OUR OSLO WEEK
Tuesday-Tuesday, June 5-13
Prior to reaching Oslo we emailed several marinas asking about available space. The one guy who responded kindly said we had picked the ‘worst’ week’, i.e., the busiest of the entire year for boats. We were attempting to find a berth during the Faerder, Oslo’s annual regatta, one of the world’s biggest overnight races in terms of participants. The race attracts 700-1,000 boats; yet, he hinted he could possibly squeeze us in if need be.
Not sure what to expect we motored early one morning into Oslo’s large harbor loaded with marinas. Unsure of where we should go, we spotted an easy docking place (alongside the end of a pontoon) and decided to tie up in search of the nearest harbor master. If anyone could help us, it’d be the harbor master.
Wouldn’t you know–the one guy who responded to our marina inquiries is the person whose marina we happened to dock at. Furthermore, he said we could move JUANONA into a berth close by. Huge sighs of relief silently left our lungs as we thanked Einar. He made our day. Actually, he made our week since we now had a secure berth for our Oslo base.
We had landed at KNS (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening) located on Bygdoy, the peninsula southwest of downtown. “Konge” means “king”. With Dronningen, the Queen’s Marina across the harbor, I thought ‘that’s a nice tribute to the royals’ only to find out that it truly is the king’s marina. Einar told us the king actually does use the facilities but likes to keep a low profile. I kept my eyes out for anyone who appeared to be flying under the radar during our week stay, but no king sightings for moi.
Later, we discovered Thomas and Camilla, the couple we met at our first Norwegian port-of-call this summer, keep their boat there. Another small world sparkle.
A ferry connects the peninsula with the center of Oslo, which enabled easy transport to pick up two, 72-hour Oslo Passes and season ferry tickets (cheaper than a week’s worth of single-ride fares). My sister had told me about the pass when she was here two summers ago; definitely worth the investment if seeing a lot of attractions. Not only does the pass cover entrance fees but also all modes of public transpiration.
To avoid penning ‘and then we went here, and then we went there’ the following posts highlight specific events and sites during our week in this wonderful city. Both of us felt we could very eaasily live in Oslo (it would help if we qualified for the country’s pension plan, of course). The architecture, the sites, and the people create an intoxicating ambiance, one definitely worth more than the week we spent here.
And, we had a truly special introduction to Oslo’s charm on our first evening: dinner at Ingunn and Snorre’s home.
Snorre thoughtfully provided detailed information on how to reach their apartment west of the city. Armed with our Oslo Passes and his instructions we managed to get ourselves to the designated Metro stop and walk the remaining 15 minites to their welcoming home.
What a treat! A delicious dinner begun with a special drink they discovered during their cruise on s/v SPINVILL to the Caribbean and ending wtih the taste of summer strawberries and a sip of rum, also from their travels.
Speaking of travels, check out their blog: www.sy-spinnvill.com. The text is in Norwegian but easy to translate via GOOGLE; plus, their photos and videos provide a wonderful voyage on their own. They also have posted recipes, such as the delicious Torsk (cod) one we enjoyed that night (and subsequently have in our recipe file).
Conversation ranged from cruising to jobs to life. Thinking it was around 9:30, several hours from when they opened their door, we found it was 11:30. Whoa. They had to get up early for work, and we had to catch one of the last busses from city center back to JUANONA.
What would be really wonderful would be a rendezvous on the water. Snorre’s parents, who sailed to the South Pacific in the mid-70s, were cruising on SPINNVILL in Denmark. We anticipate another lovely evening ahead!
Now on to exploring…