20 Sep 2007

Two goals in one day!

Posted by walterheck

I woke up early and let Martina sleep (she was a little hung over 😉 ). I packed my bag and got ready to leave.  I woke Martina up (her alarm was ringing 5 minutes ago anyway) and said goodbye to her.

I get out into the street, a little nervous since my last hitchhiking adventure (not counting Svolvaer – Kabelvag) didn’t work out so well. I was reassured soon as I was picked up after 5 minutes. The car took me into Svolvaer, where I walked a little and tried again.

It took about half an hour before a van stopped with a bunch of teachers in it (“we are going to learn _something_ about a computer” :) ). They took me quite a bit upto Stramsund. There was a ferry in between, so I paid for myself and stayed with them.

After Ttramsund, I walked over the bridge across the fjord and after half an hour I was picked up by a fuel truck (never thought these kind of cars pick up hitchhikers!) .  It took me to the next bridge (80km I guess) and I repeated my last tactic: I walked across the bridge and then found a spot.

I was picked up by a woman that drove me to Bjerkvik, which was the point where I had to turn north in the direction of Tromsø.  First, I went to the supermarket to get some dinner. Then I went to look for an internet café to see if I had a couch in Tromsø or not. There was no internet café (very small town) so I was pointed to the local hotel. The internet  computer was not working, so the guy working there let me behind the counter to quickly check my email and couchsurfing messages. I found a message from Eric saying that I was welcome to his house. I sent him a message on his mobile telling him where I was and when I suspected to be there. After that, I quickly thanked the hotel worker and went back on my way.

I was picked up by a guy in a big-ass SUV. The guy was a civilian working for the army and he dropped me off in a little town that was next to a military base, so the whole town was swarming with soldiers. I started walking in the direction of Tromsø, just to get a little out of the town (tried tactic, you miss all the traffic that stays in the town and won’t pick you up anyway)

Next, I was picked up by an elderly guy who turned out to be a missionary on his way to Tromsø. He offered me a ride all the way but told me that he had to stop for an hour in between to meet some people. I looked at my watch and decided that this guy was my best bet to be sure to reach Tromsø, so I said yes and waited when he was meeting. I blogged a bit, slept a bit and waited a bit. Then we continued our way to Tromsø. I was actually going to make the whole way in one day (over 450 km!). Northern Norway is so much better for hitchhiking than south Norway!

As if I wasn’t happy enough, I got an extra unexpected surprise: I saw the Northern light! We stopped for a bit to watch it. My driver had seen it a million times but could see that I was impressed, so he stopped just for me. I watched the dancing light in the sky with awe! I have never seen something so amazing! Again (this seems to happen to me a lot the last couple of weeks) I was so happy I could scream!

We continued our way and made it to Tromsø even before 22:00. I called up my host Eric who was in the middle of a party. He found someone to pick me up and 10 minutes later a car pulled up with w guy holding a bottle of beer out of the window. This was a very nice way to meet my new host! I got into the car and found out the guy handing me the beer was my host Eric. The guy driving was completely sober, which is something very nice about the Norwegian culture: drunk driving is simply socially unacceptable (besides the fact that the maximum penalty is three weeks in jail, a fine of 1,5 months of gross income AND  (not or) losing your driver’s license for two years.

We arrived at the party (Eric has this beautiful house with an amazing view over the fjord) which was going at full force and I said hi to everybody. Wait a second… is that Jeff, the French guy I met in Oslo and later unexpectedly at Bente’s place? Couchsurfing is a small world, even in a big ass country like Norway :). We partied at Eric’s house for a bit and then made our way to the city center. Tromsø is the city with the most pubs per capita in Norway, so this was exciting. We arrived at a very nice pub, except for the fact that one of our guys got into a fight with some dude that was obviously looking for it. Our guy was evading it, but there was no stopping the other guy. It cooled down for a bit after security came to check it out, but five minutes later I see the same guy flying by jumping at our friend.  Then I got to see why you don’t start a fight in a Norwegian pub; the security guys came running at him, threw him to the ground and just sat on him pushing his face to the ground until the police arrived to take him in. I, shocked at the level of violence portrayed by the security guys, was told that this was the not-so-rough way to handle a thing like this and that the guy was lucky :)

We partied some more and went home when the pub was closing. I was reasonably drunk so I fell asleep right away (not in my own bed as turned out later, but that was corrected when the rightful owner wanted to go to bed :)

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One Response to “Two goals in one day!”

  1. Het doet me deugd dat het vaderlijk gezag nog invloed heeft. Dirtect na mijn vorige comment verschenen je stukjes die iknu ga lezen.




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