Day One

My first day is in the books. I arrived in Oslo at around 5:30 AM local time, and my good friends Marte and Anders were at the airport to pick me up as soon as I walked through the gate. My flight went from Dulles (DC) to Reykjavik and then on to Oslo. On the flight to Reykjavik, we passed over Greenland, and I was awake at just the right time to capture a few pictures. Here is one of them:

The landing in Reykjavik was a bit surreal. The first thing that struck me is how dark the landscape is, obviously from centuries of volcanic sediment. However, the strangest was the midnight sun. The plane landed at around midnight local time and it looked more to me like dusk.

Here is a picture of the plane I took to Oslo minutes before boarding in Reykjavik (it’s around 1:00 AM in this photo):

Finally, it was onward to Oslo. My own excitement only let me sleep for about 45 minutes of the 2 1/2 hour flight. When I landed, I was quick to find my baggage and run towards the exit to meet my friends. As expected, they were there waiting, and I couldn’t be more thankful for their warm welcome. We drove back to their home to put away my baggage and I gave them some American gifts. For Marte, a Detroit Lions Matthew Stafford jersey and four boxes of her favorite Cheez-Its. For Anders, a bottle of Virginia-made gin and a “Make America Great Again” cap. They both seemed to enjoy the gifts.

Once I was settled, we walked along a river in Oslo towards the city center and had a sandwich and a cup of coffee once we were downtown. It was there that we decided to take a ferry to a few islands in the Oslo Fjord. This gave us a great view of the city, and since the weather was so nice, we decided to hop of the ferry at one of the larger islands (Hovedøya) and hike a bit. It was difficult to remember that we were outside of the largest city in Norway when on this island, since the only sound were that of birds and waves crashing against the shore. There are ruins of an ancient monastery on Hovedøya that we walked through just before reaching a shoreline where we decided to roll up our jeans and test the water. It was fairly warm and we stayed there a while to enjoy the view before moving onward to complete our hike. On the way back, we stopped at a small cafe on the island and I enjoyed a Coke while Marte and Anders had some ice cream. From there, we took the ferry back into town.

At this point, we had worked up quite an appetite and thought it was best to stop at the mathallen (meal hall) to enjoy some lunch. I had a delicious fish soup with an ice cold pilsner. It really hit the spot.

After lunch, it was time to take a quick nap and shower up. After our nap, we spent time chatting and listening to music at home while indulging in Cheez-Its and beer before deciding to head out once again for a good dinner.

Dinner consisted of tapas that we shared amongst the three of us and a couple of beers each. It was delicious! My favorite were the broiled potatoes with garlic aioli and tomato sauce. Anders insisted that this was his treat.

After dinner, we left to indulge in one of Anders’ favorite gin bars. We each had a drink and decided that it was time to head home for bed.

I’m having a difficult time adjusting to the midnight sun. We had left the bar at around 10:30 PM, but the sky was still light. It’s difficult to describe the effect this has on your senses.

Until next time!

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