Saturday July 8th. I woke up with a bit of a start. One of my classmates (and my roommate for this trip) told me it was 915. Turns out my 8:40 alarm was set for PM not AM. I got dressed quickly and was able to get to the 930 meeting for the train. We started our day at the Norway folk museum in Oslo. While there, one of the workers recognized the museum I used to work: Conner Prairie. There, I was trained in historic cooking and foodways. At the folk museum, I watched them make Lefevakst – a traditional flat bread -and was surprised to discover it was enriched with eggs, butter and sugar. Which would make it very expensive in olden times.

After the folk museum, I went island hopping, grabbing lunch at Gressholmen, before ending up at Lindoya where I jumped in the fjord and swam around before class. I also got to witness locals complete flips and interact with one another.

As we were all settled for class, Nato (our amazing professor) texted that he would be by around 6:37pm. We thought the precision of the time was hilarious so I threatened that if I Professor Nate wasn’t around by 6:38 I would jump back in the ocean. 6:20, 6:30, 6:35 whizzed by, and as 6:37 marched through its 60 seconds, I readied and steeled myself to return to the refreshing embrace of the fjord. At last 6:37:59 left and I trotted down the deck and into the fjord. As I floated back to the surface I half expected Nato to peel around the corner, but we waited a bit longer and finally, those blue swim trunks came into view. With fanfare, Nato joined us.

As class finished and we got readied to go to the ferry station, two women on the beach or Lindoya were curious about our motley crew. They asked what we were up to in Norway and why we had all started writing at the same time. I told them about our class, how we all went to the same university in the states and were studying ‘The Hobbit’. I asked them about where they were from, and they were both from different parts of Oslo. I asked them if they had ever read ‘The Hobbit’ and they had both read ‘Lord of the Rings’. One woman said her daughter was currently reading The Hobbit. I then asked them about the places they like around Oslo. One asked if I meant bar or museum, and I said both. They reminisced for a moment, reminding me that “you all are young and can do anything.” They told me about their favorite museums, the Munch and the folk museum. Then they told me their favorite bar called Angst Bar, though one affectionately – but incorrectly – called it ‘anxiety place’.

After I went to Oslo Street food with others, and then the Pub for beers with another group. We stayed until midnight and I finally got to see the darkest I’ve ever known in Norway after almost a week of being here. The Midnight Sun peeked through, ready to greet me to a new, great day.