Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure; And spring comes green again to trees and grasses Where petals have been shed like tears And lonely birds have sung their grief.
After breakfast I set out on a quick walk around the neighborhood whilst Jennifer prepared to face the day. I hadn't gone two blocks before the cold drizzle started, and by the time I made it to Vita Bergen park it had settled in to stay. The park is dominated by the early 20th century Sofia Kyrkan, the surrounds of which offer, on a clear day, impressive views to the south, including probably the best place to see Globen (the "sun" of the Swedish solar system)—today it was, alas, lost in the mists. Next to the church are a bunch of wooden shacks, formerly the poorest neighborhood in al of Söder and now, still untouched by such amenities as plumbing, no doubt used as in-town stugas by some of the more well-off who don't mind hauling water from the local well and making the freezing walk to the outhouse every day.
|Too many thumbs!|
|Söder Munkens Konditori|
It did let off for a bit after lunch, long enough for us to have one final wandering before departure. We walked through Nytorget, lined down one side with old wooden houses, and up the other with trendy eateries. There followed a quick stop in the local branch of Stockholm Stadsmission (a charity organization which runs a number of secondhand shops throughout the city); unfortunately, it was the Skånegatan branch, which really only deals in clothes and a few accessories. Then it was time to pack up and head to the train station.
So here I sit on the train back to Uppsala, hardly able to see the trees to either side through the snowfall. It was only ten minutes late into Stockholm, we've only had to stop once to wait for the tracks to get cleared, and we're just pulling out of Knivsta this very moment, so it seems possible that we'll get into Uppsala not terribly late. That would make us some of the luckier of SJs passengers this winter—right now Jennifer's reading the handy pamphlet provided by SJ, entitled "Varför går fortfarande inte tågen som de ska?" The answer? It's the worst winter in 100 years…
Uppsala was a mad house upon our arrival: near whiteout conditions, 15 cm of accumulation since morning, and 22,000 drunk bandy fans struggling to flee the city immediately following the conclusion of the national Bandyfinalen (in which Hammarby, a Stockholm team, defeated the team from Bollnäs—naturally, it was played in Uppsala). It took less time to get from Södermalm to the Uppsala train station than it took to get from there to our apartment. All's well now, with some hot chocolate and leftover pastry to restore our strength and some soup for nourishment.