At Last, Some Obvious Things About Norway

June 1, 2005

Well, I suppose I better tell you some obvious things about Norway that aren’t so obvious if you’re not here.

They Like Tunnels

So I arrived on Friday (who knows when I’ll actually post this): and got driven up a dual carriage way that was approximately half in tunnels. Big, big tunnels though little ridges and hills that right-thinking British folk would just slice a huge cutting through.

Then I get taken up the Spiral Tunnel here in Drammen. Seven corkscrew turns up two hundred metres, just to get to a car park and a viewpoint. Ka wow, that’s something.

Then today I discover that the Drammen bypass is under the town itself; a huge tunnel. And a freaking roundabout. And three other roads! And no sign of it on the surface.

So apparently if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth building a tunnel for. I approve of that.

They Speak Norwegian

Well, duh, Stephen. But you don’t really realise until you’re here that it’s a Different Language, and that You Don’t Really Understand it. Is that cheese? Not sure. Am I allowed to walk down here? Not sure. What does that sign with the picture of a dog mean? How, exactly, when you come down to it, do I thank this person who’s just sold me 190 kr worth of strong beer?

I’m sure this phase will pass. (The sense of wonder at people speaking a different language, that is, not People Speaking Norwegian).

The Forests Are Full of Streetlights

No, really they are. At some point I will take some pictures and show you. The forests round these here parts are full of little roads, and all the roads are lined with street lamps on telegraph pole things.

Of course, they’re really cross country skiing runs, lit up so you can see where you’re skiing in the deep, dreadful Norwegian winter, but I didn’t know that this afternoon.

Very civilised, that, a forest full of maps and streetlights and whatnot.

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