The joys of summer in Norway

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

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Flag of Norway  , Akershus,
Monday, June 28, 2010

We are very lucky to be back at Hytta again. We have come out here just for a short overnight stay with Solveig and Finn and have had absolutely perfect weather. 

In the wee, wee hours of Friday, Felix’s school friend Jess arrived in Oslo. Felix was thinking to pick her up from the airport, forty kilometres away, but thankfully she could catch a bus to the central train station so Felix wasn’t tempted into an act of extreme kindness and riding an hour each way at one in the morning in the rain. Felix and Jess came in at about four thirty in the morning making an absolute racket, sitting on the foot of my bed and talking in full volume. I pretended to be asleep, but then when they moved into the kitchen and were still talking loudly (which Felix will deny and say was only a whisper), Jess had a charming introduction to me when I came and told them to quieten it down rather harshly - twice. I’m sure her first impressions of me were not good.

In the morning however, I was much more pleasant. We had a relaxed and very late breakfast. Having gone to bed sometime after five AM Felix and Jess could have slept all day. We caught the tram into the city and walked around a little. Felix and I went into the camping superstore XXL and found a very nice and - for Norway - not too outrageously priced mosquito net. We then went to Gronland where Jess led us to a very nice Pakistani grocery store packed to the roof with unusual goodies and we collected something for a picnic in Vigelands Park. 

As we were sitting enjoying our picnic the sky quite suddenly became very overcast and dark. Minutes later we were dashing for the trees which gave little shelter from the downpour. It wasn’t long before we were quite wet. I did find a nice badminton racquet in the bushes when I ran to see if they offered better protection though. The rain was short lived and Jess headed off to meet another friend and Felix and I set off to test the new WSP iPhone app for Vigelands Park.

At the front gate to the park we began and were lead through the park by a funny little man in the app who would ‘phone’ us to lead us through the treasure hunt. We were lead on a very nice path through the park, visiting corners of the park we would have otherwise not ventured to. For a sculpture park it was very good. I was happy to be in a exhibition of sculptures I genuinely liked. I’m bloody sick of piles of cubes, twisted poles and things like that horrid yellow cheese stick that hangs out over the CityLink in Melbourne being installed, stupid ugly heaps of ‘artistic’ rubbish. For once we were surrounded by some wonderful human figures, beautiful, interesting and strange. They all express a familiar human emotion, they are huge and grand, you can relate to the feelings and emotions they show. I really enjoyed the sculptures of Vigelands Park. It’s hard to take in so much though. After we had finished with the park we walked the rather long walk back to the apartment in the summer rain, it was warm enough that the rain was not a bother.

The next morning Jess came and met us in the apartment and we thought about going out to Hytta but the  much easier option was to walk to Sognsvann Lake and have a En Gang Grill there. Naturally as we were trying to leave Felix decided it would be a good idea to start putting music on his iPhone (Apple should be paying me for all these  plugs) even though I was already bringing all the music on my iPod. (See, another one). Jess and I decided to just leave him there and we walked a considerable way and were just about to leave the path to the lake on a detour to the shops and I thought ‘well, Felix will never find us now’ then just as I said it to Jess he came around the corner and caught up with us. Lucky, because on a busy Saturday afternoon at Sognsvann he would have been lucky to find us.

So we had a really nice afternoon at Sognsvann. After an initial struggle to get the grill going, the meat wasn’t to my taste exactly but still it was an enjoyable picnic. We had deep and meaningful discussions on when and how (and if) the world will end, humanity, extinction and why we can’t reduce the population to a more earth friendly number. We had a wonderful swim before going further round the lake to meet a group of Jess’s friends from when she had studied in Oslo on university exchange. We sat and joined their picnic for a while before they went off to watch a soccer game. We went for another magnificent, marvellous, sensational, super, superb swim with the setting sun for a backdrop before wandering back to the apartment (for once, oddly, the superfluous language comes from Floss, not Felix). 

As we came up to the apartment, Solveig was waving out the window to us. They had returned home from their bike riding trip. We made plans to go out to Hytta again the next morning which I was very happy about.

