Baking peppermint melting moments with Martina
Snuggling up to movies
Large family dinner at my aunt's parents house since my dad was here
Quaint Christmas markets including one in a barn with free glögg!!
Fika. fika. fika. fika.
Christmas present wrapping at Christina's sisters house with only the girls. A cozy night with Christmas music, candlelight dinner, and presents up to your ears to wrap. Swedes have a very Swedish way of wrapping presents!
|Afternoon sunset from my room|
|Everything covered in ice|
The following pictures are from the Lucia gasque at our nation (first of three julbords that week! mums!). Avery and I made three new friends that night. Three lively, bubbly Swedish girls who invited us back to their apartment between dinner and dancing. Too bad I left the following Wednesday. I think they might have become some very good friends!
|It doesn't get any better when it starts SNOWING!!!!|
The peaceful morning bliss after a snow <3
Our goodbye dinner with my CIEE study abroad group at the nicest restaurant in town, Lingon.
|Julbord på Lingon med CIEE group|
|Last photos of my room :(|
|Uppsala's stora torget|
|Lights strung across Uppsala streets downtown|
|Gotta love Swedish Christmas decorations :)|
|Last picture of my precious bike|
|Skating in Stockholm center, on my list of things to do, but didn't get the chance|
|Dad's old house in Katrineholm, Babi planted those trees <3|
|And....we saw a MOOSE|
|Pappa's stuga outside Katrineholm|
|Does "The Notebook" ring a bell with this picture?|
|Christmas klad table|
|David (Christina's nephew) is entertained by the fire|
|Miriam always puts out the best spreads!|
|Fika hos Miriam och Johnny|
|Fika hos Veronica och Lennart|
My aunt lives right on the water making for stunning sunsets every night
|View from the balcony|
|Christina's street :)|
|View of their building from the lawn|
I love the city. It's the perfect balance of size between a town and a big city. It's got the charm of a small town but enough business to make it feel a little bigger than a quiet little stad. It's scenery is beautiful and the cafes are never ending along with their bottomless cups of coffee. It's cozy and it's got both lively student life, but also community life. It's a university town with it's own identity as well. It's antique character shines through and never takes a bad picture. A walk through town is enjoyable on so many levels. Especially at Christmastime with the lights in all the windows, and strung across the streets. Even though the sun doesn't bear much natural light at this time of year, Christmas makes up for it. Everyone warned me about the darkness and how much of a toll it can take on your emotions. I found that I embraced the darkness and learned to love it. No longer did you need to feel uneasy about walking around "at night" because nighttime is at 3:30 in the afternoon. And these short winter days make for stunning sunsets. The sky is a deep royal blue with a hint of violet and magenta as the sun begins to creep down around 1:45pm, or likewise, as it begins to creep up around 8:00am. It feels a bit magical, the sun going down so early, the starkness of night at 3:30, it's perfect for this time of year to snuggle up inside with candles and Christmas lights.
Uppsala will always have a special place in my heart. The memories I have made there will last throughout my life and I know I will think back upon my time here in Sweden often. The semester of my dreams since I was a child has now been completed and many of my dreams have come true. I'm trying to continue to suck the marrow out of these last few days as my heart explodes with happiness, yet aches with the sadness that I must leave the place that has provided so many cherished memories, and became the place I called home for the last 5 months. Sweden has always been my other half, but the tension between life here and life at home in the states is much more of a battle now as I know life has so much to offer here and my family ties are much stronger. It would have been different had I studied in a completely foreign country without any personal ties or direct family ties. The tension of life there and life at home would exist, but it absolutely would not feel as a place I could equally call home. Sweden is so much of my life at home already, I know it will lure me back for longer in the years to come, and maybe, just maybe, it will steal my heart to keep. Until then, I know I will be back soon whether it's for a graduation, a wedding, or a graduate program and when I do come back, it will feel less like visiting the place where my father grew up and my relatives live, and more like visiting my second home.
Now it's Julafton, with that said, En riktigt GOD JUL alla!