Saturday May 7
A beautiful sunny spring day greeted our team for our excursion to Dannemora, an iron ore mine just out side of Uppsala. We enjoyed a short drive out to the country side where our guide Arvid Olsson first showed us the mineral collection in the museum. The collection was donated by a man who had been collecting minerals for most of his life. The proviso for the collection being exhibited was that the owner could come back once a year to visit his ‘rocks.’ It just so happened that it was the day we were visiting, therefore we were able to view the collection with the very man responsible for it there to answer our questions personally. There were many beautiful mineral formations, some of which were from our beloved land down under!
We then moved on to tour Dannemora. We were guided through the mine, which has been closed for many years and has been re-opened only over the last two years. We learnt about the long history whilst wandering through the various locations. We saw the mining pits, which had ice formations at the bottom; even in the middle of summer ice remains. We were shown examples and illustrations of how the mine operated hundreds of years ago, all the while learning the detailed history.
We then went into Osterby bruk for lunch at a cafe where we wandered through the gardens of an old manor. Past stables and herb gardens, beautiful waterways and on to a forge where Arvid continued our history lesson, accompanied by an exhibition of the tools and materials used to process the iron ore from the mine. We also saw the buildings where people lived all those years ago, with Arvid providing stories to accompany the displays.
We then drove back to Uppsala where we prepared for dinner at Sara and Johan’s house in Sunnesta. Sara, a member of the Uppsala Rotary Club, prepared a fantastic meal which we shared with other members of the Club. The dessert was most certainly the most sickly, delicious dessert I have ever tasted, a chocolate pudding with a light cream sauce. In a nut shell it was amazing!
Sunday May 8
With a mix of sadness and excitement we spent our last morning with our first host families, preparing for our travel to Enkoping where we would stay with our second host family. Jessika Vilhemsson and Peter St Cyr transported us to Enkoping where we enjoyed a lunch at the home of Jan-Erik and Ann-Turishin Nordberg. We were joined by the District Governor of 2350, Steve Gunnarsson. After lunch we were transported to our host families where we enjoyed a little time to settle in and a quick dip in the pool (yes it was actually warm enough to warrant a swim in the pool, heated of course), before a dinner party hosted by Solveig and Hans Zander. Feeling much more like an Aussie get together eating home made hotdogs and hamburgers, with a Swedish twist of course! We were also delighted to step back in time a little and re-live our childhood with a very Swedishly styled cubby house….a perfect way to settle into our new home for the following week!