After sipping the last of my complimentary coffee provided for by Scandinavian Airways, the realism of my adventure was to soon dawn on me. I reached for my black journal that was safely stowed away in the overhead locker, tearing a page from the back to jot down a list of my ambitions and plans whilst on my adventures throughout Scandinavia. The first on the list…to travel to the most northern regions of Norway, in search of Reindeer herders.
On arriving into the capital I was met by the similar weather that I had thought I’d left behind in rainy Manchester. However, moving swiftly on I headed westbound on the metro to a Norwegian village based on the suburbs. A picturesque location submerged in forestry and wilderness.
After picking up the keys to my new home in the woods, I became shortly familiarised with my accommodation. A simple and clean bedroom with a kitchen that could only be described as and for want of a better word… filthy. A trip to the local Ikea became swiftly apparent and arose from a possibility to an absolute necessity.
However, things were turning up… I took a moment to appreciate the view out of my bedroom window and even whilst writing this post I find myself frequently distracted by gazing upon it’s beauty. The beauty does not stop there, around the corner from the accommodation is a nearby lake that frequently plays host to numerous social activities and not to mention is a perfect location for early morning running and swimming routines.
After exploring the local area it soon came time to venture into the city. The University of Oslo were hosting a social gathering in the centre for the prospective students. A great opportunity for crossing of cultures and to meet new people. After being turned away from the original venue (for it being full) we headed further down town to come across a small bar called ‘Evergreen’. An old style rock and roll bar, inspired by the likes of Freddie Mercury and Pink Floyd. Alcohol was surely on the cards in celebration of our first night Oslo, but at 200 NOK a jug it became evident that this kind of activity would become an infrequent occurrence.
Whilst requesting a song by Jimi Hendrix at Evergreen from the barman named Lorus, I met a peculiar figure at the side of the bar. A middle aged long haired and bearded man with an abundance of tattoos wrapped around his arms. His name was Hilger, he was in Norway in search of employment after leaving his home in Stockholm, Sweden. An interesting man with a great knowledge of Norway and it’s native settlers. I spoke of my desire to explore further and to visit the Sami community and how difficult their lives have been in recent years due to climate change and rising temperatures. Hilger agreed and told me in much further detail just how much of an impact the rising temperatures have had on the survival of the ‘Native Indians of Norway’. Throughout our brief encounter, Helger had given me a reference to get in contact with a native political organisation that work to preserve the wellbeing of the Sami communities, a useful contact and one I’ll be sure to make the most of!
So far so good in Oslo !