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Blog > The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden!

The Little Mail Carriers have been a bit quieter lately, but not for lack of adventures. Earlier this year, they hopped on their airmail envelope and landed in exciting Uppsala, for a winter break. There was much to discover and see, as they found out!

Greetings from Sweden! Uppsala is the 4th biggest city in the country, with a little more than 200,000 inhabitants. We arrived in late February, and stayed with Karin (aka karinoswald) and her family for a while, in an apartment on the fifth floor with a great view from the balcony!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

We were greeted with the first-months-of-the-year speciality, a “semla”. The classical semla consists of a wheat bun with a core made of special marzipan and whipped cream. This is a blueberry semla with blueberry cream, which conservatives don’t consider as a real semla. And don’t ever try to give one to a Swede after April… it’s just unheard of!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Close to our temporary home, there is a wonderful nature area where we went for a walk…

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

… and caught a ride with some Viking friends! 8-year old postcrosser Tore (aka ToreRoland) helped us on board.

In this area, there is an old cottage with foundations from the late 1600s. It’s called a soldier’s cottage (or Torp), because the house was a part of the payment to a soldier who lived there in times of peace, and the family took care of the place in times of war.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Sweden hasn’t been in war for over 200 years, but we still have a military system and the last soldier who lived in this cottage moved out just about 60 years ago. It’s now owned by a community that takes care of the house, keeping it and the land around it in shape.

To help raise money to take care of the Torp, there’s a coffee sale eight times a year. This day, they were making waffles, and of course we wanted to help… and eat a few! :)

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Our host Karin works as a nurse assistant at the Children’s Hospital, which is a part of the big Akademiska Sjukhuset (the University teaching hospital), where over 8,000 people work! We were curious to see how things work in Swedish hospitals, so we made a field trip to check it out.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Everyone who works in a caregiving position wears the same clothes — the doctors, the nurses, the nurse assistants, the dietitians, the physiotherapists, and so on. To distinguish them, they have different colours of the badge, stating their occupation. The nurses have a blue sign that says “sjuksköterska”, which means nurse. And to make things a little more fun for the children, they use a lot of colours on the accessories!

We visited some children who were staying at the hospital, and they were very pleased to see us… I guess that’s the advantage of being a toy! :) There are machines everywhere, and they can look a bit scary, but Karin explained that they’re there to help everyone cough or breathe, so they’re essential to the children’s wellbeing.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

We even got to try some emergency manoeuvres! I fear we’re not quite strong enough for the task though…

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Lots of postcrossers bring their postcards to the workplace, and Karin does too — she hangs them in her changing room and locker!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

The hospital even has its own internal mail central, which we visited and even helped a little with the mail sorting. As a reward, we got to drive their cool mail bikes!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, SwedenThe Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

On March 19th, one of the highlights of our visit to Sweden occurred: we were invited to a Postcard Collector Fair, and to a Swedish Postcrossing meetup!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

The fair organisers had prepared a table for us, and our host placed a looooot of stamps and postcards on it, to make the visitors curious.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, SwedenSome people came to talk to us and liked the idea, but most of them only liked really old postcards that they wanted to keep, not send… Still, it was great fun to visit the fair and buy some cards! The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

After the fair, we went to a nearby café and wrote about 150 postcards to people all over the world, both direct swaps and official Postcrossing cards. One of the guests is number 2 in Sweden, and she had printed out 61 addresses… And at the café, some people got very curious and asked us what we were doing. They thought it was a wonderful idea, so maybe we managed to get some more Swedish postcrossers!

Posting the cards 36

A few days later, we got the chance to tour the city, and see the sights. Our first stop? The Hågadal school, where a group of students exchanges postcards with the help of their teachers! They’re class 3a (aka hagadala) — look at all the postcards they’ve received so far!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Great job, guys!

