Going back to Montpellier after Christmas was not as hard as I expected. It was the first time I've come back to Europe and not been pretty sad about it. I had a great time being home and miss everyone of course, but being back in France was actually nice. I have told many of you in other forms of communication, so excuse repeats, but I really loved my work and colleagues last semester (Sept-Jan), so being back felt in its own way like home. I realized too, as soon as I got back, that I was sad about my upcoming departure. But I had a great last month, busy on the project and paper but with raclette (an awesome French meal where you melt cheese and pour it over bread and meat), a beautiful hike (below), an evening where I watched and understood a documentary in French, and a going away party.
But then it was time to turn in the paper, defend it, and ... move to Sweden! And now, tah dah, I live in Sweden! I am still having trouble believing that. At this latitude in the western hemisphere you find things like Greenland and Alaska. I'm up there. Montpellier is already at the same latitude as Maine, but this is WAY up there.
It's not too cold though! It has only gotten down to around -10C/15F since I've been here. That's cold, yes, but since it's been above freezing most days, everything is now melting. And refreezing at night, so my ice-skating to work skills are improving rapidly since there's no biking on this stuff (oh yeah, in Sweden, like the Netherlands, everyone bikes everywhere). But I like it so far. The town feels small after Montpellier, but it's not actually, and it has cool things like a castle and a cathedral (and Wikipedia tells me it's the seat of the Church of Sweden).
|The cathedral takes great pictures from every angle I've seen so far!|
|The castle, not so much. Better picture to follow.|