Nor­way, eine Überraschung

Also, nach­dem wir immer wie­der gehöhrt haben, dass in Nor­we­gen das Tram­pen sehr schwer ist, hat­ten wir ein biss­chen Angst nicht weit weg zu kom­men. Die Rea­li­tät war aber ganz anders. Es war schnell und Leu­te haben uns oft ein­ge­la­den, ganz ver­schie­de­ne Sachen zu pro­bie­ren. Zu uns waren die Leu­te in Nor­we­gen offen und großzügig.

Nor­way is a won­der­ful coun­try and to pro­ve it, here the most important facts about it, accord­ing to our own expe­ri­ence. Peop­le are kind hear­ted and trus­ting (at least the ones who choo­se to pick up two hitch­hi­kers on the road). There’s oil and snow, it rains. Cheese is brown and tas­tes like cara­mel. Alco­hol, ciga­ret­tes and any­thing that brings some kind of joy is unpaya­ble and peop­le go out of the coun­try to buy it, or make their own beer in farms. It rains again… Oh! But look, a day of sun, may­be sum­mer is not a myth after all… No, for­get it, is rai­ning again. Cho­co­la­te is won­der­ful and comes in any kind of stran­ge mixes. Natu­re is beau­ti­ful, espe­ci­al­ly the Fjords and they have an awe­so­me sus­pen­ded rock, you just have to near­ly die to get to it.

They have been smart in mana­ging their land and com­mu­ni­ty is kind of run by trust. They have a Cabin sys­tem (when hiking on the moun­ta­ins) whe­re peop­le sleep and take what they need from the Cabin and wil­lin­gly lea­ve their names and address to be char­ged mon­ths later, alt­hough they could total­ly get away with not pay­ing, sin­ce the­re is no soul to con­trol it. They use a very effec­tive sys­tem to stop the forest to grow without mea­su­re, revo­lu­tio­na­ry mashi­nes that don’t get tired of cut­ting grass: thousands of sheep.They have many elec­tric cars and if you own a car from the 50’s the rules of that time app­ly to your dri­ving (which means no seat­belts necessa­ry). The distan­ce from north to south is more then from Den­mark to Ita­ly and they build dikes in every litt­le run­ning water source, which is why elec­tri­ci­ty os very cheap…

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Our time in Nor­way was spe­cial due to the peop­le that we met the­re. We got invi­ted to eat almost every day by our dri­vers, got invi­ted to people’s hou­ses four times in a row and tried many dif­fe­rent things. We got to see and help in the trai­ning of race hor­ses, sin­ce one of our dri­vers was working on a sta­ble. A fami­ly invi­ted us to stay at their backyard, it being a huge farm whe­re they took us in their cam­per to the hig­hest point facing the sea (and let sleep the­re). We were picked up by a woman, so kind that she brought us to her home and baked us waff­les and ended up invi­ting us to stay the night and the week or fore­ver if we wan­ted to. We coo­ked a Pael­la in Sta­van­ger and felt like in Spain (sin­ce we met with Cate on our Eras­mus in Valencia).

Got to hike and sleep on top of Prei­kes­to­len. We got invi­ted to a sum­mer hou­se by a lovely coup­le and dis­co­ve­r­ed that the hou­se was about 400 years old and was built from the rests of ano­t­her hou­se. And the ama­zing thing about this coup­le is that after picking us up and us accept­ing their invi­ta­ti­on to stay the night, they left us alo­ne in their home while they went out to buy some gro­ce­ries. And that level of trust was for us unbe­liev­a­ble. I mean, theo­reti­cal­ly, we were just stran­gers and could have taken ever­y­thing. We love this kind of expe­ri­en­ces becau­se we genui­nely belie­ve that the­re is not­hing more spe­cial than to be able to trust in other human beings. When this trust is no lon­ger pos­si­ble, I think we don’t have much more to live for. And it can sound dra­ma­tic but through trust we build con­nec­tions and rela­ti­ons­hips and it can make our life a lot more fun and spontaneous.

