Long time, no update. I can explain. I have been on vacation! One and a half week with lots of fun before it’s back to the books for a few months... So here is some of what I’ve been up to for the past week or so.
Last Sunday I moved from Tromsø, but took a “small” detour through Finland before ending up in my new home city Oslo. After Tromsø, the first stop was Kolari in Northern Finland, where I got to experience real winter for the first time this year. Somewhere between 20 and 30 degrees - minus. It was great. I have missed the winter so much this year. And when we asked the people in the hotel if there was an ATM in town, they told us that there was one a 4 km walk away. We optimistically started walking, the cold snow making the familiar squeaking noises for every step, and I have to say that 4 km seem a lot longer in the cold! When we finally found the centre, we also had to find a pub to defrost, and order a taxi back. Real winter cold is great (yes, I AM serious) but must be enjoyed in limited potions.
Rovaniemi, or Winterwonderland as I now like to call it, was almost as cold, and had lots of heavy snow on the trees with that beautiful glow to it that only 25 blue degrees can give. Surely, this kind of Christmas card is beautiful to look at from inside a warm kitchen, but it is even more fun to be out there experiencing it. Marjaana’s friend Jenni had a snowmobile that we just had to try out before we left. As they say, bad weather doesn’t exist, only bad clothes (well, it sounds much fancier in Norwegian, when it rhymes…). But as we got to borrow a lot of good clothes, we had no problems facing the cold. As we got out I thought that Jenni was going to drive us around with the snowmobile – but I was wrong; we got to drive ourselves! It was great, I felt so free, and like I was flying across the frozen lake – until I glanced down and realized I was going the amazing speed of 15 km/h! I felt a little bad, and got the thingy up to almost 30 km/h, but then it felt like it was taking off from the ice and I had to go back to a safe 15… But it was a lot of fun! In Rovaniemi I also found out that all the pool-playing skills I thought I’d picked up in Namibia had magically disappeared (or maybe they were just imagined in the first place…). And I got to meet Santa Claus! I had heard rumors that he actually comes from Rovaniemi, and after having seen his village, I am almost convinced. Even though he said something else every Christmas Eve he came to my house when I was a kid… This leaves me with a problematic question: Can Santa lie?
After two days in Rovaniemi, we got on the night train that would take us South to Helsinki, where I woke up the next morning. I got to do some shopping, sightseeing, sauna and hair dressing in the capital, and then went to Marjaana’s family’s summer house for a couple of days. It was a great place situated right by one of Finland’s many lakes, and a great place to relax! I even got to do my first skiing for the season!! It was only for a couple hundred meters, but still – it counts! Then we went back to Helsinki to have a party Saturday night. It was a great time, and after a couple of glasses of wine I kind of forgot that I would have to take an early plane the next day. And they had a lot of tasty shots at the bar we went to.. someone told me that everyone has to experience at least one hung-over flight, and I have now experienced mine. Well, to look at the positive side of it – you save a lot of money going through the tax free shop that way, because it isn’t even remotely tempting to stop by the alcohol section..
Well, after a great trip to Finland I have now spent two great days in Oslo. Yesterday I took a look at my new room, and started thinking about how I am going to decorate it.. That’s always fun! So tonight I’m going back home to get all my stuff – and then I will move to Oslo! Jippi!