Wednesday, May 4, 2016

My First Trip to Beautiful Uppsala

Wednesday, 4 May, 2016:

I was up at a decent hour on a rare 100% American football free day for me.

My plan called for a 20 minute train ride North from Upplands Väsby to the vibrant university city of Uppsala.

Train travel in Sweden is GREAT!

Interesting sculpture at
the Uppsala Central Train Station

 Crazy Blonde Woman Tattoo Parlor

There are more than a few blonde women in Sweden but Spanish speaking ones are a bit unusual I believe.

The first order of business was to hop on Uppsala's #2 bus to Gamla (Old) Uppsala, the original site of the town. This site is located 4km North of Uppsala.

During the 6th-century it was a religious center that allegedly included human sacrifices to the Norse gods. There are huge burial mounds at Gamla Uppsala that needed to be studied as well.


First, I opted for a quick tour of the Gamla Uppsala Museum in order to orientate myself to this archeological site.

 How Gamla Uppsala once looked


The Museum started with a rather interesting display of the major Norse gods and their basic characteristics. 

Sif and Frey

Sif was the golden haired wife of Thor and was considered to be the most beautiful woman in Scandinavia.

Frey, believe it or not, was the Norse god of fertility. Frey was worshipped for good harvests, peace and pleasure. His attributes included a "large penis and the folding ship Skidbladnir."

No sign of the Skidbladnir anywhere in the Museum.


Thor was married to Sif and was the god of thunder. His magical hammer Mjölnir, when thrown, would come back like a boomerang.

 Odin and his horse Sleipnir

Odin was a womanizer who had children by many women. He was the god of death and war as well as the master of knowledge, magic and art. Dead warriors came to his hall in Valhalla.

Sleipnir was Odin's mount and the world's fastest horse thanks to his eight legs.

St. Erik
Sweden's Saint-King

Known for his good deeds and sanctity, he would eventually be beheaded by a Dane named Magnus.

No good deeds ever go totally unpunished.

The Museum had lots of artifacts that were found in the nearby ancient burial mounds.



An old, old sword

 Nice helmet

An early Schutt model, I believe.

 Part of a shield

 More Viking gold . . .

 . . . and more . . .

. . . and more . . .

. . . and still more!

 In memory of three sons
killed by the Vlachs

The Vlachs were an ethnic group that lived in present day Romania.

In memory of a son killed
in present day Estonia

It was a good little Museum that got me ready to check out the rest of the site.

 Near the Gamla Uppsala Museum

 The Burial Mounds

The Gamla Uppsala Kyrka

This old church provided me with a surprise ending to my trip to Gamla Uppsala that would upset my plans for the rest of the day in a positive manner.

Old Church Wall

 Simple but interesting
church architecture

A church outbuilding
of some type

 Small but neat inside


Old murals were a plus

I think that it is a baptismal font

The remains of the
church's original crucifix

I like church organ music

An oak chest

It is made from a single oak log and is reputed to be at least as old as this church.

Then it happened, near the oak chest I saw this . . .

A Pilgrim's Pass?

It turns out that the Eriksleden Pilgrimage Path starts right here at the Gamla Uppsala Church and winds its way about 6km through the rustic countryside before ending at the Cathedral (Domkyrka) in Uppsala.

This Pilgrimage Path is named for St. Erik who we met earlier. After he was beheaded by the Danes, the story says that after St. Erik's head was chopped off, it rolled down a hill and where it stopped rolling a spring came up.

I love religious stories like this.

Follow the signs to
stay on the Eriksleden

A Pilgrimage it was!

But first . . .


It is known for its horns of mead and for . . .

. . . a cool room heater

I passed on the mead but said
YES to the Fika!

 The walk begins

 The burial mounds are BIG!

 The Swedish countryside is
gorgeous this time of year

 Birch trees all around

The first half of the Pilgrimage was in the woods, the second half was in . . .

. . . an urban landscape

Cityscapes can be nice too

American football goal posts!

The Fyris River runs through Uppsala

 A beautiful Spring day
to meditate or . . .

. . . just grab some rays . . .

. . . or pass out from sun stroke

Almost done, the
Cathedral of Uppsala is in sight

 Crowns a HUGE in Sweden

Lazy day by the Fyris River

Two more sun stroke victims


But I only got two stamps?

There was a third church that I was supposed to visit at the half way point but I missed it. I felt better when the lady who stamped my Pilgrim's Passport at the Cathedral said she had never even heard of the Church in Tunaberg.

On a map, I finally found the missing church that is located a fair distance from the path but there was no sign steering me to it, strange.

It was a very nice walk, I highly recommend it!

Meanwhile inside the Cathedral

That is St. Erik in the middle.

Another great pulpit . . .

. . . and another organ

Violent themes in churches
are always a nice touch

Watch your back King!

More battle scenes in the Cathedral

A royal burial site in the Cathedral

A King and his Queen

Uh, make that a King and his

I love Heraldry

What wicked animals

A lion with a crossbow?

The Cathedral's Main Altar

 Somebody's Burial Casket

King Johannes III
resting in peace

 Great Swords in the
Cathedral's Treasury

 Close up of the sword's hilt

I believe that this sword belonged to King Gustav Vasa.

 Royal's need Crowns

It was a really good, warm day in Uppsala but it was time to head home.

Another interesting sculpture
near Uppsala Central Station

Tomorrow is Ascension Thursday which is a National Holiday in Sweden. Apparently many Swedes will also take Friday off to make it a four day weekend.

As for YOUR Wäsby Warriors, we will use the weekend to the fullest with four days of work for our U15, U13 and U11 teams.

Go Warriors GO!!!


David said...

As Mel Brooks told us in "History of the World Part 1," it's good to be the king.

George said...