When my son and I were in Sweden this May we drove north from Stockholm to the province known as Dalarna, For those who don’t live there, it is a popular vacation destination. Johnny and I were on our way to see Falun and Rättvik, two towns in Dalarna that housed Allied interned airmen during World War II.
On the way we stopped for a couple hours to tour the university town of Uppsala so that we could retrace the steps my Dad (Johnny’s grandfather) had taken in 1944.
We met Par Henningsson who nearly fifteen years ago wrote a series of articles about the American internees. These were included in five newsletters created in 1999-2000 by Karen Cline whose father was also an internee. They were appropriately named “Sweden After the Flak” and can be downloaded from the Facebook Group “American Internees in WWII Sweden.”
Par brought along his son Daniel, currently studying for his doctorate at Uppsala. It didn’t take me long to figure out why! Daniel is an expert on the history of his famous University, the oldest in Scandinavia and one of the most prestigious in Europe. He admitted that yes, he does give tours to visitors. Now I wish I had recorded everything he told us that day.
Our goal was to see the same spots that my Dad had visited when he went to Uppsala in 1944. We saw where the train would be stopped, just a short walk from where we were walking. Most beautiful was the 13th century Uppsala Cathedral pictured above with its soaring nave and tombs of Swedish kings and notables.
The day we were there, May 13th, was an exciting one on campus. It was Skandis Bike Weekend, a cycling event that dates back to 1909. When we arrived at the Uppsala Castle we joined the crowd to watch some amazing biking feats.
To find the cannon was worth the trip! Thanks again to Par and Daniel for such a grand tour of your historic city.