This invi­ta­ti­on was fol­lo­wed up by ano­t­her one. Next day we didn’t even mana­ged to get 100 km fur­t­her when a man in his car from the 50’s invi­ted us to stay in his home. A won­der­ful Nor­we­gi­an hou­se just next to the Fjords. Gave us a ride through the Fjords and the oce­an with his boat and ended up having gre­at con­ver­sa­ti­ons about the most diver­se topics. If the­re is some­thing that you learn after hitch­hi­king for so long is to dis­cuss about almost any topic. We encoun­ter peop­le every day from dif­fe­rent paths of life and we are now able to under­stand people’s needs and inte­rests more easi­ly and to read into the peop­le. And we love that.

It took us one week more than what we had expec­ted to go out of Nor­way, sin­ce we felt so wel­co­med the­re. We got spoi­led by the peop­le we met and after Nor­way trea­ting us as like princes­ses, with a roof over our heads and a warm meal every night, we were faced again with the life as vag­abonds. But the fun­ny thing is, we had actual­ly mis­sed it. We enjoy the trou­ble and dis­com­fort of a cold night under the bright sky full of stars and the moon shi­ning over us. We enjoy put­ting the tent at night just with the vague illu­mi­na­ti­on of our flash­lights. We enjoy a full hitch­hi­king day, without a clear desti­na­ti­on but only a set direc­tion. We love to see how far we get and to count the kilo­me­ters at the end. We love to go through the day befo­re clo­sing our eyes and dis­co­ver that this one day seems like a week.
We woke up still as princes­ses in the hou­se of the last man that had invi­ted us to his home and we star­ted our day with the sun­ri­se. We hitch­hik­ed from the south of Nor­way, taking a fer­ry in the Fjords, get­ting like four ’10 km’ rides till final­ly we found some peop­le taking us for lon­ger distan­ces and made it to Göt­ten­burg our final desti­na­ti­on for the day, get­ting the­re after night­fall. We were alre­ady fee­ling like our­sel­ves again and found, on goog­le maps, what loo­ked like a good place to stay near the sea. On our way, we stop­ped in a super­mar­ket to ask for food that was going to be thrown away, and sur­pri­sin­gly got two warm meals, some bread and some sweets for bre­ak­fast (in Nor­way we star­ted to ask for food in small stores and restau­rants, becau­se the­re is a lot of food that is thrown away every day. That sum­med to the fact that Nor­way is very expen­si­ve). The day had been just per­fect, and as we were wal­king to the sea, we could not stop smi­ling. Is a gre­at rea­li­sa­ti­on the fee­ling of not nee­ding any­thing. We were not worry­ing about any­thing, and the­re­fo­re we were get­ting ever­y­thing. All that comes is wel­co­med, and what doesn’t is not mis­sed. Is the full accep­tan­ce of things as they come. We got to our cam­ping place, hap­py with our last night of legal cam­ping, sin­ce the next day we were hea­ding to Den­mark and later back to Ger­ma­ny. As we approa­ched the spot, it was all clear, the brown sand con­tras­ting with the soft green vege­ta­ti­on, even under the light of our flash­lights. We put the tent far enough from the water and then got clo­ser to eat our din­ner next to the sea. The lights of the hou­ses on the other side were reflec­ted on the water but were shi­ning tim­id­ly, not enough to opa­que the light of the stars. The smell of the sea makes me feel at home and the sound of the litt­le waves works as a rela­xing anti­do­te. Could this day had been more per­fect? Peop­le can call it hobo life, but honest­ly, the­re is not­hing that can be com­pa­red to it, and one day in this set of mind, can count as years in the life of someo­ne that does not know adven­ture. I look around to look for Cate and I find her expe­ri­men­ting with the came­ra and the light, and I can’t help mys­elf and I laugh; we are an incredi­b­ly weird but somehow good team.

PS: As a use­ful advice, when put­ting up the tent in san­dy ter­rain make sure to be care­ful with the end of the sticks, as sand may get insi­de and taking it out again is not always so simple.