The joys of summer in Norway
Trip Start Feb 02, 2010
97Trip End Feb 02, 2011
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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
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
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
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
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
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...