From Oslo to Andalsnes – Or how I came to break my hand

Well it did get much prettier on the drive. Wildflowers were everywhere and the woods pressed closer and closer on either side of us, so many fresh green trees  that looked excited to be there. The flowers looked like foxgloves I think. Purples varying their hue through magenta and down to the lightest of pinks. I pointed them out to Mick and he asked how long we had been driving past them.Just the last few days mate, no worries.

Wild flowers

We stopped just before we got to the campsite to check out a ski jump called the Holmenkollen that loomed large above Oslo. Oslo looked so beautiful laid out fresh and clean underneath us, I thought it reminded me  a little of Sydney but maybe that was just the beautiful sparkling harbour it was sat around.

Pretty Oslo
Oslo (it is down there I swear)

At our campsite we met new passengers and I whipped up a dinner that went down as the best I have cooked yet! It was Alex’s chicken paprikosh and so all thanks will have to go to him. I fixed the packed lunch for the next day whilst everyone spread around the cook tent laid out on picnic blankets or the lawn drinking and chatting. At curfew (10pm) we were sent down to the lake to continue having fun. I wasn’t down there long before the swarms of mosquitoes biting my scalp through my hair drove me home. Sergio our shuttle driver joined us late that night and the poor guy was driven from our room to sleep in the bus in the middle of the night once Mick and Monika both got their snore on.

First troll sighting

We had a shuttle driver for reasons relating to the strict driving laws in Europe. Mick can only drive a certain amount of hours in a row, a certain amount in a day and a certain amount over several weeks. He needs specific timed breaks in between it all in order to keep him rested! In Oslo he had 45 hours where he was not allowed to even sit on the coach, so Sergio was flown up to do the shuttle drives in the city as well as the drive from Oslo to Andalsnes in a few days time.

In the morning I made pancakes despite discovering that the milk we bought was in fact yogurt. It looked very similar and I don’t want to say that Moose bought it… but he was definitely the one who picked it up. It became a standing joke for the rest of the trip. Oh well. The pancakes went down a treat and we all went into the city.

Statues of life
This cutie

Our first stop was a park with many statues in it depicting the phases of man. They were brilliant stone likenesses of all ages in all sorts of contorted positions. It was a lot of fun to run around and mimic them all. Mick and I took a great photo best described as the final dance in dirty dancing.

Playing around
Moose getting amongst it
Julz 🙂 and Mick

The next stop was a viking ship museum with 3 different ships and their remnants displayed and explained. The boats were much bigger than I had expected and all the carving and weaving much finer as well. The final museum was the Kon Tiki museum. It was about this Norwegian guy – Thor Hyerdahl – who set out to prove that people from Polynesia could have come from South America originally. He did this by building a boat using very old methods and sailing it himself across the Pacific. He did other great voyages like this and generally was a Bear Grylls kind of guy. At the start of the museum there was a great quote from him –
‘Boarders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people’. Badass.

A Viking ship
Viking details
I just think these boats are the craziest shape
The Topdeck crew outside the Kon Tiki museum – insert jokes here.
One boat built from Papyrus
His main boat built from Balsa wood

That was our last stop before we were dropped in to the city and I chose to have a passenger day and just go with my new friends and see whatever they were seeing. (Something I have never actually done before because normally I have seen all the stuff they are visiting already). It ended up being a huge troop of us led by ’45-minute-Moose’ that walked to the palace and around it, down to parliament, across to a cathedral over to a fortress and finally ended at a pub just across from our pick up point. The weather was stunning, and still is. Around 25 degrees and all of us were in shorts, singlets and putting on sunscreen. The city is sparkling, modern, buzzing, welcoming and very, very familiar. I think I love it the best so far.

Oslo is alive!
A good ole’ palace guard shot
Parliament building
A cool tree
The harbour from the fort
Tree in a fort

Back at camp again and I pottered around organising for today, and lucky I did. We had organised to have a punch party down by the lake, that involves filling two of my biggest cooking pots with a lethal combination of vodka and juice and everyone chips in if they want a part in it. As you can imagine, things got a little crazy, some people were in the lake playing Frisbee others tried to play piggybacks until the person underneath them gave way. I tripped and used my hands with too much force to keep myself upright. I tried to laugh it off but eventually the pain in my hand that I landed on got too much even with holding it in the cold waters of the lake and I was close to tears as I went back to the cabins. Moose came with me and bandaged and splinted my hand and I went straight to bed.

Chilling around the cook tent
Sunset at around 11pm
Down by the lake – light at 11pm

Awaking this morning I was in a lot of pain and knew that I needed to go to hospital to find out what had happened. Mick is still on his 45 hour break and so had to stay in the city until the afternoon anyway and so it was only Sergio and Monika on the coach. Poor Monika. I had to write down all the instructions for lunch (soup, but she needed to cook a separate one for the 4 vegetarians and make sure my gluten free girl got the right snacks and such) and then I gave her my shopping list (very short but still pressure loaded I’m sure) and then cook dinner (jacket potatoes with 2 different fillings and corn on the cob). I don’t know if she has ever had to do the cooks job before,, and remember that she is still blind going into the new places today. If she can do this she can do anything!

Oslo harbour
Oslo harbour
Oslo harbour
Oslo harbour

Mick and I went to the hospital and after several hours and many good looking nurses I have come out with a cast on my fractured hand. Its just one bone in my little finger but the cast will be on for 3 weeks and I wont be able to do a whole lot…. Lucky my passengers are so amazing. I hope we can all pitch in and not make it feel like too much of an effort. I will have to be even more organised though now that it will not be me relying on myself.

Very pretty down by the lake
Now the lake is empty…
Now Moose and Julz 🙂 are playing Frisbee in it

Mick fell asleep out in the waiting room whilst I was being looked at and was snoring so loudly that a nurse came and shook him awake and asked if he was ok and did he need to be seen? Hahaha! We went and got lunch, which we realised was our first meal in 24 hours, and I managed to book on to the 2pm train to Andalsnes, thinking that I would be there in time for dinner. Nope, my train is 6 hours and I  will pull in to town at 8pm. My day out of action has meant that I have missed out on the bobsledding but I think it is better for me not to dwell on that.

Now I’m on the train and the scenery is stunning. We keep crossing lakes, running between thickly pine wooded mountains and over rushing rivers lined with cold, grey stones. And this is only the beginning. I contacted Welshy (my boss) about my hand and he was caring and asked if I thought I could continue the trip as if I had an option. I told him it would probably be fine due to my passengers and crew being so helpful. Caity the cook on the trip before me was also in the hospital in Oslo for blood poisoning so I’m wondering if I should just pass the hospital address straight to the next cook, Laura.

Can you have too many sunset pictures?
Meg, Chris and Amy
Someone needs to tell Chris he packs worse than a girl…
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