It was the end of September, the beginning of the autumn, and although the low temperatures had already begun, (enough reason for which I should go to south); I changed my plans and from Copenhagen I took a ship heading to Oslo. Perhaps it was my only opportunity to know the capital city of Norway because I didn’t believe that some another day I would return to these latitudes.
The trip lasted 19 hours, although it was a cruise of 12 floors, with several restaurants, bars, cinemas, casino and disco.
I arrived to Oslo the day of my birthday, I was already 31 old. And without too many alternatives where I go, I went to the Argentinean embassy. And I was lucky, the consul who received me, contacted Juan Pablo, an Argentinean boy who lived in the capital city since 1995.
Juan Pablo received me as a true compatriot and he didn’t take time to explain me where I was. According Juan Pablo, Oslo is the oldest Scandinavian capital and although it occupies a great extension it counts with only a population of 500.000 inhabitants.
The Norwegian Vikings
In my second day I went to the Vikingsskipshuset, one of the main Vikings museums, where three crafts of the century IX exist very well conserved. The three were exhumed of funeral tombs, according to the tradition, to the rich ones they were buried in ships. The biggest was the Viking dragon, the quickest, that took a great rectangular sail and between 24 and 50 oars. The sail was used in open sea and the sailors were guided by the stars.
Between the centuries VIII and XI the Normans (Scandinavian) sailed from their lands toward Europe. The Swedish settled down in the Baltic Sea and they controlled the land route to the Black sea, while Danishes invaded diverse areas of England and France. But according to the history none overcame in achievements to the Norwegian whose feats passed to be numerous Vikings legends.
After invading the Orcadas, the Shetland Islands, the Hebrides and part of Ireland, the Norwegian established different colonies in the islands Foreyard, Iceland and Greenland and they even arrived up to the coast of North America.
The Vikings were without a doubt some the feared Europeans in their time. The fear to the Viking invasions unified too many tribes and different Kingdom, forming many new political States. Although it is also believed that they were mainly sackers, their biggest achievement was its great capacity colonist and merchant.
While I learned more and more about their history I woke up myself a great fascination for this people who were a true Master and Mister of the sea.
On the end of the afternoon I went to the park of the castle Akershus where I met some boys from Ethiopia and from Eritrea. They were granted asylum political, and they told me that they didn’t overcome the 500, while those of Pakistan, among other countries, added 30.000.
Then I went to the street Karl Johans where I realized some sales to increase my budget a little. Among all the European cities that I visited, I found Oslo one of the most expensive, only the flag of Norway to add to my bicycle cost me 7 euros, a kebab, (Arab sandwich) other 7, and after entering in a kiosk I discovered because in these Scandinavian countries there are not many smokers, a packet of 10 cigarettes cost almost 5 euros.
The landscape of Norway – Km 35,525
In my third day Juan Pablo showed me the outskirts of the city and we cycled some kilometres to arrive to a lake. According to Juan Pablo the great attractiveness of Norway are its wonderful landscapes: big mountains, fluvial valleys, majestic glaciers, green forests that contain limpid lakes and the spectacular fiords that clip the coast west.
For these reason the Norwegians like to the outdoors activities, as the fishing, tracking, mountaineering and ski. Many families have a house or cabin in the mountains or in the coast.
Juan Pablo told me that in the capital city the summer nights go only from 23.30 up to 3.00 o’clock, but that in the north, in the Artic Polar Circle during some weeks the night never reaches. This phenomenon is known as: “the northerly dawn or midnight sun.”
In the same way it happens in the long winters, when for several weeks, (also in the Artic Polar Circle), the sun doesn’t rise.
Along my days in Scandinavian, several people explained to me that it influences in people’s behaviour. The depressive state, the shutting in, and the desperation are a common denominator. Possibly one of the main causes why Scandinavian has one of the highest suicide statistics that exist in the world.
Finally I left Norway in a Stena Line ship, its Marketing office granted me a free ticket to continue my trip. My next destination will be United Kingdom.