Two friends and their furry companions

Although Damien has already recorded his thoughts on our time in Nannestad with Lillian and Ove I feel it would be remise of me not to record my impressions of what has been a highlight of my trip to date.

We arrived at Gardermoen airport on a delayed flight which was fine as we still had plenty of time to make it to Lillian and Ove’s place in daylight. However, as other passengers removed their luggage from the carousel one by one it became apparent that my bags were nowhere to be seen. After trawling the baggage area for a while we eventually located my wayward backpack beside another carousel in the lost pile. The interesting thing I noted was how unfazed I felt about the whole thing. I didn’t feel stressed about it and I reflected later that nearly two months of not working has definitely chilled me out! My luggage did the same disappearing act here in Tromso too – it was doing the rounds on another carousel. As long as it keeps appearing in the long run, I’ll remain chilled!

Unfortunately for us these delays meant that the darkness was catching up with us so we would be arriving at their place in the night. The instructions seemed sufficient when daylight was factored in but as we disembarked from the bus in this town it became quickly evident that this was not going to be a straight forward exercise.

We had scribed on a piece of paper the emailed instructions from Lillian:

When you come to Gardermoen you go out and take the bus all to the right, bus 855. 
You say to the driver you want to go to Preståsen skole.
Then in the back on you you have a carparking and a school.
Go beside the school on the sidewalk to you come in to a small willage.
Loock at the left for house nb.2 a light blue one, Gaupeveien 17 and you are here:-)

Armed with a torch (there was minimal street lighting) and the instructions we set off…but not knowing where. We eventually found a large expanse of snow which I summised could potentially be the said carpark…now where was the school…ah ha! We found what seemed to fit the bill, along with a group of young kids ice skating in the dark near the buildings. Finding the sidewalk was a tad more tricky and I soon began to feel like I was in the midst of some orienteering expedition gone wrong, or maybe we were contestants in the Norwegian leg of the Amazing Race! Again and again we peered over the instructions, then into the darkness with our trusty little torch, then back to the instructions… it didn’t seem to matter how may times we read over it, the way forth was not miraculously appearing out of the dark!

We even asked a few locals, who kept materialising out of the darkness. The first one seemed to walk away faster the more I screamed out behind him, “Hey mate! Excuse me! Excuse me!!!!’ Then we asked another woman and young girl if they spoke English to which they replied ‘No” and walked on. We didn’t even bother asking the next contenders who walked past. I think we both silently felt that it was better not to suffer the disappointment of another conversational dead end. At this point I was musing that if things went pear shaped and we couldn’t find their joint that I would be not very comfortable knocking on a random door to ask for help. I decided that the entrance way to school house looked sheltered enough and if I had enough layers on maybe we could camp the night there and we wouldn’t freeze to death. Oh the stupid things you think of!

But of course we got there in the end and our reward was to be welcomed into the home of the most wonderful people who I know we will remain friends with. Lillian has such a big heart and is a great cook like my Mum. Damien has spent time on the food delights already but I have to mention the deluxe pizza she made – complete with the most tasty sauce with the secret ingredient of star anise! Oh and that kaviar in a tube – what a great Norwegian gem that one is! The tube is like the ones condensed milk used to come in and which I used to stand at the fridge door with as a kid and unload straight into my mouth! I’m not suggesting I’d do the same with the kaviar tube but it was damn fine!

Ove is a gentle and funny man who looks as Viking as they come! I loved being taken to the clubhouse to check out all the Harleys and hear him start up that engine! I can only imagine what it must be like to go on some of their massive bikie rallies through Europe. He told us that one they went on had 25 000 bikes!

I fell in love with their little dog, Scott. He is a Lhasa Apso. I am more of a cat person usually and generally am not too partial to smaller fluffy type dogs, but Scott, well he’s the exception! He had so much character and I think if I was ever to get a puppy it would have to be  one of those. Evie the little black and white cat was also affectionate and had the biggest fluffy tail (Pepe le Pew style) which always is a winner as far as I am concerned. However, I didn’t really make friends with their last furry companion, the stand offish Bin Laden!

I really can’t say enough how much I loved my stay with Lillian and Ove. Such good people, such a great time.

I am now really looking forward to our next Globalfreeloader experience in Oslo with Elin. Wish us luck with that though as we are meeting Elin while she waits in line to purchase tickets for a talk by an American photographer she wants to see….should be a piece of cake 😛

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