A Norwegian Tale // Part I

The plane lands. It’s already dark outside and I am sitting in the middle seat so I can’t distinguish much from the small window.

“You can unfasten your seat belts now.”

Everyone starts rushing towards the exit points of the plane, myself included. I have always been eager to exit the plane as fast as I could upon touching down at a new destination. The excitement. The adrenaline. The unknown.

As I make my way through the long corridors of the airport I can already sense a change in the environment. Everything looks so neat and geometrically pleasing. I skim through the aisles and quickly reach the train station entrance. As the doors open a cold wind passes through my body. I usually can’t stand cold environments, but this time I almost enjoyed it. It was a different kind of air I was breathing, cold but at the same time so pure.

After ten minutes I get on the train and I remain perplexed at the amenities available on it. The Norwegians really know how to take technology to the next level. The whole carriage looks so new and modern. There are vending machines for snacks, coffees and drinks at the end of each carriage and plentiful of space. I am already loving the vibe and I haven’t seen any of the surroundings yet. Sweet!

We are in Oslo sentralstasjon now and the simple and neat, yet practical vibe continues. The station looks so big, like a shopping centre plus about 20 train platforms and an underground system.

I swiftly make my way out of the station and the first thing that leaves me perplexed as soon as I walk out is the moon. It’s a full moon and it shines so brightly. Not to mention the size of it, it looks gigantic like I’ve never seen it before. I have a slight obsession with the moon so I just stare at it for a good few minutes before taking my Nikon out and snapping countless pictures of it.

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Full moon above Oslo, 3/11/17. © Patricia Petrescu

The city continues the trend I’ve previously observed. Aesthetically pleasing and neat. Yet as I walk towards my hotel I spot something that sets this country apart, even in the dark. Everything seems to be framed by nature. It’s like nature dominates, and not the other way around. I have seen many capitals around Europe, still in none of their centres I couldn’t spot much nature around, except in the parks. With Oslo it was all different. Anywhere I look there is a plethora of trees slightly masking the buildings. A feeling of happiness begins to make it’s presence throughout my body.

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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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Oslo, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

After a peaceful half an hour walk I reach the quaint surroundings of the hotel. My room is on the second floor. As soon as I open the door I notice the compact yet modern living space. It’s like my flat all encompassed in between 4 walls. It comes with a kitchenette and a small eating area too. Could I move here now, please?

 

Waking up never felt so good. I am excited. As I pull the curtains I notice fog settling through the buildings. This reminds me of the hazy mornings in Delft. I pack up my camera and drone and head out.

It’s 9 AM and the streets look so empty. It’s hard to spot a soul walking down the street or the odd car passing by every few minutes. Peaceful.

 

I get on the platform I notice the fog has thickened now. It’s like I am heading towards another kind of world.

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Sentralstasjon. © Patricia Petrescu
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Sentralstasjon. © Patricia Petrescu

The train starts moving and the surroundings covered in fog take me back to DelftMaybe it’ll be a trip back in time, I think to myself. Even though it’s hard to see through the fog, the surroundings still look beautiful. It looks like the sky dominates and everything else is painted on it. I just can’t take my eyes off the window. It’s captivating.

After about fifteen minutes the fog suddenly disappears. There’s a bright blue sky and plentiful of green plains. Another kind of real life painting. I am mesmerized. How can the weather and surroundings change so drastically in a matter of seconds? Wherever I look I can envision a story going on. In every little red house tucked away in the hills, in every little farm scattered around the vast plains.

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An inspiring train journey through Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Getting off at Fredrikstad feels homely. I’ve never seen this city before, yet it feels so familiar. There’s a smell in the air that reminds me of the mountains back home, in Romania. I savour every trace of it.

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Fredrikstad, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

I am on my way towards Isegran Fort and I continue to feel baffled at the way in which everything blends in with nature. So tranquil. Whilst approaching one of the bridges I am again welcomed by a familiar sight. Heading towards West I could see the buildings slightly resembling the view from Putney Bridge. Oh, the countless trips I used to take up and down that bridge whenever I would need some sort of life guidance.

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Fredrikstad’s river resembling Putney Bridge, London. © Patricia Petrescu
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Fredrikstad, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Approaching the old peninsula enchants me. There are traces of the past tangled with nature everywhere you look. It’s beautiful, yet terrifying to think of the past it has had.

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Boat pier by the entrance to the Isegran Peninsula. © Patricia Petrescu

The tranquil surroundings are the best spot to test out my newly bought drone. A feeling of excitement overtakes me. Snap. Snap. Record. Snap.

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Cottage in Isegran, Fredrikstad. © Patricia Petrescu
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Small house near the entrance to Isegran Fort, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu
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One of the few traces of Isegran Fort, Fredrikstad, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

The city has a frequent free ferry service which connects the new part of the city with it’s Old Town, and off I go to explore the best preserved fortress town in Scandinavia…

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On the ferry en route to the Old Town of Fredrikstad, Norway. © Patricia Petrescu

Part two coming up next Tuesday.

 

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