Cute Drug Sniffing Dog

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Norway  ,
Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Last night we caught the overnight bus from Stockholm to Oslo. The evening started out ok as getting a bite to eat we thought we were very clever by getting rid of all our Swedish Kronor coins. That was until the PowerAid drink we'd had for dinner decided it wanted out. Rick was the first to make his way to the bus station's toilet only to find you needed a coin to get past the turnstile entrance. Taking this bad news back to Meg she decided to go and check it out for herself as there was no way she'd make it to Oslo without some relief. Fifteen minutes later she returned with a coy smile on her face. Quizzing her Rick found out that she tried to read the sign near the toilet and the cleaner had asked if he could help. She said she needed to use the toilet but had no coins. He said "No problem" and let her in free of charge. Upon leaving he also mentioned they were about to close. Close the public toilets that is, even though there were still numerous buses to depart. Perplexed Rick went for a walk and luckily found a construction site near the station. Waiting for a few people to walk passed he had a very quick whiz behind a huge skip bin that unfortunately was lit up and in full view of the taxi rank. Oh well at least he was sorted for the bus trip.

We don't understand why there are no free toilets in these European countries. Even in McDonalds you need a coin to get in. It's like no free sauce with your meat pie! What are they thinking?

Getting the bus to Oslo was an interesting experience to say the least. We like to call it Adventures with Spot, Dick and Jane.

We got asked to mind the bags of a lady, let's call her Jane, while she went to the toilet (yes the one that was already closed!). As Jane disappeared, the airlock to get onto the bus suddenly opened and as it was a free-for-all for seats Rick went in with the packs to secure some good ones. As the bus was pretty empty he managed to get a couple each, opposite one another so hopefully we could get some sleep. Meg was still stuck back in the terminal waiting for Jane. Jane eventually showed up and Megs made a dash for the bus. During this time a strange young couple dressed in full fluorescent safety clothing (must have been tried hard ravers) got on with a weird looking guy we'll call Dick. Dick was trying to get to Copenhagen and was quizzing the driver whether going to Oslo would be a good route. Now Oslo is west, Copenhagen is south. Dick figured it was a great idea to go west when you really needed to go south and took a seat. Then at the last minute he jumped up, raced off the bus and removed his bag from the storage area underneath the bus. Dick was a little bit strange.

The female raver then walked up to Jane, who was sitting directly behind Rick, and asked her if she "Was going to Oslo?" Jane replied "Yes" (the whole bus was going to Oslo). The raver then asked if Dick could sit next to Jane as he didn't know his way around and was a little bewildered traveling alone. With the bus about to pull away from the terminal Dick dashed on, walked up the aisle and shoved his bag into the shelf about Rick's head. He didn't sit down next to Jane as planned, but headed straight for the back section of the bus. We though this was all a little bit weird. About ten minutes into the trip the female raver returned to Jane's seat and said her friend was "very shy, thought that she was beautiful and would just like to talk. Was that ok? Just talk nothing else" Jane replied "Sorry I don't understand" (her English wasn't the best and we found out later she was Italian). This was also a bit weird, but as nothing eventuated we settled in to try and get some sleep.

During the night the ravers mysteriously got off the bus at one of the stops, leaving their friend Dick behind. At 4am we arrived at the Norwegian-Swedish border. We're pretty much getting used to land border crossings, something we obviously don't get much of in Australia. Suddenly the lights inside the bus went on and three customs officials, one with a drug sniffer dog, in fluorescent jackets boarded the bus. As the dog, lets call him Spot, and his handler made their way up the aisle of the bus, Spot went crazy in the aisle right in between the both of us. At this stage Megs was thinking "What a cute, happy little dog" and Rick was thinking "WTF!". The handler moved on, spending a long time around the hot water urn, only a few rows back from us, opening it up, thoroughly checking it with a torch. Completing the check of the rest of the bus, as Spot came back it again went crazy right next to us wagging it's tail madly at an empty rubbish bag in the vacant seats in front of Meg and jumping on Jane, now sitting in front of Rick. She'd moved seats during the night for some reason. Spot was one happy little dog. The custom's officials then asked us who owned the bag that was stored in the overhead shelf above Rick. We quickly said it was Dick's and he was somewhere down the back of the bus. Dick then walked up the aisle said he owned the bag and pulled it down. He was then asked to leave the bus and was escorted off by the three customs officials and a happy Spot. They disappeared into a building on the side of the road. At this stage the bus driver was shaking his head in disbelief.

About fifteen minutes later they all returned, Dick staying outside for a cigarette and the officials re-boarding the bus. A happy Spot was in tow. Walking down the aisle Spot again went crazy just near us. The handler asked Spot to check Megs - no reaction, check Rick - no reaction, check Jane - tail in overload mode! The officials then asked Jane to leave the bus with her bags and escorted her down the road to a different building. Dick was now onto his second cigarette. Forty minutes later Jane returned, sat down with an angry look on her face and we continued our trip. She spent the next half an hour nervously playing with her bangles, while Dick had returned to his seat somewhere down the back. For the rest of the trip Rick was having nightmares involving being violated by custom's officials doing internal body searches, while a happy Spot looked on, while Megs was dreaming about what kind of dogs she liked.

Arriving in Oslo we got off the bus, and saw Dick and Jane go their separate ways. With some time to kill before our hostel opened we grabbed some breakfast and a drink. As we were walking out we did bump into a surprised Dick and Jane, exchanging money. There was something definitely going on there.

Once we dumped our bags at the hostel we decided to go for a walk in the morning sun. We checked out the Oslo City Hall and the Presidential Palace. We stumbled across the Nobel Peace Centre and figured why not go and have a look? It had presentations on the winners of the Nobel Peace prize and some really cool multimedia presentations. A worthwhile and interesting visit we were pleased we did. With the afternoon to spare we jumped on the local train to Holmenkollen to see the Olympic ski jump and the ski museum. About two stations before Holmenkollen a heap of people, kids and adults alike, got on the train with their sleds. They'd been doing the two kilometer sled run starting at the end of the train line (we only found out about this the next day - what a bummer as it would have been cool to do). A stark difference between these countries and Australia is that people get on the train with cross country skis and toboggans. They get off the train and ski off! Something we'll never see back home. At the ski jump we wandered through the museum showing exploits of Antarctic and Artic explorers and the evolution of skis and skiing in general. We got the lift to the top of the ski jump. It's amazing these guys actually jump of this thing; it's so steep. At the bottom we jumped in the jump simulation to experience what it would be like, followed by a down hill slalom race in the simulator. This topped off a great day.
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