The double espresso was bitter and the wifi was slow. We finally made it to Oslo...now what? I can't remember passwords I never created so I must be patient. I wait for my email to buzz so I can continue to the next step. Our energy is low, it's like the plane has used us for fuel. The drinks in Boston probably didn't help, but I really give it to the baby screaming behind us. I wanted to tell him it was okay, and that I too, was disappointed the wing blocked most of the view from the window.
We finally got a screen shot of where we needed to go, but we decided to take a loop around the city first. We bundled up, buckled in our backpacks, and picked a direction. The trees were first to grab our attention. Their silhouettes stood strong and proud, welcoming us to the city. Then the architecture, the detail on the doors and buildings is so intricate. Every place has large windows, I envy the natural light. The city is quiet, there are very few cars, as there are so many forms of public transportation
We walked all the way to what we later find out is the King's castle to take a rest on the steps. It was impossible not to unzip your jacket and be surprised by the amount of green grass. You can see the port in the distance and the air was clean and warm. We laughed, expecting grey skies and mounds of snow, it was a nice day to meet spring. We along with so many other people looked to the sky and embraced the sun's nourishment. The beautiful day was what we needed and the time outside was rejuvenating.
We toured a fortress that overlooked the water and watched ferries make their way to the fjords. Lunch was overdue and then we journeyed to our hostel. It was nice to get settled in, get some groceries, and some pear cider. The no alcohol sign hiding at the hostel desk was a little disappointing, but two mugs never felt more important
A hike in the morning couldn't come soon enough, but first I must battle sleep. I am laying here, surprised it's only midnight, I swear I went to sleep hours ago. Worry finds me in these moments and I try not to let it. My heart feels a little guilty when I think of all the time I am taking off. I understand that empowerment has created a connection, but also a weakness. I must remind myself that breaking routine holds so much value. I have moved from my bunk to the common area, where I happen to sit with the moon. Tonight it is full but I know it's ever changing, and I realize so am I.
I am ready to continue exploring, but I appreciate moments like these...moments when you realize that, you are the journey.
Today's hike was beautiful/Norway is beautiful. We took the subway to a place called Sognsvann. Not knowing what to expect, it was reassuring when people with skis kept boarding the train. Surprisingly, we found it is a campus for a local university, a frozen lake, and many paths of cross-country skiing trails.
In the beginning we are on the same path with the skiers and are secretly following a lady that looks like she knows what she is doing. We follow her into woods with super tall evergreen trees and one that I swear to be the child of a willow and a sycamore tree. Creeks with mini waterfalls and the sun peeking through trees created a magical quality. I was convinced that we were crossing paths with the set of Twilight...but Edward Cullen doesn't have a man bun, so he wouldn't fit in here...
I felt so happy to be outside and hiking especially after tossing and turning all night (refer back to the double espresso). The path led us deeper and deeper into the woods and snow. We eventually lost sight of the lady...or she ditched us...but we just kept following the red trail. We hiked higher up into the mountain, but the footsteps never faded. There were paw prints of little dogs and one massive shoe print every once and a while. I found comfort when we popped over each hill to a path already set for us, until I convinced myself one print belonged to a bear.
Eventually we accepted we were lost. A nice gentleman just taking a stroll through the mountains helped guide us to the right path. We followed the cross country skiers the whole way back to the lake. It was amazing to see these people work their way up the hills, and then fly down them. People of all ages, just taking their time, breathing in fresh air and working out their bodies. I admire the outdoorsy active mindset, it makes me crave a good run.
We headed back to the hostel and got settled, showered, and organized. We took the tram into the city for a few last hours. It was nice to sit at outside tables with heaters and watch the people go by. I enjoyed my time in Oslo...even though we learned that practically everyone is from Sweden...it was like a small New York City...expensive yet exciting.
We are on the train to Bergen now, still hunting for the northern lights and still trying to understand Norwegian money.
p.s Matt Manning...if you are reading this, we met your twin.