I went for a ride around town. It was the loveliest day, sun shining gently, the wind rustling leafy trees and all that. I felt free.
The inner streets of Oslo
Are delightful. Norwegian urban planners have done their job. The labyrinth of highways that enwrap the city are highly efficient nerve fibres, connecting traffic around and away from the inner city. The gridded inner streets, unlike most European cities, are effectual and uncomplicated. Uncomplicated for dead beat tourists like myself who can’t grasp the concept of swirling one way streets and dead ends.
Riding for the sake of riding is a joy in Oslo.
On my way home I rode past our friends from last night. Oslonians love to flaunt their city’s size, but I never really believed them until today. Oslo is TINY. I mean, what are the chances you’ll run into somebody you know, let alone somebody you only met the night before and which you have no idea where they live or where they usually go.
So anyway, I stopped to say hello and was all like HEY. They were all like COME PARTY and that’s the end of that.
Or was it.
Sophie picked me up at 3am. On the way home we decided the night wasn’t over. We called our friends and asked if they’d like to do something normally ordinary, extraordinarily. Of course they did. We drove back, picked them up and found ourselves at Holmenkollbakken.
“We asked if they’d like to do something normally ordinary, extraordinarily. Of course they did.”
Holmenkollbakken is a ski jumping hill in Holmenkollen, Oslo. It offers an incredible view of the surrounding city. There is no other way to describe it other than an absolute monstrosity. You have to be there to believe it.
We begin climbing…
Taking the lattice steel stairs that carve their way to the top. The air is cold and silent aside from the patter of feet and huff of breath. The sun warms our backs.
We reach the first level. This is real sight seeing, the city of Oslo is sprawled out beneath us, mist dissolving in parts by a slowly rising sun. Beautiful.
The first and second levels are divided by scaffolding and barricades. It’s obvious they want us to trespass so we swing up and over the scaffolding, scrambling across to the stairs on the right. Then we start the seemingly endless climb to the top.
At the top
There’s not a single sound.
We pass around a few jokes and gaze out at the curved horizon. The view is breathtaking. Oslo is revealed in it’s entirety below us.
A minute later
We see a silhouette climbing up. It’s a guard. We jump to our feet and scuttle down the metal stairs at a dizzying pace, clutching the handrail and slipping on the dewy stairs. Soph yells Norwegian at the guard who’s hurrying up the opposite stairs, her voice echoing down the concrete slope and ringing all the way to the car park. But no response. He keeps climbing. Climbing up and over the scaffolding and climbing up to meet us.
We’re so close now that we can make out the details of his shirt, his baseball cap, his bright blue jeans. We’re done for. What will he do? Will he fine us? Should we run? Can I even run?
Then it dawns on us like the sun in front of us. What kind of guard wears a cap and jeans? He’s no guard. He’s a nosy tourist. GOD I HATE TOURISTS.
What I learned today
- Make your own experiences
- If possible, make them when drunk