We are not sure what lurked outside our door last night but it sure was angry. We think it was some sort of wild cat but it made enough scary noises to keep us from venturing outside. So when we woke this morning we were pleased to find Vin body work in one piece and without any cat art.
The sun was sulking and we were greeted with sprinkles of raindrops. As we stepped outside the concrete mass on Holmenkollen did not look half as impressive against a grey miserable sky. Never mind, we’ve had a great few days and we should be thankful for any good weather.
As we sped out of Oslo from the leafy suburbs towards the west coast, it did not take long before we hit the gaunt, grey buildings of Oslo ‘outer’ burbs. Thankfully the highway zoomed us up and over to wonderful rolling green hills and enchanting countryside. But nothing had prepared us for the constantly changing landscapes which rushed by. One minute horrid concrete industrial units and the next glorious countryside. One minute smiles then next minute frowns. Eventually, the concrete blocks slowly dwindled away and we were left with lush fields presenting every shade of green, bounded by towering fir trees each with its own shade of emerald green. The first signs of spring evident with their little lime green tips.
We planned on staying at Drammen but it didn’t hold much appeal, so we tootled on towards Kongsberg. Half way we stopped for lunch at a lovely little picnic spot. As we tucked in to our ‘nearly’ full english we watched a pair of swans prepare their nest in the middle of the nearby lake.
Shortly after, we stopped at a Kiwi supermarket…no Lidl’s here! We are not sure what supermarkets to stop in but we might as well start with the Kiwi. It was OK albeit a little grubby. Everything feels really alien to us at the moment. The words are different, the currency is strange, the packaging is new, it all takes time to absorb. Craig pondered around the shop and no matter where I went I could hear him. He went from cries of elation to chocking fits. Needless to say some things are extremely reasonable like cereal, bread, eggs, meats, fish but other things like crisp, water, alcohol, biscuits were just silly high prices. Our simple conclusion if its bad for you then you will pay for it, if it is good for you then its fair. We picked our basic items like yogurt, milk, eggs, fruit juice and bread and tootled back to Vin. Now for some fuel…we’d been clocking the diesel price all the way from Oslo and it seems around £1 litre. What does seem odd is the price on Sunday was 1/3 cheaper than today. Does that mean it is cheaper at weekends or has the price of fuel increased so much in a few days? We don’t know but watch this space and we will keep you posted.
We arrived at our final stop for the day, Kongsberg and parked up on the museum grounds next to the Lagen River. A stroll over to the museum but unfortunately it was closed but we did find the next best thing…a leaflet. Nothing quite like a leaflet to kick you in the gut and show you everything you can’t see! Well, from 1623 to 1957, it would appear that Kongsberg was the silver-mining town of Norway, extracting some 1,488 tons of pure silver from the area. The mines have long shut (open for tours) but the town is still home to the Royal Norwegian Mint, which has been operating in the town since 1686. With the museum out we headed over to the elaborate baroque and rococo church. Dating back to 1700’s it is the largest baroque church in Norway. As we entered the grounds we noticed the scaffolding on the east side, not a good sign and sure enough, it was closed. We meandered all over the town in the hope something would be open but nothing. Not even a coffee shop or bistro! We crossed over the Lagen river and admired the falls which divide the town into two parts. The oldest district lying west of the river and new part to the east but it doesn’t matter what side you walk everything is closed! We slowly kicked stones down the river bank whilst Mac n Tosh sniffed a few dog butts before the heavens opened and we trotted back to Vin.
Out dinner tonight was a smile and a half! We had a lovely curry and rice with a nice side of chapattis. Well they certainly looked like chapattis until we dunked and realised they were thin potato cakes. Well it sure made us smile!
Our sleep spot tonight: on the banks of the river with a tin church poking out of our rear. It is a free overnight parking spot but me thinks the ear plugs might be out tonight. The rapids are loud, the volume of traffic is louder and the trains, well even Vin shudders. Tonight will be interesting.
GPS N059.665493 E009.651631
Route: Oslo to Kongsberg
Weather: no sunshine and lots of little drizzles of rain but its still quite warm and pleasant. Low 10 and High 18.