Monday, August 01, 2005

Day 4 | Oslo-Trondheim| Ride of the Valkyries

I woke up this morning, and hastily recounted; if it's tuesday it must be Trondheim.
Not quite. We were to head there today though. Did i say woke up?

For the 1st time in years - i hadn't slept a wink all night! There was no night. The sun faded for a bit around 12.30 am and it was bright by 2.30 am! Through the porthole of our very large cabin on the ship, all i could do was stare outside, at the Oslo fjord and recall Al Pacino's plight in Insomnia. Ironically, this child of Kumbhakarna had been taken over by Heimdall, of Norse legends, who never sleeps!

Spirits were high. Only figuratively, we were going to see the town of B's birth. Well, it looked as though Norwegian policemen had similar ideas. We found a section of the highway closed, and followed other cars to a parking spot. Where to our amazement, they were administering breathalysers to everyone! This at 9.30 am on a tuesday!

B passed the test with flying colors and ventured to ask the policeman the choice of time and day. He then explained they were looking for drugs and alcohol traces, also - because of the never ending daylight people party till the wee hours of the morning,and then drive! B didn't get it, i did though. This much light would drive anybody to drink! And if you can't sleep, drive!
Soon after we drove through the outskirts of Lillehammar - familiar to us as the host city of the winter olympics a few years ago - '94 i think. The outskirts of the city comprised well-preserved late 19th c. concentration of wooden houses, which enjoyed a picturesque location overlooking lake Mjøsa and the river Lågen, surrounded by mountains.
We crossed some beautiful parts of the world. In parts it reminded me of a conversation I once had with a Norwegian on an airplane when he showed me a picture of the Myrdal region, and said, "Perhaps, Kashmir is like this?" Though he had never been to Kashmir, and I had visited it at the age of eight, he couldn't have been more right. Snow capped mountains, rushing rivulets, little fjord inlets, plenty of places to fish, and startling purple wildflowers. If there was heaven, it was here. Most of all - the weather god Frey was really kind, sparkling sunshine changed one's perspective considerably.

It was an amazing drive, we stopped off at little inlets to splash around, saw wild berries, which looked edible, found fresh salmon sandwiches! Snowy peaks at a distance were melting fast into gushing waterfalls. The road swerved here and there, and was quite mountainous in bits. Peeking below the road, suddenly we'd find rapids!

The map we had purchased from the fuel station didn't go any further north after Otta (about 62 degrees north!). Which would have been daunting to most. But B seemed quite in control. I think he felt like he should know the roads from 28 years ago! Also the Hag and he were conspiring by now, and were determined to reduce me to the Navigator "who couldn't". To annoy me further B would hum a tune from time to time which sounded familiar, but i couldn't seem to place.

The number of elk signs seemed to have increased; the E6 also had changed character, was now a fairly narrow highway. I was busy looking out for the elks, but discovered an Lapp dwelling instead! When we got hungry, we reached for our packs of the famous Hell Melk - to which my mother in law attributes many things!

Trondheim would arrive soon.Which is an entirely different story. And i would recognise the hum as the ride of the valkyries. But for now I was busy falling off the map.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really like your blog. More than falling off the map..its like falling out of reality .Or rather zapping out of reality..a bit like the Star Trek act , for want of a better parallel. You look like you are actually touching the edge of the world..did you find a rainbow tail by any chance ??