Harold Martinez, a Venezuelan masters student in Uppsala, eastern Sweden.Sweden looks to send skulls back to Polynesia (24 Dec 12)
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The Local: So, a bit of background – who are you and where are you from?My name is Harold Martinez, I come from beautiful and sunny Venezuela and I am a master’s student at Uppsala University. TL: Is Uppsala worth the 45 minute train ride from Stockholm? Yes. Uppsala has this feeling of coziness that big cities like Stockholm cannot give, but its not so small that you get bored. Also its such an important historic place for Sweden. Uppsala was the religious capital of Sweden, the university made Uppsala the centre of knowledge in Sweden, and in the old ages it was an important Viking burial site.TL: If you had a visitor for just one afternoon, where would you take them to show off the city?The best place to begin is the Uppsala Cathedral (Domkyrkan). Even if youre not religious it is so impressive; its impossible not to feel the importance of the city when you come from Stockholm by train and see it from far away through the window. I would take my visitor for a walk beside the Fyris river to see the amazing university, the Anatomic Theater in the Gustavanium Museum and a look to the university’s Botanical Garden. And of course, if my visitor is a student, Id have to show them the lively student scene.Click here for a walk through Uppsala, spotlighting Harolds recommendationsAnd there is a great walk along the river. You begin from the centre and head east, include a warm stop-off at the famous heated bench, feed the ducks in the pond close to the castle, and then walk around the City Park. TL: Where is your smultronstlle? (A place special to your heart)This is an easy one. Uppsala has a lot of cafs and all of them have their own charm. For me, the one I like the most is Storken. Its in the center of the city, and if you can manage to find a seat close to a window you can see the Swedes doing their shopping every Saturday afternoon. They have a great Greek soup for lunch, and if youre after a Swedish touch, they have lovely cakes, perfect for a very Swedish fika. Its normally too crowded to enjoy a book, but its an excellent place for a good chat with a friend. I even had a job interview there.TL: Tell me something about Uppsala that the rest of the world doesn’t know.Well, everyone knows about the university, but when I arrived I didnt know that a lot of important people grew up here or were educated here. Astronomer Anders Celsius, scientist Svante Arrhenius, diplomat Dag Hammarskjld, and of course the town hero Carl Linnaeus. Not every town in the world has a biologist as a hero. TL: And finally, where is the best place in town to take in all of Uppsala at once?The Uppsala Castle – which is incidentally my second smultronstlle. Its practically the only hill in a very flat city, and you can see everything. The church, the botanical gardens, the city, even the local Ikea. And those charming sunsets!Being in the castle after 10pm to enjoy a beautiful summer sunset is enough to make you fall in love with Sweden.Interested in sharing your insights about the best places to visit in your area? Send an email to news@thelocal.se and maybe you’ll find yourself featured in an upcoming My Sweden installment. Oliver GeeFollow Oliver on Twitter here

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Uppsala: ‘It will make you fall in love with Sweden’

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