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So, seeing as I am in Europe, and so much closer to things than back at home, I decided to just pop over to Russia for Easter! I went with a couple of girls from my last biochem course on an organised trip to Helsinki, St. Petersburg and Moscow. The trip was absolutely amazing!!!!

Red Square in Moscow was mind-blowing, hemmed in on each side by magnificent architecture and history. We strolled inside the Kremlin walls, crept through Lenin’s silent tomb, bargained in the Sunday market place and dined on Old Arbat St...St Basil’s Cathedral was a favourite, as were the stories of Ivan the Terrible who poked out the eyes of the cathedral’s architect, among many other atrocities. Of course, St. Petersburg was delightful, as everyone says. The State Hermitage Museum had too much to see, cathedrals sprang up in every street and overwhelmed the senses with their opulence, and Catherine’s Palace showed what can be done with amber. One particularly enjoyable sight was the Christ the Saviour on Spilled Blood Cathedral. This masterpiece was entirely covered on the inside with mosaics depicting biblical stories. Truly beautiful. Unfortunately, there was a little too much bus time, but it was well worth it, and the pain of going through Russian passport control – euggh!
I’ve been back at uni for a week now, and my Organic Synthesis class is starting our major project for the course, which is very exciting. I’m not sure what ‘my molecules’ purpose is yet, but its synthesis requires some very exciting chemistry (yes-I understand I am a complete nerd).

Everyone is gearing up for Valborg in a couple of weeks. This celebration of May Day is huge across Sweden, but especially in Uppsala and Lund the two big student towns. I’m not sure what’s meant to happen exactly but have heard the likes of picnic-breakfasts on 30th April down by the river, amateur boat race down the river, champagne-gallops (like pub crawls, but with champagne and earlier in the day I think), bonfire, many, many parties and more. Should be a fun weekend, right? Students are coming from many other universities all over Sweden to enjoy the parties in Uppsala.

Spring has really arrived now. Over Easter every shop sold potted daffodils in bloom, yellow and purple crocuses are popping out of the ground everywhere, and birds are singing. Very few patches of snow remain to be found anywhere, and for the last couple of days we have actually sat outside for lunch at uni (and been warm!!). Another quite amazing thing is how dramatically the day length changes here. When I arrived in January is was dark by 4pm. Now it is light at 8pm, and we are only in mid-April (summer really will be amazing).

The Iceland volcanic eruption is a major discussion point at the moment, with everyone commenting on the economic impacts flight cancellations are having across Europe (and the world); and also the disruption to travel plans. In fact, one of my friends from Uppsala is currently stranded Rome – looks like she will be missing a little more class than originally planned! Oh well, I am not in Rome (not yet anyway)...and I should be doing an assignment .....

Peace out brussel sprout =D

Comments

That's a smart way of thikning about it.

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