So yesterday we said goodbye to Jess and left for a few days by the lake. Once out at Hytta, after a lovely lunch in the warm sun on the balcony I lay on the grass in a sunny spot and read a book. How wonderful it is to catch some sun after so little for so long, I could feel myself cooking and it was wonderful, not the way the Australian sun makes you crispy but in a gentle slow cooked way. Felix joined me for some reading too. As the sun got lower and lower in the sky we moved further and further down the hill to follow it. We had a little sleep there too, it was so nice.

Solveig and Finn also had an afternoon snooze, so our afternoon was very quite and relaxed. We had a nice roast for dinner and Felix and I fantasised about Wooly Mammoths and Sabre-toothed Tigers coming back from extinction. After dinner we showed Solveig and Finn photos from our trip and shared some stories. We also watched an interesting TV show on wildlife in Greenland. A polar bear did this hilarious thing to get into the water. It went front first, keeping its head out of the water and and its back feet on land as long as it could, with its bum right up in the air it gently plopped into the water. Now when Felix and I want to swim but the water seems too cold we do the polar bear plop to get in. 

Today Felix and I slept in even later than usual after a late night talking in bed for a long time. We then read our books for a while, typically me in the sun reading from a real paperback and Felix reading electronically in bed. We spent the afternoon checking on the taddies (tadpoles), swimming, exploring the islands of the lake and and rowing. 

First we swam out to one of the islands. It was quite a distance, for me it was not such a hard swim but for Felix who can’t float and isn’t much of a swimmer it was an amazing effort. We had a little look on the biggest island then I swam to a smaller one, Felix thought it would be good to wade over to it and ended up sloshing through waist high slime, rotted old lilies and mud. We then lay on the hot rocks of the smaller island before I swam back to get the boat and rescue Felix off the desert island. We rowed across to where we had stopped for a swim and I cleaned our fish last visit but there were already some others who also thought it a wonderful place so all we could do was row past and look. Swimming had woken me up completely, I felt so energised and refreshed. The droopiness I’ve felt too much of was gone, it was so good! So as we were rowing back I did a scuba diver plop off the back of the boat and swam along next to Felix as he rowed back to the Hytta.

We had a yummy dinner of fish and steamed vegetables, again out in the sun on the balcony and are now about to head back into Oslo. Tomorrow we will probably go into the city to look for a map of Norway to help us on our Northbound mission. We don’t think ‘navi’ is quite suited to the task. We don’t know how well Nina will go either, she is a little sick with problems beyond Felix and the simple tools he has available. But it is not dire (we hope) so we will probably head off in a few days and just see how we go. So wish us luck...
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Julie on

What happy stories! Thanks for sharing!!! Lovely photos too ;o)

All the best for further travels!

...I better get on with packing up at Milton Court.

Love from Uje

Mandy Black on

It is sooooo beautiful. What a great place to explore and your guys are doing such a great job at it. Love the snaps, love the writing you are doing a great job with that too girl, keep it up. Jess sounds fun, alive to say the least. It is great to have people to catch up with and even better when you all go your own ways again. You are a twosome and really hook up well together. With "Danial Boone/Steve Irwin" at your side there, you will be fine. I have all the confidence in both your abilities. Keep going and keep us posted. You two rock. xxxx Stay safe

Katie C on

Wow Guys!!
I have such bad travel envy every time I check out your blog!! xox
Love you both... (only another 6 months til we hang out again!!!)

Maria on

This will be our last read for the night - Michi is just now out for the count, and I'm beginning to think about getting my backpack packed for work tomorrow... But gosh, it has been SOOO nice to be reading the blogs again! (It was so funny to ready Felix's comment on Skype this evening about not even one comment on the blog from us, because I'd actually put in my diary a little note for today saying that I wanted to catch up on your travels a bit today!) And all your stories are so funny! I'm tickled pink by how much Floss loves being at Hytta. Rescuing poor stranded Felix from his desert island is hilarious. And fantastic photos of you jumping off the jetty (if that's what it is) into the lake at Songsvann - only Floss, you should be in the nuddy too!! You know, reading about your travels really makes me miss you (even more than usual!) and look forward terribly to your return... not long now! And it's kind of nice being so far behind in blogland compared to real time - it's like I can still savour each tidbit of your adventures, knowing there are more in the making as I read! So, over and out from me until the next time I sit down for a stint of Felix and Floss adventures, told in the blunt, humourous, stunningly crafted prose of the Floss.

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