Yesterday (May 28), I traveled from Athens to Ås, Norway — pronounced “ose,” as in “dose” — via Copenhagen and Oslo. I flew with Skandinavian Airlines (SAS), and was pleased to be more comfortable than I’m used to. Both in legroom and seat width, it was noticeably and pleasantly roomier than in other airlines’ planes. Only coffee, tea and water were free; for a few euros I purchased a tasty but probably overpriced lunch.
I was also astonished to find myself sitting next to an empty seat on both flights. What are the odds???
Plus, the little screen that hung from the ceiling over my row showed a real-life image of what we were flying over. It was pretty cool!
After two planes, and two trains (one from the airport into Oslo, and one from Oslo to Ås), I found my husband Gary at the train station! How romantic; just like in the movies.
Our hosts, Barb and Chuck, were there too. It was nice to see familiar faces. Chuck spends part of his year teaching and researching in agroecology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, and the rest at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Barb, who has become fluent in Norsk over the years, travels with Chuck and knows so much about the Norwegian culture and current events. What perfect (and generous) hosts for our first stay in Norway!
Gary’s plane had arrived a few hours before mine, and the three of them had walked to the station to meet me. We all walked back to Chuck and Barb’s house, and I got to know Ås while we caught up with each other’s lives.
After an early night, we woke up today (May 29) to have a special breakfast with Chuck and Barb and a couple of their friends. It was a nice way to meet some local people — over waffles and jam.
Afterward a decent digestion interval, Gary and Chuck went running while Barb and I went for a short walk in the nearby forest.
Similar to what we’ve experienced in the UK, Norwegian law supports the “freedom to roam,” or the right for anyone to travel through rural land that is not cultivated. Norwegians are very fond and proud of their forests, mountains and coastal areas, and use them for recreation all year round. People are of course expected to take good care of the places where they walk, ski or swim, and it shows; we saw no litter or other signs of humans anywhere during our forest walk. What a wonderful place to have right on the edge of town. We clambered over rocks and had a great time.
We ended the day with dinner of Norwegian salmon and fresh vegetables. We are being spoiled! I’m glad to be with Gary and our friends, and glad to be in Norway.