An American in the kitchen

Up early and packed before skyping with Mirinda. We didn’t talk for long as she had a work call to make. I decided to go and have a final fika at the only café in Tierp. Sadly, Mirinda then texted me, asking if I wanted to Skype again. I may have wanted to but circumstances dictated otherwise.

My train didn’t leave till 11:25 and I could wait till 11:00 to check out so figured I’d just sit at the station and read until the train arrived.

Which is what I did. It rained a very little bit but, otherwise the weather was good. Not too hot and definitely not cold.

There were quite a few people on the station which surprised me. Possibly the most people I’d seen gathered in one place in Tierp at one time. They caught the train before mine.

The trip to Uppsala C took 25 minutes and was very pleasant. Rather than struggle my luggage into a rack and then find my seat, it was easier to just sit in the vestibule. The lady train guard scanned my ticket and wasn’t bothered where I was sitting, so that was good.

Uppsala is a university town. I found the university very quickly. It’s on the opposite side of the railway to where I’m staying. I was early for check in so I put my bags in a locker and went exploring. For my own reasons, it made sense to go in the opposite direction.

It was at the university that I found out about Olaus Rudbeck (1630-1702). Not that I went into the university and someone told me. No, there’s a bust of him outside and I looked him up.

Olaus was a teacher, a scientist and a writer at the university. He also established the first botanical garden in Sweden at Uppsala, called Rudbeck’s Garden. The name, however, was changed to that of a student of Rudbeck’s son, a man by the name of Carl Linnaeus.

Linnaeus, famous for his taxonomy of everything, system, went to Uppsala university in 1728 after beginning his studies in Lund. At Uppsala, Linnaeus studied under Olof Celsius whose nephew, Anders Celsius, created the first Celsius scale of temperature measurement.

Though, Anders had 0 as the boiling point and 100 as freezing. This was reversed by Jean-Pierre Christin in 1743. It wasn’t called the Celsius scale until 1948.

As well as the university, there’s a river with a lovely park (not Rudbeck’s). It’s called the City Garden or, more accurately, Stadsträdgården. It was created by the Uppsala Garden Society in the mid 1880’s and it grew all sorts from flowers to vegetables, from berries to other fruit. The produce was then sold, making this haven of harvest, well worth the effort of setting aside a bit of land. Such a pity we don’t do this anymore.

Of course, now the produce isn’t produced, instead it’s just a lovely spot to go and spend a few hours under the shade of the trees, listening to the splash of the fountains and looking lovingly at the boats on the river.

But I couldn’t hang around all day, I had to find lunch.

Eventually, I found Egon restaurant. Honestly, it was the only place I found that was open. I do wonder why there’s no Swedish restaurants in Sweden. Maybe someone could tell me where they are. I do know one on Djurgården in Stockholm, but that’s about it. Egon, you see, specialises in pasta and pizza. Sure, you can have a burger but, pasta and pizza seems to be the preferred repast. I had carbonara.

I have written before about my love of carbonara. So simple yet so complex, it is a meal fit for kings, queens and all the little people combined. And me. Of course.

And I can fully recommend the carbonara at Egon Restaurant. Not only do you get the prerequisite pasta and bacon, but you also get a small bowl of parmigiana and a raw egg to add yourself. This is food of the most civilised kind.

It was seriously delicious. As was the 750ml glass of Ericsberg beer I had to wash it down.

The oddest thing though. Well, apart from the little old lady who kept coming in and changing seats. The bar at Egon Restaurant, fronts the kitchen servery and, every now and then I’d hear, as well as the regular delightful chime of Swedish, an American woman talking about the orders. She was working in the kitchen. I thought it was a clear indication of how well the Swedes speak English that they could employ someone who clearly didn’t speak Swedish.

Anyway, after eating enough (all of it) I headed back to the station to retrieve my luggage and make the long haul up to my accommodation.

My ‘flat’ is in a big block, alongside lots of other big blocks in an area of Uppsala dominated by big blocks of flats. Don’t get me wrong, they are mostly all limited to four floors but there’s lots of them in a variety of colours. This comes in very handy when you’re walking back from the shops trying to find the pistachio one.

Having hauled my worldy goods up the four flights of stairs, I met my host (he lives next door) who let me in and showed me everything. That took about 30 seconds. The place is not very big. In fact, it was, originally, a part of his flat but he’d had it remodelled to be a sort of studio apartment.

The size isn’t important, though it would be if Mirinda were with me. Also, cooking would be very difficult, even for Rachel Koo. Still, it’s just me and I don’t intend to cook anything. I’m delighted with my room. Best of all, it has a freezer for a bottle of aquavit, bought at the local Systembolaget that is just down the road.

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1 Response to An American in the kitchen

  1. Mirinda says:

    Near the system – your perfect location

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