Thursday, February 15, 2007

Last Bus to Karlskrona

On my last Friday in Blekinge, we had the Christmas party for all of BTH. This was a massive undertaking, since there were three campuses (Karlshamn, Ronneby and Karlskrona) from which staff and students were travelling. They even put on a bus for us. Thankfully, a few of the PhD students from my department were still around (many people take leave early so they can head home for Christmas) so I had someone to talk to on the bus and at the party.
As far as the location was concerned, I don't exactly remember the name. It was a hotel-type place in the centre of Karlskrona, and it started with M, something like Military. The building was at the eastern end of Stortorget (the Big Square). It was a very cold day, and we were glad when we could go inside. Although we had to wait around for ages before being seated, the sheer volume of people kept us warm.
Our tables were up one flight of stairs, and there were at least three big rooms for us. Seating was at very long tables, like the one shown in this photo.There was quite a variety of food, mainly fish (this was Sweden, after all). However I think they under-catered as I did not get full at all. I remember they had Julmust, which is a drink you have at Christmas time, with a slight resemblance to cola. I didn't see any glögg though. I first tried glögg on December 1st I think. It's a type of mulled wine, and a Swedish tradition. In my opinion, it was great, and the name is so appropriate, because it sounds like you have heaps and heaps of it.
Due to the lack of food, I think a lot of people finished earlier than some people were expecting. They therefore left the party early to have a look around Karlskrona. We were about to leave too, but I decided I was going to wait around, just in case they had any more food up their sleeves. My hunch was correct. Eventually dessert arrived. It was rice pudding and coffee. Here's a photo of it.

Despite all this eating, the bus for our return to Ronneby was still going to be some time away. So, TSj and I decided to have a look around the parts of Karlskrona in easy walking distance from Stortorget...after all, we didn't want to miss the bus and be stuck 25km from home! Here are a few photos I took whilst strolling.

This one is of Fredrikskyrka (Fredrik's Church) in Stortorget. Rådhuset is in the background.

Here is a tower thing. I'm not sure what it's for, because we didn't go up to it. Karlskrona is a fairly heavily fortified city, because it's a naval base and holds a strategic location, quite near to the southeasternmost point of Sweden.

This is some kind of churchy-clock type thing.
Finally, here is a fountain on one of the main streets. The subject is appropriately a fish.

The bus ride back to Ronneby was just before sunset. I remember talking with TSj about how much PhD students earn in Sweden. It's really quite a lot by Australian standards, since they have a teaching component as well.
Although Karlskrona is much smaller than Australian capitals, the difference between it and Ronneby was tangible. There are so many more choices for things. It would be a nice place to go if you wanted to move to the country, but not TOO country.