I say a taste because I just dipped my toes in - I popped up to Oslo in Norway for four days to meet E at our mutual friend, Ewan's place. He's been living there for a few months now with his Swedish girlfriend, Sara.
On Wednesday last week I asked Ewan what he recommended doing in Europe as I had the weekend off. After a few suggestions he mentioned that now is a good time of year for the Northern lights. I immediately wanted to go chasing shiny things in the sky! Unfortunately for E (who very quickly jumped on board) and I they're substantially further north and require more preparation than we had time for, but we decided to visit Ewan anyway and 12 hours later everything was booked.
E and I met at the airport on Saturday and jumped on a train to the city. I was so excited to show Eleanor Harry Potter in Italian on my Kindle that I promptly left it on the train.
Not such a great start but I did get it back eventually!
We met Ewan and Sara at their apartment in the afternoon, and went grocery shopping with the idea of camping in the woods that night. We took too long and didn't want to risk walking after sundown so after a quick plan change we went out to a bar after some delicious mac'n'cheese.
|The bar excitingly had vines growing about the place|
The forest we were exploring is called Østmarka and it was flaming with autumn colours. Autumn is my favourite season and having been only in cities and heat for quite some time I was bouncing on my toes to get into the forest. The day was crisp and bright and perfect for a forest walk.
|It was quite marshy and both Es had fun splashing on the 'bridges'.|
|At one point she fell over then stayed over to stare at the stars.|
|Our baby - which didn't photograph so well.|
|I was really excited by autumn colours.|
|This would have been at one end of a ship|
|This is the Oseberg ship - it was the burial ship of two women around 830 AD and was built around 815 AD|
|This is the Tune ship, from around 900 AD. It was the least well preserved of the three ships.|
|This is a wagon which is finely craved and was found on the Oseberg ship.|
|The scenery in the background is also very pretty, if you can get past the naked man.|
|We think this one related to interpretive dance in some way.|
|I'm a grammar nerd and thought this was cute enough to include.|
|I found this particular sculpture a little creepy.|
|Love her facial expression!|
|"Everyone loves boobs. Especially upside down boobs!"|
|Again, oddly violent.|
I got up at 3 so I could catch my flight, missed the bus, had a lovely taxi driver chase it down for me, made it, forgot my ticket, had to deal with ryanair ticket reprints but eventually got back to Milan. This Saturday I'm making my way to Tilburg to visit Eleanor in her temporary home so I'll keep you updated!
Also, a little post script I suppose - I went to Norway with very few preconceptions or expectations as it had never featured highly on my list of 'must visit' places and I was really impressed! OK, yes Norway is an expensive country but it's also beautiful, interesting and has lovely people. I'll say the same about Sweden for that last because Sara was lovely!