Friday, May 2, 2008

Bubbelgalopp 2008

Joe The second of the University's major public events of the day was the Bubbelgalopp. At 3 PM, all the students gather around the front entrance of the Carolina Rediviva. Then the University Rektor comes out and waves his hat at them, and they all go running down Drottninggatan waving their student caps in the air, racing back to their Nations1. All of this is witnessed by the gathered crowd of tens of thousands of people packed all around the hill leading down past the castle and into town.

This event wasn't really our highest priority for the day, but still we figured we should go and take a look, so having rested up from our morning at the raft race we hopped another bus downtown and headed towards Slottsbacken. We didn't really feel like fighting through the crowd, so we made a bee-line for the place where Drottninggatan crosses the river, figuring we'd get a view of several students hustling back to the several Nations which could be seen from there. We had a good view of the crowd stretching all the way up the hill, and at three the swing band sitting in front of Norrlands Nation suddenly struck up a tune, which seemed to bode well. Then nothing happened for about ten minutes, after which the students in their little white student caps came sort of casually strolling down the hill, along with all the people who had been watching, and everyone sort of milled about while the students headed back to their Nations to dress up for the evening's round of private parties. Anti-climax, much?

So we hoisted a toast from the flask of whisky we'd brought along, and middle-aged Swedish man in a suit good-naturedly chuckled at Jennifer as she spluttered after taking a swig (the last drops of cask strength Laphroig that we brought from the states). Then we watched the crowd for a bit before catching a bus back to Flogsta to rest up for the evening.

1The Nations, in case we haven't explained before, are these sort of mandatory student social clubs at Uppsala University. They're named after regions in Sweden, and traditionally students belonged to the nation named after their homeland (like Norrland or Uppland).

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