I was browsing some photos and found that a year ago it was quite fine weather, and clearly spring was on its way. This year March has felt like November - rain, snow, grey. But now, let's go back one year to enjoy the sunshine!
There was still too much sand on the roads to go out cycling, but a fine day required spending time outdoors. I decided it would be a great opportunity to venture out, and see a bit more than just the same streets of Stockholm. Uppsala is an easy place to visit, as the train service is very frequent and quite affordable. I think I paid around €15 for return trip on weekend. No pre-booking is needed and you can buy tickets from vending machines at both stations. I bought singles as there wasn't a difference in price, and you would have to choose which train to take back already when buying. There was no day return option unfortunately.
Uppsala is mostly known as an old ruling place, because it has some Viking remains and of course the university is famous too. I touched on all these points during my quick trip, it was bit shallow but nevertheless fun and welcomed change. The trip started on a positive note, as when I went to the tourism office to get the city map, I realised Peter-no-tail is from Uppsala. He is a tailless cartoon cat that has adventures around town in books and animations, a character that was very familiar to kids when I was growing up. I don't remember much, apart from liking the stories.
It is arguable what in Uppsala is the most famous side, but it is undeniable that the castle has the most prominent physical presence. The castle has changed a lot over the centuries, which might make it even more fascinating. It is no longer in the old, traditional castle layout, but it has some venue spaces, offices, county governor residence, and museums. The castle is important in the Swedish history, as it used to be the seat of the King and has been the venue for many pivotal events like Queen Kristina's abdication, announcement of the war that became Thirty Year's War, and Sture Murders. It also burned badly in 1702, after which the castle was turned to county government's seat. Nowadays the castle can be visited, it has an art museum that has free entry, and a nice cafe. Adjacent to the castle there is also a garden, which is probably quite nice when it get warmer and greener.