Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We've arrived!

JoeWell, we made it. Our flight turned out to be only mildly annoying (who would be insane enough to take a trans-Atlantic flight with four children under 10?), and we landed in Sweden at 7:14 CET, about 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Unfortunately we couldn't get to our gate because of the snow! Eventually they got us a couple of buses and a staircase, and we deplaned onto the tarmac in the middle of a small blizzard. This would have gone pretty smoothly if the driver of the second bus had not decided that he had to force as many people as he could onto the first bus by keeping his doors firmly shut not only in our faces, but also in the (somewhat desperate by now, I like to think) faces of the aforementioned family of many small children.

Everything else went smoothly, though. We made it through passport control, got all our luggage(!), and by 9:30 we were on a train to Uppsala, barreling through the Swedish countryside as the snow relented and the sun came out. By 10 we were at the train station, and it had turned into a bright, clear day. It took a lot of running back and forth to deal with our somewhat unruly mound of luggage, but we managed to hail a cab and get ourselves to the Akademihotellet by 10:30.
Of course, check in is supposed to be at 1, so our room wasn't ready, but after seeing the mountain of luggage (Did I mention the luggage already? I think it might become a bit of a recurring theme over the next couple of weeks...) they quickly arranged a room, and let us hang out in the rec room in the basement until it was ready. I was just trying to figure out whether the easiest way to make use of the sauna shower next door was to go find a towel somewhere or just dry off with paper towels, when the lady from the front desk came down to tell us our room was ready in record time.

The room is every bit as adorable as you would expect of a Scandinavian hotel, compact without being crowded. The wainscoting makes it feel traditional, and the natural wood and brushed steel fixtures bring it up to date. The hotel itself is remarkably well located, just a block from the University Library, and an easy walk to the Cathedral in one direction and Jennifer's new lab in the other (well, a little less easy a walk, that last one, but not too bad). Jennifer's still fighting off her cold, so she went straight to bed, while I took advantage of the shower to rejoin the ranks of humanity, and then nipped out for a walk and some groceries. 100 SEK got us lunch, and probably tonight's dinner, if the little blue box I purchased is actually instant chicken soup mix as I suspect it to be, and I can find the camping pan we packed somewhere.

So, now it's 3 PM, and the light is beginning to fade a bit. Still, it's a lot more sunlight than we feared, so I think it will be just fine (I'm sure that will come back to haunt me by the middle of next winter). Obviously the wireless internet works, so we should be in touch for the next few days at least. Tomorrow we'll have to contact the local authorities and become registered aliens, and Jennifer will meet with her new boss. OK, I'm going to go and try not to fall asleep now.


  1. Fabulous blog! We're very excited for you :)

    Glad you've arrived safely - gives me hope for when we visit. Keep us updated regularly please!

    Stay safe - and get better Jen!
    Darcy & Dan

  2. So glad to hear that you arrived (with the luggage) all in one piece without any awful delays or - mishaps!!

    And how on earth did you get this blog going so quickly. That's one thing I was hoping to do before you left - oh well - maybe I'll figure it out on my own (and maybe Hell will frezze over).

    Mom is up napping, so I haven't shown it to her yet. She will be please to know that all is well.

    Hope you get caught up on the sleep. Just take things as easy as you can for the first couple of days. But you know that.

    Love, Janet

  3. I've always suspected that you two were aliens, I'm glad someone is finally keeping a registry.

  4. YAY! I look forward to more bloggery.

  5. You can tell my computer skills have been destroyed by too much PC use! Please wipe out my password! I love the pictures.
    Everyone is excited about your blog. And we still have Skpe to fiture out as well!

  6. We're enjoying you blog. It makes us nostalgic for those firt days in Norway 50+ years ago, When you get back we'll show you pix of us in our wonderful matriculation hats. By the way, we were some of those insane people who took four kids under ten to Europe. When we went in 1970 the kids were 4, 6, 9 & 10.
    Love, Judy & Jan

  7. Nice comment, Judy. But you should profread.


  8. To correct Joe a little, it was more like 4 kids under 5. The plane had a little bassinet attached to the wall for the babies, which was nice for safety and all that, but the kids were wired and didn't sleep at all.

    For more on matriculation Uppsala-style, see the entry from today or tomorrow (Jan 25-26).

    Only those with emeritus status can really profread.