Weekend in Umea

My time in Sweden has been mostly influenced by a global pandemic. So one of my biggest passions, traveling has never been a priority here. This winter, a friend and I had a chance to travel to the North of Sweden, Norrlands. Our plans revolved around having good conditions to watch the Northern lights, because we had a forecasted Kp 4, high enough to watch the Aurora Borealis from Umea. We also had to make sure that the overcast was low so that we can see the night sky.

View from the hotel

We traveled to Umea by taking the night train from Stockholm and the ride was cozy. The city was coated with snow and the sunrise made the winter look almost ideal. The city was an eccentric mix of old-style and new wave architecture, the buildings near the city center almost had the feeling of walking through a 90s movie. I had the opportunity to stay in one of the tallest buildings in the city and on the highest floor, so the view was stupendous!

The first thing I visited was the Umeå City Church, a building from the 18th century which was rebuilt twice due to fires and battles.

Umeå City Church

I also had the chance to visit a one-of-a-kind art museum “Bildmuseet” which had some fascinating exhibitions. The one that caught my eye was the “ARCHITECTURES OF TRANSITION” exhibition, it showcased the various eccentric architecture projects from the Nordic regions that challenge contemporary designs in favor of climate actions, aesthetics, and practicality. The museum usually has 5 + exhibitions and it’s free entry for all, so it’s great!

Another thing I did was going to the Norrlands Opera for the Christmas symphony, which is an annual event that takes on the Saturday before Christmas eve. It was amazing, I had a great time and I loved the music.

The next day I took a look into the history of the Norrlands region at the Västerbotten museum, it showcased technologies, fashion, and arts at various periods in the Swedish North. Later that day we got to pet some reindeers from Lapland in the city century, they were the most adorable and patient beings, (also they look more like cows than deers). We ended the day with a hike into the forests and ended the day with a great Julbord at a restaurant outside the city. You can read more about it in my Swedish Julbord article.

Due to sudden changes in the Kp index that night, we were not able to see the Aurora borealis on the trip. But even though I wasn’t able to see the Northern lights, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Umea, and I would recommend it to anyone who owns a pair of warm shoes 🙂

Alessandra - Biomedicine (MSc)

Alessandra - Biomedicine (MSc)

Hi everybody! My name is Alessandra, but I usually go by my nickname, Kyomi. My role in the digital ambassador team is being the new Biomedicine (MSc) blogger. I was born and raised in Peru, but I moved to the United States for my undergraduate studies. After graduation, I worked for 2 years in a neuroscience lab. Now, I have moved to Sweden to be a student at Karolinska Institutet!


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