Winter has finally ended in Uppsala, and with the melting of the snow Spring's bounty is revealed: in the gardens, crocuses in bloom; on the streets and sidewalks, a 3 cm deep layer of gravel; and in what used to be an empty lot in Bolanderna, Uppsala's new mega-IKEA. This weekend was the store's invigning, a fact which I learned from my Swedish instructor, who is always eager to let us know about things we should do to be more Swedish. Mind you, this isn't the first time IKEA has come up in class: on the very first day the teacher wrote the name Ingvar Kamprad on the board as an example of a famous Swede (he's the founder of the company, hence the I and K in the name), and we learned numbers by discussing how many IKEA's there were in various countries ("Det finns arton IKEA i sverige.").
Anyway, going to the new IKEA was expected of us as Uppsalabo, so we went. It is massive (tre gånger större than the old one, as the ads point out—in the picture above, the original Uppsala IKEA is the small building behind the flags, just left of the big yellow section), and wandering around it proved so exhausting that we were forced to stop halfway and fortify at the cafeteria. One pleasant surprise was that the new cafeteria is high enough up that it has a view of the castle and cathedral in the distance; the other surprise, perhaps not so pleasant, was the live "soft jazz" performance going on there.