After hanging out with the kids, we continued our city tour. Not far from the hospital, the 16th century castle lies with a great view over the town.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

From there, we went to see the university library Carolina Rediviva, host of the very famous Silver Bible, also known as Codex Argenteus. Close to it is the University Hall, from the late 1800, which has some rune stones in its garden. They tell us about brave Vikings who did NOT have horns on their helmets, we’ve been told. That is just a modern gimmick.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Construction of the Uppsala Cathedral started in 1272 and took several centuries to complete. The towers are over 118m tall, and it’s the biggest church in the Nordic countries. Some famous kings and queens are buried here, and there’s a museum inside one of the towers.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

All these historical buildings are within walking distance from each other, but we still needed a little rest on a bridge over the Fyris river, and then we wanted to play in the mini version of the cathedral! There is a botanical garden in Uppsala as well, since the famous botanist Carl Linnaeus lived and worked here, but in March (at the end of winter), it’s more like fifty shades of brown… so we didn’t go there.

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

We met our host’s local mailman though and got to ride on his car — isn’t it the coolest?! It was the perfect send-off to our stay in Uppsala!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Thank you Karin, we’ve had a great time discovering your city!

The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala, Sweden

Where do you think we will go next?

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25 comments so far

akalle, Sweden
Great job Karin. And it was nice to meet The Little Mail Carriers in Uppsala.
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teamug, Germany
Oh wow, how great.
And what a coincidence. Just last week our favourite neighbours moved to Upsala. I really have to send them this link. Maybe NOW they become postcrossers, too???
Great to hear from our little friends again.
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islander61, Bahamas
Welcome back Little Mail Carriers; so nice to see you again! :) I think my favourite photo is with the little boy wearing red mittens while he plays with the ship. I've never seen icy ponds so that was nice to see.
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inki1963, Germany
Thank you so much for sharing all that with us!!!! Love to read about your trips!
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karinoswald, Sweden
It's actually a narrow river that the Viking ship is sailing on, but you can't tell in this picture.
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Lata, United Kingdom
I love the idea of the people in the café approaching the postcrossers to ask them what they were doing... Thanks for sharing this visit to Uppsala. Now it is in my wish-list!
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mounten, Italy
Thanks for sharing this informativ story. I like the cottage most of all!!!! A place to visit .
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ned44440, Ireland
Great story and wonderful to see the adventures continuing . . . . .
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hobbymail, United States of America
I love these adventures! That pastry had me hooked.
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Csaw712, United States of America
So much fun! Thanks for all the photos and details!
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pats_crazy, United States of America
gr8 photos
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suegathman, United States of America
What a wonderful travelogue! :) These posts are always such a joy to read!
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ydnic, United States of America
Wonderful!! Thank you.
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Cellina, Germany
Last week I thought: Where are the Little Mail Carriers? Now in Uppsala. What a great journey!
Thank you!
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Nancymagielsen, Netherlands
To read this story maked me smile. You have a talent :writing . Thank you for this story
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rdespradel, Dominican Republic
You can come to the Dominican Republic! I'm sure you'll have a great time here! =)
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cryst22, Singapore
Wow interesting trip! :D
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pablake, India
Very interesting trip! Lovely to see you again! Hope you can come to India sometime!:)
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foxfires, United Kingdom
Fantastic! Super comments and photography.
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honeybee, Austria
So nice to see you here, Karin. I really liked to read about your adventure with the Little Mail Carriers.
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freshwaterwi, Italy
Come to Florence, Italy! You could visit museums of great art, ancient churches and palaces, markets, and enjoy some great food and in a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Is there a list of places the Little Mail Carriers have visited?
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Jojivy, Spain
This is really interesting! Thank you!!
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Eryophorum, Russia
Thank you! And I so wanted to see pictures of places associated with Carl Linnaeus. It is a pity that now autumn!
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Braam, Australia
I have just discovered these intrepid travellers, & I was interested in their adventures & the accompanying pictures - I feel as though I went on the holiday trip with them! Thank you for a wonderful experience. I will look out for more excursions/travelogues in the future! Cheerio! Bev Braam, Sydney
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