I made it! I'm so thrilled to be here and start our European adventure. I will try and keep up with my blog entries. Just a warning, im a very visual person and will be adding alot of pctures to help describe everything.The flight on Sunday didn't seem as long as I had anticipated, which was great. Watched a few movies, read a magazine, slept and I was there. Delta fed us two meals on the plane, dinner at about 7pm (while still in the US) and breakfast at about 7am (while over the Atlantic Ocean), only 5 hours later. I landed in Oslo at 12:30pm on Monday, we are 7 hours ahead of MN. As I was walking out of my gate into the terminal, I saw everyone grabbing a cart and turning the corner into, what looked like a grocery store/super market. Honestly, every single person infront of me was walking into the store. I found out later, from Gino, that the store is called "Duty Free" which basically sells everything from socks to liquor, tax free. They apparently only have them in airports and looking back I wish I would have known to stop and grab some wine! Liquor is very expensive here.
After picking up my bags I walked right through customs without having to talk to anyone OR get my passport stamped.....not sure if anyone knows im here! As I walked through customs, I saw Gino. I was so happy to see him and to finally be in Norway. The train wasn't scheduled to arrive for another 2 hours so we went and grabbed some lunch at Pepe's Pizza, they sell pizza by the slice. For 3 small slices of pizza and a 16 oz 7-up it was 80 Kroners which is $14.00....not too awful but a little expensive. The Kroner is the Norweigen currency and can be converted into dollars by roughly dividing by 6. Ive been cheating a little....I have a currency converter app on my Ipod touch:).
The train ride is 90 min from Oslo to Lillehammer and was absolutely beautiful, minus the cloudy/overcast weather. The scenery actually reminded me a bit of Northern MN with all the pine trees and fall colors except it was pretty hilly. We followed Lake Mjosa (largest lake in Norway) most of the way.
Gino's buddy, Justin, picked us up from the train station in Lillehammer in the cars the team gave them. Those are advertisments written all over the cars....and dont even get me started on the colors, probably the brightest vehicles I've ever seen. The whitish looking one is actually neon green which just so happens to be the car we drive, HA....
The drive from the Lillehammer train station to our aparment is only about 5 min up a pretty steep hill. The town is basically built up in the hills, comparable to Duluth. At the bottom of the mountain/hills is Lake Mjosa and on the other side of the lake are mountains with lots of pine and colorful trees. Here is the view from the balcony of our apartment (facing the side of the hills).
I think the best way to describe our apartment is plain, only equipped with the necessities. Our tv is brand new and looks a little out of place! The living/dining area is a good size. The bedroom, bathroom, and water closet (closet where the toliet is located) are pretty small. Something a little strange... the shower/bathtub isn't attatched to the wall and has about a 3 inch space between the tub and the walls where water falls all over the floor. Apparently thats normal, so they have a drain built into the floor outside of the tub under the sink where all the water is supposed to drain. The first time I took a shower I thought there was going to be a flood!
|Dining Room/Living Room|
|Living Room with "Dorm" like furniture|
|Bedroom- to the left is a wall of closet space|
My first full day in Norway we decided to take a walk into the downtown area of Lillehammer. Its about a 10 minute walk down the mountain. It's a very pretty walk with views of Lake Mjosa and all the cute gingerbread type houses. Very Hansel and Gretel~
Storgata is the main street in downtown Lillehammer. Full of shops, restaurants, cafe's and a few creeks flowing through the downtown area. There are couple of pretty restuarants, located on the creeks, which have outdoor patios open all year round! yes, in the winter. They have some sort of plexi glass which covers half of the patio which is heated with heat lamps.
|Thought this was funny. It's a a fake horse with its head in the pub, HA|
|For all you "Always Sunny in Phil" fans, Gino found the Lillehammer Patty's Pub|