Welcome to Norway: Summer in the Arctic

July – August 2015

We did not enter Norway as gracefully as we expected to. Every decision we made acknowledged how expensive Norway is and how little money we had. Moving out from Madrid we tried to pack everything – including about 40kg of food (because muesli, rice, beans, etc in Norway MUST be out of our budget, right?). Of course we were about 50kg over our luggage limit and so began the stress, what to throw away? The heaviest things, the cheapest heaviest food items, our favourite muesli and a couple of pairs of shoes. Finally we were able to check in our luggage, so off we ran to security – leaving a giant bag lying in the corner of the airport.

Next – our arrival in Oslo. Hotels/hostels are too expensive for us, and our flight gets in late so lets sleep at the bus terminal the first night? What a fantastic idea. Then after a couple of hours sleep lets haul our luggage (3 suitcases each) to see if we can get early check in, find out we can’t, so store our luggage and go for a walk. That first night in Oslo led to us flying to our next destination (the Arctic) both sick with a fever.

Despite this, our first two days in Oslo were beautiful. I walked around all of Grünerløkka giving my CV to restaurants and fell in love with the city. I kept on thinking – this is where I want to live.

Next: Northern Norway. First 69°N, above the Arctic Circle, in an archipelago called Vesterålen. Here we discovered tiny fishing villages, pristine beaches, incredible mountains and the midnight sun. After this, we caught a fjord cruise south through the Lofoten Islands to Mo i Rana where we stayed with a young Norwegian family whilst searching for apartments in Oslo. We ate sandwiches with mayonnaise and fresh prawns (which I’m told is quite Norwegian) and learnt how to make fish cakes made with fish we caught ourselves (I caught 5 massive fish – 2 were so big they were eating a smaller fish at the time). We began studying the language intensively (well Jesus did, I studied for a week until it wasn’t fun anymore) and took in the serenity of the landscape. Eventually we found an apartment and it was time to see what awaited us back down in Oslo.

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