Like royalty in Oslo

Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
Trip End Feb 02, 2011

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Flag of Norway  , Oslo,
Monday, June 21, 2010

We have arrived safely in Oslo. Sailing up into the Oslo Fjord was really beautiful, seeing all the little Hyttes by the waters edge got us very inspired to visit Solveig and Finn’s little Hytte just out of Oslo. The sun had come out now and for some of the last hour and a half of the trip we sat in the sun on the back of the boat and had a little sleep. 

 When we disembarked we discovered Norway has become a part of the Schengen group of countries. We drove straight off the boat and into Oslo, we saw the huge gates, many policemen and sniffer dogs but no on asked us any questions, wanted to see our passports or anything. I get really worried when this happens and Felix does too, we kept looking back expecting to be chased for driving straight through customs without stopping. We navigated through the bridges and tunnels of the city and made it to Solveig and Finn’s apartment in ten minutes. Finn was out when we arrived and Solveig welcomed us with a huge hug. She showed us our room and their beautiful, beautiful apartment, I felt like royalty coming into such a new and fancy place.

 Felix and I had a long bath after we had settled in a little. We fell asleep in the bath actually and woke up a hour or so later, wrinkled thoroughly and the bath water cold. Finn had arrived home and Solveig had cooked a delicious fish dinner with a huge fresh salad with more things yummy in it than Felix can name. It was still very light outside. Felix asked the time and when told it was after eleven we both gasped, it felt like maybe nine at the latest! How had the last few hours disappeared so fast! We were in bed not much later and  fell into a very deep and needed sleep.

 The next morning we got out of bed much sooner then I was ready too and went for a very short trip out to Hytte with Solveig and Finn for a little introduction so when we go to stay out there later in the week we know how everything works. We spent a few hours there and I couldn’t believe how beautiful it is. The little hut is about twenty metres from the edge of the lake which is very long, in some places not much more then two hundred meters wide, in other places it is really more of a lake shape and even has some islands. The water is chilly but not too cold to go for a refreshing swim. After a late lunch on the balcony looking over the water, we drove back to Oslo where Solveig and Finn prepared for a bike riding trip they are going on tomorrow and Felix and I had a restful afternoon, still very tired from the last few days.

 Most of today has been very unexciting and uneventful. We slept in until about eleven and it was really good to feel I had caught up on the hours of missed sleep. Solveig and Finn have left on their bike trip, leaving us like royalty in their apartment. Solveig brought us a massive bag of food and told us to make ourselves completely at home. It’s so strange to be left completely alone and in charge of such a posh lovely home.  

 Felix has found something to do to his iPhone to apparently make it better (it seemed to be running perfectly fine with no problems at all before) but all it seems to be doing now is screwing up and taking more and more time and energy to fix. So among some more blogging, Felix pouring over the internet trying to fix the iPhone, some cooking and watching TV (which is mostly in English here), the day has not been too thrilling.

 This afternoon though, well more like night but it’s hard to say night when it is still full sunlight, we went for a walk to Sognsvann Lake, about to two kilometres from the apartment. It was a really nice walk through small bits of forest, open grassy areas, a massive sport ground where people were enjoying cricket, soccer, tennis, bike riding, athletics, volley was so busy. We came to the lake and sat and watched the many, many people out running and swimming. 

 We were particularly fascinated by three guys looking intently over the edge of the pontoon and poking around in the water with a fishing rod and very long branches, diving and using a net. We have no idea if they were looking for something or what they were trying to get, they never seemed to get it and gave up after about an hour of trying.  After they left Felix and I went to see if we could see if we could find any clues to what they were doing but all we could see was a muddy lake bottom littered with a few cans, bottles and rocks and as it got deeper, we saw nothing through the dark water. 

 We walked to the end of the long pontoon, about twenty meters out onto the lake and after quite a lot on convincing each other we decided to go for a swim in our underwear. The water was a little chilly but so good. I can’t describe how good it was to dive in and swim around, climb out jump in again, swim around and jump in again. Quite a way out in the lake there was a little white buoy which I decided to try to swim to, I was more then half way to it when I started to get paranoid about monsters living in the deep, dark water in the middle of the lake so I quickly turned around and came back

 While I was out swimming Felix had started talking to a very nice guy, studying in Oslo but originally from a few hundred kilometres south of Tromso. He seemed to be quite knowledgeable about the outdoors and was able to answer lots of our questions about heading North. He told us we could see the midnight sun until August, despite many other people saying otherwise. I really don’t know who to believe now, if I believe some theories, I should give up all hope of seeing the midnight sun, yet others say we have plenty of time. 

 As we walked back to the apartment, the sun was just setting and everything was a goldish colour. There were still soccer games in full swing, a group of students playing some game with blocks of wood and plenty of people out running. Felix asked me to guess the the time, I guessed about nine, thinking I was making a very generous over-estimate. It was ten thirty! It’s so strange, still having full daylight at ten thirty at night is so confusing. Imagine going for a swim in Melbourne at ten PM, you’d be a rebel. My whole life I’ve known it to be dark at night, the darkest it’s gotten here was at one AM and it wasn’t really even that dark. Suddenly I’ve realised what a cue the sun going down is in my life, and now with this subconscious cue being so far out of place, it really throws my sense of time and doing things. It is so, so nice having so much light in a day though.
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Matthew on

Glad to here that you are getting some sleep.

Felix, did you have some trouble with the iOS 4 update? (folders are great aren't they).

Hugs, Matt.

Julie on

Sea/Lake-monster! He, he! Better watch out for 'Nøkken'!

Julie on

Another lovely walk from Solveig and Finn's is to Bonntjern - a magical little lake in the forest.

Julie on

Sorry, the magical little lake is called: Båntjern. You up the hill from Finn and Solveigs to the end of Songsvannsveien and then pretty much continue strait up into the forest.

M, E & M on

Well, you can't have edge-of-seat suspense all the time!! Nice to hear about a relaxing, typically Norwegian quality of life phase of your trip, after the drama of getting there. Had us all hanging on every word. Beautifully written, as always, and stunning photos. On to the next!!

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