Monday, August 6, 2007

Sverige, ja!

My European vacation...

July 26, 2007 - Philadelphia – local time 17:12

After pulling an all nighter to finish some work, it wasn’t surprising that I slept for most of the flight. Since arriving at SFO at 05:40 I’ve ate two peaches, two nectarines, one banana, and one cheese roll from Arizmendes. Apparently my dad packed a few fruit trees for my mom to take on the flight. Between my relatives and I, somehow we managed to consume it all before arriving in Stockholm. It’s a good thing I forgot to bring my snacks.

July 27, 2007 - Welcome to Sweden, land of Volvos, IKEA, and smorgasborgs!

Eventually we made our way to downtown Uppsala, where we stayed at the "luxurious" Hotel Svava (aka Comfort Inn), which was not much bigger than my bedroom at home.

I left mom napping at the hotel while I went out for a jog along the “river”, which was the size of a creek. The route started in downtown and took you away from the city and out to open fields within about 15 minutes. At some point I felt like I was in the boonies, expecting to see corn fields (or potato fields since it's Sweden??) around the bend. I soon found out found out I was jogging along a path named after Carl Linnaeus (also known as Carl von Linné, who is often called the Father of Taxonomy for creating a system for naming, ranking, and classifying organisms) so it was fitting that this route lead to a nature preserve where you can watch birds frolicking near a marsh from a birding hut. Back in the city I jogged up to Uppsala Castle and here is where the rain started. It was a light sprinkle that turned into a downpour forcing me to seek shelter under a restaurant awning. The heavy rain barely lasted longer than Nelly Furtado’s “Promiscuous” song.

Dinner was at the Chinese Palace; little did I know this was the first of NINE buffet meals I would consume over the course of my vacation. The menu was a mix of Chinese and Japanese food – I hope Swedes know the difference between Chinese and Japanese food! The food was ok and the watermelon was really good! Lack of sleep finally caught up to me and I was caught falling asleep/nodding off during dinner.

After dinner I again left mom at the hotel and took a stroll around downtown. It was past 9 PM, but was still light out (Sweden isn't nicknamed Land of the Midnight Sun for nothing). I walked up these stairs to get a shot of the sunset when some guy walked by and said, “Hey, hey! If you want to take a beautiful picture, take a picture of me!” Cheese ball!

Though it was a Friday night, not many people were out and about. August is popular vacation time and often businesses close while owners are on vacation. There were some clubs and bars open, but the clientèle barely looked old enough to drink. They were dressed in tight jeans that taper down (I later saw this was the typical European fashion trend). I didn’t see many hot blond-hair, blue-eyed men (not even not hot ones!).

What's the fascination with Texas?

I'm not lovin' it!

I wonder what they sell here? (Later found out it translates to "Final Sale")

More to come...

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