So by now everyone already heard about the long Swedish winter, but did you know that you really need quite some patience for spring as well? Ever since February we are being teased by spring. Some days the sun is shining in a brilliant blue sky promising the end of winter. Two days later it snows.
Right now we might actually made it to spring as the days are really long and warm already (HAHA warm… 10 degree, still counts). However, I know I shouldn’t get to confident about it yet. Since I was of that opinion several times already and was always proven wrong. Well I guess there is a reason why Swedish don’t call that tie of the year spring, but rather vårvinter (springwinter).
Anyways, back in February when the sun was peeking out for the first time after a really grey January, I finally made it to Gamla Uppsala. For everyone speaking German, the word “gamla” might sound slightly wrong, on Swedish, however, it simply means old. So Gamla Uppsala is simply the old Uppsala. And by old we are talking about pretty old. Like, pre- Viking old.
To be honest, Swedish, or generally Scandinavian, history isn’t something that is intensively taught in central European high schools, am I right? Nonetheless, I think it is super fascinating, as Scandinavia developed somewhat differently than many other regions. Gamla Uppsala, for instance, used to be an important cultural, religious and administrative place starting from the 4th century until the 13th century when modern Uppsala was founded just 5 km away.
Nowadays it takes an easy 15-20 min bikeride from the city centre until you reach Gamla Uppsala. Suddenly you are facing these ancient burial mounds and yes it is even allowed to climb up to the top. It is not only a really nice area for a fine afternoon stroll. No, it’s also pretty eerie when you think about the fact that you are standing here on top of a grave that is over 1000 years old. Just take a moment to think what these hills must have seen already? Is it just me or do you also get goose bumps when thinking that people were passing this place for so many centuries? Think of how different the world looked like when these burial mounds were errected.
It’s such a spooky but also wonderful thought.
To add to your experience at Gamla you should try to stay until sunset. It was incredibly beautiful how the sun painted the hills in all the colours of a sunset. Moments like these really make you think if there aren’t some hidden mysteries to disvocer (Ok, maybe I read to monay adventure novels as I child. But Enid Blyton would have definately thought the same).
P.S: Gamla Uppsala is also known to be one of the best spots in town for Northern Light hunting. So if the forecast is high enough you might want to head out there 😉
P.P.S: Two of my pictures of Gamla Uppsala were featured by @destination_uppsala on instagram. I was soo proud!