May 23rd, 2011
It was lovely and sunny this Saturday so it seemed like a good day to go for an adventure in the wild and barren lands of south Oxfordshire.
I walked from Henley on a rather roundabout route to Wallingford. Here’s the ruined church that’s appeared on this blog before. This time swamped by blooming flowers.
In the next picture you can see the structural defect that caused the church to be abandoned.
Much later on I came across another sea of flowers.
May 7th, 2011
Sweden! That’s where I was last weekend. I had been in Uppsala the week before on a business trip so I stayed for a few days to do some sightseeing. Alas this did mean I missed the royal wedding, but as compensation I did get to blast things with a neutron beam.
On Saturday, after I was done working, I caught the train to Stockholm which took about 40 minutes. It was surprisingly cheap for Scandinavia, I think this might be a consequence of their deregulated rail system: there are multiple operators covering similar routes with incompatible tickets and so lots of competition. The downside is that actually buying a ticket is an extremely complicated and confusing process.
While I was wandering around Stockholm I came to the Royal Palace where there was some sort of ceremony going on. Luckily I decided to hang around and was only a few rows from the front when the king of Sweden appeared! I do believe this is the first royalty I’ve ever seen, and more than makes up for missing our own royal nuptials. Dazed by this encounter I wandered aimlessly around Stockholm old town and eventually caught a ferry to the island with all the museums on it. Olso had this too, it is truly excellent city planning.
On the museum island I went to the Vasa museum who’s main attraction is a 17th century warship dredged up from the bottom of the Baltic. It’s a lot like the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth but the ship is in much better condition: apparently this is because the Baltic is a lot less salty than other seas. After that I went to Skansen which is something of a Swedish institution. It’s one of those outdoor museums where they bring old buildings from all over the country, reassemble them, and populate them with actors to show you what like was like in The Past. But it’s more than that: it had a zoo, gardens, and much more than I had time to see in the hour or two I was there.
Uppsala, where I was staying, is quite a nice, small university town but there’s not a whole lot to see once you’ve done the castle and the cathedral. Admittedly both are quite impressive though. Here are some photos I took on my travels: