Well today was the first day of class, and if the rest of the semester is like today, it will be a great semester. I have class through Wednesday, with Thursdays and Fridays off. I have a Norwegian class for about three hours on Monday and Wednesday, and on Tuesday I have two geography classes from 8 to noon. I have some open time, so as of right now I am planing on joining a cross country ski club here on campus, along with maybe a kayaking club too, but we’ll see. I do however have some cross country ski lessons this weekend just to get re-acquainted with skiing.
Even though classes just started, last week was full of events through the International Student Orientation Week. The week started out with an orientation meeting and meeting of our buddy groups. Our buddy groups were lead by current Norwegian University of Oslo (UiO) students, where we could bond with fellow international students, and ask questions to help ourselves settle in. There were many activities planned throughout the week such as faculty pub tours. Each faculty (college) here at the UiO has a student ran pub where you can get cheep beer, coffee and tea. These are great places to socialize with fellow students during the day, and at night when concerts, karaoke, and quiz nights are held. Its also cool to see how each faculty represents themselves through the pubs! If you ever choose to study at the UiO, I definitely recommend checking out the pubs here on campus! Besides the pub tours, there was also a bus tour of Oslo, where we got to checkout some the well know sites of Oslo! Orientation week was lots of fun, and I got to meet some great people.
This past Saturday a group of us decided to go sledding at Korketrekkeren, which is an old toboggan run that was turned in to a two kilometer sledding course! It was a lot of fun, and would do it again, however I would go when there is more snow, and less ice. Below is a short video, I meant to record the entire thing, however part way down I felt that it was going to get messy. Well its a good thing especially since I think I ran off the course at least another six times, I hit a wall in the process of trying to turn, hit a bolder after bouncing off of the wall, and then hit a tree and flew off my sled. Don’t worry, I am perfectly fine, surprisingly! Although, for all the danger, I would recommend tying it, some of the people I went with went four times, and said each time they went it got better and better, after they learnt how to operate their sleds!
A great word of advice for anyone choosing to come to Norway, is that on Sundays, mostly everything is closed besides museums and a few other things. Therefor Sundays have kind of become a hiking day for a few of us. This past Sunday I and a fellow U.S.A’er went hiking for about six hours. It wasn’t suppose to be six hours, but we accidentally went the wrong direction a few times to our destination. Our final destination was Vettakolltoppen, which has amazing views over Oslo. Anyone coming to Oslo should definitely make the hour hike from Sognsvann, or the twenty minute hike from the Vettakollen train station. Below is a picture from Vettakolltoppen, which is a great place to sit and ponder your small existence here upon this rock we call Earth! The funny thing though is that I got a big bruise from slipping on a rock while hiking, but I didn’t get anything from the sledding ordeal.
Look for more updates coming within the next week on my adventures here in Norway, until then, Ha det!