Reflection on the day I leave Oslo (actually posted a week later, on the day I’m back to Gothenburg, Sweden)

Until just ten days ago, I was walking on the path down in the U-valleys of Kungsleden up on the northern Swedish fells.

Thereafter, sitting on a shore, gazing at the sea, rowing a tiny boat and taking a cruise ship, I have been here in Norway with countless fjords, another U-valleys that are drawn in the North Sea.

I have enjoyed both.

On one of the Lofoten islands the other day, the old host of a hostel I  had been staying in– finding out I was doing nothing but sticking to my iPad all day– told me to go offshore in his little boat, which I would row all by myself. “It’s NOW for you to go out there as the weather is fine and the sea is perfectly calm. What else can your ask for? What are you waiting for?” said he.

I had been sick and tired of rowing since, at one part of Kungsleden, I had to row across a one-km-wide lake back and forth three times in order to secure at least one boat on each side of the lake after my crossing; the first time in a hurry to tell the hut warden that there were shivering old people waiting for the motorboat, the second time with an extra boat towed behind and to tell the people that the motor boat won’t come, and the third time with two of the old people and their backpack in the vessel; in a cross wind and rolling waves. When I finally reached ashore and landed, I had little grip power left in my both hands barely enough to grab and pick up my backpack on the beach, and swore I would never ever row any more for a while if not the rest of my life.

Nevertheless, I took the advice, or rather an order, from this old man who knows of everything about the beautiful (and sometimes treacherous) sea in front of us– how could I resist it?– and immediately set off… well, not too far off, though. Only for an hour or so around the harbor, I tried to make it just far enough to see the tip of Lofoten.

A couple of days later, I found myself on a cruise ship, one of the “Hurtigruten (Coastal Express)” fleet. I heard about the spectacular landscape of Trollfjord and the captains’ amazingly superb maneuvers (which I have already written about in Facebook). They never had me regret that I had taken this ship even if it’s a bit too luxurious for my trip standard and if only on the short legs partially of the week-long journey along the coast of Norway.

I have spent three nights in Oslo. I originally wanted stay here only for a day or so because everything is so expensive, but I extended my stay, like I did so on the Lofoten islands, for it turned out it would take me at least two days to cover what I really wanted to see in the museums here: the polar ship Fram, the Kon-Tiki raft, the Viking ships, Munch’s paintings in the Munch Museum and in the Natioal Gallery.

Beside Munch, my interest lied mainly in ships, since during my stay on the Lofoten islands I saw many local vessels– boats, yacht, ship, big or small, old or new, most of which were built in traditional styles (or classical, if you will) and retained a “smell” of the Norway’s maritime heritage. Here again in Oslo, I find many more ships of the same kinds I saw in Lofoten, and oh I like them all.

Now that the days of my journey are counted, I am heading for Hamburg, where I will see my friends. I am going to take off from Stockholm on Ocrober 5th  for London, HongKong and the Osaka. I wish I could take boats to go across the Oceans on. the way home….

I will later write about Munch.

 

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