The unfortunate incident with the car had left us without a means to return to Oslo, from where our flight was leaving on Saturday at 17h25. Luckily there is a train station at Geilo and so we decided to take the train back. Only one train would have us in Oslo in time for our flight, and it was leaving at 10h56. Not all that early, one might think, but considering all that we needed to do before leaving, we did not have much time. Since it was almost midnight when the men returned from the site of the crash, we all got to bed late, and next morning when my alarm rang at 8h00 I was not feeling too good. But the morning only got worse. In an attempt to wake up Olga and Giuseppe Erik and Carlos played heavy metal music at a loud volume. I am not a morning person, and what I most need in the morning (after tea) is silence. Unfortunately the music did not have the desired effect and as time passed Erik grew more and more agitated. The cabin needed to be thoroughly cleaned before leaving and time was running out. When the couple finally ventured downstairs Erik gave them a piece of his mind. And then we cleaned and cleaned, until 9h45, when a taxi arrived to pick us up.
Norway is expensive, and the 30 minute taxi ride cost us 150 Eur. By this time many of us were broke, and those of us who were not had problems using their bank cards in Norway. Well, we managed to pay the taxi, but the next step was booking train tickets. We selected the tickets we wanted in the ticket vending machine and a sum of more than 2000 kroners showed on the screen. There was no way we could pay 5 tickets of more than 200 Euros each! Erik rushed to the locket and spoke in hurried and desperate Norwegian to the woman behind the window. Meanwhile the rest of us realised our mistake. The price on the screen was not per ticket, but a total for all the tickets. We would make it home after all! Still, buying the tickets was easier said than done considering the amount of money each of us had left, and it took some trials before we found cards with enough money or credit to pay for the tickets. Luckily Erik had forced us to leave the cabin early, because once we were done with buying tickets not much time was left before the departure of the train.
As we were finding our seats in the train we suddenly realised Carlos was not with us. Did we leave him behind on the platform? The train was just pulling out of the station and we peered anxiously out of the windows trying to spot him. The fact that he could not be seen offered us some relief. Perhaps he entered through a different door? We walked through two carriages before we entered the restaurant carriage, where we found Carlos busy ordering breakfast. We berated him a little for causing us to worry before joining him at the counter. For the second time during my stay (and in my life) I had a hot dog for breakfast. After eating, and drinking a cup of tea, I went back to my seat, put on the soundtrack for La Planète Blanche and looked out of the window.
Most of the train ride passed like this and soon three and a half hours had gone by, and we were arriving in Oslo. We had half an hour in Oslo before we needed to take the train to the airport, and so we dragged our suitcases along Karl Johans Gate, until we reached the Parliament where we bought some lunch before we turned back. So, now I can say I have been to Oslo, if seeing one street counts.
In the train station we ran into a problem. We had underestimated the time it would take for us to get to the airport by regular train. This was the train we had tickets for. Meanwhile the high-speed train, which would get us to the airport in no time, would cost each of us an additional 20 Euros. That was 100 Euros that we did not have. What to do? After a quick discussion we got on the high-speed train without buying new tickets. When we arrived at the airport we had to scan our the special high-speed train tickets to exit the platform. The tickets that we did not have. We all looked at the gates in pretend confusion, until Carlos went up the one of the people working the gates and asked why our tickets did not work. Carlos was the perfect man for the job. Being short and very dark, he is the opposite of the typical Norwegian. Being Venezuelan he is an expert at cheating the system. The man explained us “silly tourists” that our tickets were for the regular train, but that this time he would let us pass. Luckily he did not pay attention to the unmistakable Norwegian in our group. I assume that tourists make this mistake all the time, since there is no clear indication that the trains use different tickets.
The only moment of worry left for us on this trip was when we thought we lost Olga and Giuseppe. We had all scattered around the airport, and decided to meet at the gate. I was at the gate with Erik and Carlos at the time the boarding was supposed to start, but there was no sign of the two missing members of the group. As usual the boarding started late but even when it started they were not around. As the gate area emptied we finally got up and with a final look around went up to the gate. We were just entering, and meanwhile discussing whether to ask the staff to call them on the loudspeakers, when Olga and Giuseppe strolled up to the gate. Apparently they had been sitting in a café just opposite the gate, from where they had a clear view of us, but not of the queue to the gate. Since we were not moving from our seats they assumed boarding had not started yet.
We got on the plane and flew back to a warm and overcast Brussels, where snow is a thing of dreams. But my boyfriend and Loki were very happy to see me, and it is always nice to return home after one’s adventures abroad.