Saturday all the international students (about 18 people) spent the day at Gamnes Farm just outside of town. The family that owns the place set us up with a wonderful day! First, we went horse sledging around some stunning Arctic Norwegian landscapes; we even saw some wild reindeer! There were two sledges which managed to pull all of us around but at some points it was to slippery for the poor horses who couldn’t grip the ground; they would go downward while trying to get up an icy hill. We got driven to a big white tipi near a large hill. In the tipi, there was a fire to keep warm and a BBQ. We spent the afternoon there cooking hotdogs and drinking hot chocolate. When we were warmed up we grabbed some garbage bags and a few other snow toys to use to play on the hill! We discovered that the best way to make it down a hill using a garbage bag is to slide down on it on your stomach, or to sit inside with your feet poking out. This was a great day and was a wonderful way to meet the rest of the international students.
Going out in Norway is different then back home because it is expensive to drink at a bar so it is necessary to spend the majority of the evening pre drinking at someone’s house then heading to the bar later, at around midnight. I haven’t had a night that ended before 4am yet. There are a few pubs in town as well as some dance clubs. I will volunteer at the student pub, Ludo; it will be a great way to meet people and there are discounts on drinks. I am also thinking about getting a job but it will be hard to find something that doesn’t require me to speak Norwegian.
I am having some problems figuring out what to eat. The grocery store has a small but good selection of fruit and veggies but they are quite expensive. All the other food is brands that I don’t recognize or cant read the packages. Making food will take some getting used to but for now I will settle on the food that everyone here seems to make… frozen pizzas.
Last night as I was getting ready for bed there was an excited knock at my door and it was people who had come to get me to see some beautiful northern lights! We walked out of town on a trail along side the ocean to a little seaside cabin to see the wonderful view. It as beautiful and according to some scientists out there, they were the most active northern lights in 7 years! We then walked to a lake and sat up on a giant boulder to get a good view and cracked open some tea and chocolates. I got a bit cold but it was so worth it! Tomorrow I am taking a group of people geocaching, hopefully we can find some despite the cold and snow and see some new sights!
I didn’t have my camera to take pictures of the northern lights so photo credit for this go to Jan Philip.