In between Oslo and Stockholm in Karlskoga

Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
Trip End Jul 16, 2009

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Flag of Sweden  , Swedish Lakeland,
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Anthony and Marguerite Miles leave for Holland and US tomorrow. Today is their last day to get ready for the trip and I appreciate them hosting me while I'm in Oslo. They live in a most scenic location. It’s similar to Estes Park, Colorado and it’s just outside Oslo.  The homes are terraced on the side of a mountain overlooking a vast valley.  Most of the houses are red.  There is a yellow  one in their midst.  Miles works at Oslo University teaching English and Music.  Margaretha works as a software specialist.  They have been most hospitable.

 Anthony took me to the bus station for my journey  today to Karlskoga where I would be with the Spenser’s,  Engholm’s and John Wennström.  The Swedish bus I wanted was full, but I did get a Norwegian one half an hour later.   Anthony and I then got some coffee and had a healthy discussion about unity and how various groups of similar beliefs can work together. 

Off to Sweden!  The countryside is so enjoyable to view and really reminds me so much of typical Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

Our bus was pulled over at the Norway – Sweden border.  I thought these borders were wide open.  Well, there was a border check with custom officials.  Three custom officials got on our bus, one a woman.  Actually, there were four….one was a sniffing dog.  The dog looked awful and smelled worse as he sniffed around all of our belongings.

The officials seemed to be particularly thorough for some reason.  Then the dog stopped at one package and the owner was identified.  A young Asian-looking lady was pulled off the bus and about three or four of her friends.  I heard the hold below being opened.  We continued to wait for about 20 more minutes.  Finally, they all came on the bus and we drove on.  The day was hot! 

At  6:00 PM I arrived in Karlskoga (meaning "Karl’s Forest") in Swedish and Paul Spenser picked me up.  We drove out to his in-laws Engholm’s “Summer House” on the outskirts of town.  The house is on a lake just off the main Oslo/Stockholm highway called the E-18.

It was great to see Kira, their children Isak, Aron and Viktoria. And Marianan and Thorsten Engholm, Kira’s parents.  John Wennström is coming tomorrow. 

Paul took me out on the lake and we took his boat around the island in front of them and to other landmarks on this serene lake.

Then we had dinner outside.  At a particular point the word “Fika” comes up. It means that coffee and cookies come out.  This is a ritual done a few times through the day and can be done as part of a meal.  It couldn’t have been more comfortable and beautiful tonight with good conversation and food.  The night goes on and on as it refuses to get dark at this time of year.  The Engholm’s summer house is rustic, in great shape with quarters for guests.  It’s right on a beautiful lake with a view of close-by island with another summer house on it.
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