Uppsala is a beautiful university town about an hour north of Stockholm. The whole reason that the Scandinavian Summer trip occurred is that I had a poster accepted to an international medical conference. Since I was traveling, I thought I’d add some vacation time. I didn’t think SMS would come because of his lack of vacation time but when he heard Sweden, he was in!
Since Uppsala is relatively close to Stockholm, I thought it would be a somewhat non-descript Stockholm suburb. I was very wrong! It is a super cute, historic university town. I arrived on Sunday afternoon and checked into my AirBnB. Then I went to a case report presentation at the hospital. As I walked to the hospital after missing the bus due to a detour, I realized that there was a triathlon in full swing (and the reason for the bus diversion).
The hospital was amazingly beautiful, the case reports mostly lackluster. I was worried that the conference would be a dud but never fear, the main sessions were (mostly) excellent.
That evening, I felt sorry for myself and, therefore, treated myself to a nice dinner at Akanten. I had a delicious trout dish and a sorbet dessert. I had a beautiful riverside seat on a perfect, almost-midSummer evening.
The next day marked the start of the official program. On my way to the conference, I found my breakfast spot for the next three days. Forsa Hembageri featured the most delicious kardemummabullar with excellent coffee to accompany it. I had one every day and, ok, two on the last day I was there. The cardamon taste was amazing and the doughy texture with slightly toasted outside bun was excellent! Yum, yum, yum!
The conference opened with a lot of Swedish pride! A physician-pianist played four jazz pieces from a famous Swedish jazz composer. We heard a lot about Professor Barany and then listened to a few invited lecturers.
That evening, I went to a welcome reception in the botanical garden. It was on the smaller side, but very beautiful. I also made a note to check out the other garden in Uppsala, which was more directly linked to Carl Linnaeus, the famous botanist who is the father of plant taxonomy. I spoke with a few people and had a very nice time.
The next day, lectures were in full swing. It was also time for our poster session. Our poster seemed to be well-received. Displaying it definitely means we need to get our rears in gear regarding publishing our pilot study data and finishing up the larger trial!
I walked through Dr. Linnaeus’ garden that afternoon. It was small but interesting to see a little bit of Uppsala history. The museum was closed but that did save me the admission fee!
That evening, there was a reception in the castle where Queen Christina abdicated in 1654. The entertainment program featured a Grand-Prix winning Swedish acappella group followed by…an ABBA cover band. People were initially sitting but, led by our corner with Brazilians (mostly responsible), Dutch, and American attendees, everyone was dancing by the end! It was so much fun and so, so ridiculous. I’m sure there are many patients who would be shocked at the dance moves of their ear surgeons! It wasn’t pretty but it was a lot of fun.
The next day, the conference wound down and I headed back to Stockholm for a final day and a half of vacation in Sweden.
The conference was excellent. There’s a different level of energy at an international conference and I plan on going again. My goal is to have my larger study complete and published by the next meeting in Madrid, 2020!