We left Tromso behind this morning but received a suitable send-off in the form of a beautiful sunrise over the mountain peaks from the comfort of our plane seats. We landed in Oslo and headed to the home of Elin and Malin in Grunerlokka, which is a hip and happening part of town that has a similar vibe to Surry Hills in Sydney. We were once again singing the praises of Globalfreeloaders for exposing us to such a cool place in Norway, which we quite possibly would not have visited otherwise.
Malin had made her way home to let us in and made us feel welcome straight away. We spent half an hour chatting and enjoyed listening to Malin’s stories of her nine months in Australia. There is a lovely picture of her feeding two King Parrots when she was living in Orange and other memorabilia of her time in our country around their home. Malin had to go out so she gave us a key to the place explained that she would be out for most of the night as would her Mum, Elin, but we should make ourselves at home. It’s kind of a shame that we have to leave so early tomorrow morning, as I would have liked to have got to know Malin and Elin. Their home faces into a communal courtyard. Inside it has an eclectic mix of quirky photography, posters, art books leaning against window sills and shaggy animal furs adorning seats. We were told to make ourselves at home and quite frankly, right now as we sit at the wooden kitchen table under lamp light drinking a cheapish Australian shiraz we found across the road, I feel at home! I once again have felt the warmth and trust of the lovely Norwegian people we have come to meet on this trip, and I hope truely to be able to return the favour in kind when we find ourselves a new home upon our return.
Today was not a big tourist extravaganza for us. We spoilt ourselves by eating out at lunch and enjoyed an amazing couple of Croque Madames. At the recommendation of Malin we walked through the streets to our first stop, the Opera House, which Elin suggested we go to in an email exchange. Both were good advice and offered interesting city sights. Then we headed to the National Gallery which we both walked away from impressed with. Not least because in the first room of the Gallery the very first statue we stood in front of was a carved bust of none other than Hermes. Hermes is one of two Gods we pay homage to. Hermes is a Greek deity of antiquity who is the God of travellers and we oft find reason to thank him during our travels. The usual way being a simple “Hail Hermes!’ He is also the God of less auspicious things such as thieves and weights and measures. But he also looks after a few of our other interests such as literature, orators and poets.
Our other God is Bacchus. Three weeks after we met we went on a road trip around regional Australia together. The purpose of the trip was to eat and drink our way around a fine selection of the one and two hat restaurants in the countryside. It was a completely gluttonous and delightful experience and we soon decided that we needed to thank Bacchus, the Roman God of wine (and good times!) for the adventure. We’ve remained faithful servants to Bacchus since. And the two Gods combined are a formidable force in ensuring we have great times together! So, it was no surprise then that we should see a painting of a Baccanalian gathering as we exited the room we started with Hermes.
On a serious note though, we saw some amazing art in the gallery such as the The Thinker (which I had no idea was in Oslo) and Munch’s Scream. This is probably not the thing to say, but I liked some of Munch’s other works more. Not that it wasn’t wonderful to see such an iconic piece of modern art with my own eyes.
I’m a bit sorry this is all the time we have for Oslo, but I’m sure we will return.