Tuesday, 19 October 2010
European Tour Diary: Day 4 - Day Off in Oslo, Norway
We wake up, sore headed but excited to start our first travel day in Europe. We’re on our way to the capital of Norway. Being half Norwegian but never having been there, I’m really excited but also completely unsure of what to expect. Will I feel some kind of homecoming sensation? Will I feel a kinship and a connection with this place I’ve never even been to before? I highly doubt it, but nevertheless part of me kind of hopes that will be the case.
We leave Stockholm and make our way across Sweden. The scenery on our journey is breathtaking, and though it’s not Norway it’s still Scandinavia and it feels good seeing this world I imagined all my life for real. Rolling hills and mountains, lakes and rivers, and fir tree forests lining the roads. We all want to get out so we stop the van in a remote area, climb up the bank on the side of the road and make our way through the wood to a beautiful still lake to skip stones, take pictures, and just generally absorb a bit of this amazing countryside. It really is amazing, but fucking cold! We lark around for a while by the lake and get back on with the journey, and arrive in Oslo quite late at night.
Tonight we are staying in what is basically a set of hostel rooms, which are basically a corridor with bunk beds and a sink. This is okay though, we’ve been in places like this plenty of times before, and the novelty of actually being able to stay in hotels/hostels and not on friends/acquaintances/strangers’ floors hasn’t worn off so it’s all good. We are pretty broke and Scandinavia is REALLY expensive, so we pop into the centre to see if we can eat some dinner for cheap. We walk past a cool looking venue and find out that one of my favourite new bands, a Norwegian punk/black metal/rock band called Kvelertak have just finished playing. Gutted! I keep missing these guys, missed them at Reading, at the Camden Underworld with Converge, and now all the way over here in Oslo. We find a junk food place and eat back at the room.
We are staying in the red light-ish area of Oslo and there are people around even though it’s pretty late. The area is a bit sketchy but kind of cool but we are all pretty exhausted so we split up into our two rooms and get into our beds. I later learn that Ben got stuck in the communal toilet for a while which amuses us no end. Our room is myself, John, Dave and Emre so I drift off while Emre reads and John and Dave skype each other for no reason at all. Plan to get up early and see some of the city.