Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Grimsö: Welcome to the middle of nowhere

As Johan drove me to Grimsö, where I'll be living and working for the next 8 weeks, he joked "Welcome to the middle of nowhere". Ha. So I guess it is actually kind of isolated. The Grimsö research area covers 14000 hectares. The closest town, Riddarhyttan, is about 10km away, but Lindesberg is visited more commonly and is 30km away. It's a 'city' because it has two police cars and 8 or 9 pizzerias (but possibly no other restaurants. Apparently Turkish immigrants have a tendency for opening pizzerias in Sweden.) But I guess Redcliffe's a 'city' too, isn't it?

There are about 30 people working at Grimsö at any one time. Full-time permanent researchers, field technicians, a handful of admin and caretakers, and then students, staying for anything from a couple of months to a full PhD candidature. Consequently there's enough cheap accommodation at Grimsö for at least two dozen people. There's a sharehouse known as 'the villa' along a snowy track beyond the research building. It's probably actually a sealed road, but everything's made of snow at the moment.

Then there's Grimsö Manor, adjacent to the research building. It has nine single rooms, a rec area with a TV and internet, and downstairs there's the mess. At 9:00, 11:30 and 2:30, all Grimsö inhabitants meet in the mess for fika (coffee), lunch and more fika. The mess is furnished traditionally in a style that is typical of this part of Sweden. (So says Johan, anyway: all I know is it's the only room I've seen without anything labelled Ikea.)

A few metres further down the road there are a handful of cabins, and I stay in one of them. On the outside it has the same red-shed-with-white-trimmings look of every other home of any age in the area, but inside it's completely modern. Including (thank the Lord) state-of-the-art heating, which can be left on unattended at all hours without any risk of setting the curtains on fire.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Watch what you say about Redcliffe, Cindy.

11:15 pm  
Blogger Cindy said...

That sounds quite threatening coming from "anonymous". Perhaps the "Redcliffe smiles better" tourism board will have this website shut down by the end of the week? Just let me know when Redcliffe gets its 8th pizzeria, then it's "Redcliffe, sophisticated city" all the way.

10:26 am  

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