duminică, 7 august 2011

Survival trip to Goteborg 31.07-01.08.2011
Motto: A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality (John Lennon)
This is one of the first team experiences in DRH. It’s very nice that we are supposed to work in team and know each other. At the end of the Introduction week we must test our capability to manage with unknown situations. And the most important, we have to do all without spending money. This means that we have to find free food, free place to sleep, travel as much as possible and communicate with all kind of people. And that’s what we did.
We decided in our group that we’ll spend these two days in pairs. We were lucky because our group has an equal number of men and women and thus we could make man-woman pairs. I went with Ada in a trip with a very close target, Elverum, situated at 104 km from Øyer. We finished our breakfast and were brought to the center of Øyer at about 9.00. Gert drove us to Øyer together with Zsuzsi and Peti. They had to reach Trondheim in north and me and Ada Elverum in south. So we splitted in different directions. We had to walk for about 2 km in south to a stoppage for cars. Ana and Razvan had luck and they were picked up just 50 meters behind us. So we decided to change our target from Elverum to Oslo and wrote a paper with this name. We were lucky and a norwegian woman stopped to help us. Her car was full of baggage and we didn’t think that we’ll find enough place. We completely filled the back of the car and made space for Ada, me and our backpacks. So at 11.15 we were on the way. But not directly to Oslo! This happy norwegian woman went with her 5 years old daughter to a family park near Øyer. The funny blonde girl was so tired on Sunday morning and they decided to go back home in Vikersund. This is our first target! So we went south to Gjøvik on E6 and Rv4. The driver was 36 years old and she had 2 daughters, the older one being in a riding week on a country-side farm. We talked a lot about everything and after 1 hour and 45 minutes of driving we stopped for 15 minutes at Lugnasæter, a restaurant and Shell gas station very familiar for our guide. This complex has a very nice lake behind and a wonderful wooden flourished house nereby.
Our next stop was Hønefoss where we had the next break for the sleepy girl. I admired the small easy caravan (250 kilos) with four beds, kitchen and tent. We left the gas station at 14.10 with Vikersund as target. We spoke a lot about the terrible incident that shaked all Norway one week ago: a norwegian man murdered 77 peoples because they belong to an open-minded party. He was against all foreigners who come in Norway and try to do something here. She showed us the island of the massacre and we continued on the road. We reached Vikersund and, instead of going home for her daughter to sleep, she proposed us to go to one of the highest ski jump ramp in the world. In 2011 the norwegian ski jumper Johan Remen Evensen set the ski flying world record of 246,5m (809 ft).
We went back and she drove us to Rv35 at a gas station where we could take another car to Oslo (15.40). It was so nice to reach this point between Drammen (on Rv35) and Gol (road 280). I remembered this last locality from my trip from Oslo to Bergen with train. As an invitation, I recommend you to go by train on Bergen and Flåm railways. They are some of the most beautiful railways in the world (http://www.nsb.no/BergenRailway/). The nice woman told us that we have only 9 miles to Drammen. And god knows how much this means because the distance is quite long! We walked in a burning sun for about 2 km until a car stopped in the middle of the road and took us. There were two funny norwegian girls and one little girl who were going to an art exhibition in Åmot. We decided that it’s time to go with them. They were amazed by our idea of hitch hiking. On a secondary road to Åmot they let us to wait for another car to Drammen. We waited for less that 5 minutes and an old norwegian with a Lincoln Continental stopped and took us in the fancy car to Hokksund. He told us that if we won’t be picked up by another car he can take us after getting a friend from the neighborhood. He came back in 5 minutes and we went with him to Drammen. Before entering Drammen he asked us if we want to drive slower for us to see the town. He drove on the shore of the river going down to Drammenfjord and I was amazed by the crowd taking sunbath on the sandy shore. It’s extraordinary how norwegians use every minute of sun for them! He entered on E18 highway directly to Oslo. They spoke most of the time in norwegian language but we didn’t care. The driver asked us where we want to go. Sweden is our target now! So he stopped at a gas station on E6 on the way to Swedish border (18.00). We ate something and continued our mission here as DRH volunteers. We investigated with some norwegians the way how the locals receive foreigners and encourage them to get integrated in the society. We tried unsuccessfully to obtain some donations for our school and program. A funny thing is a 15 minutes discussion with a Swedish couple about the way to Goteborg. They advised us about the distance to Goteborg and Stockholm. We decided for the first destination of these two. At the end of discussion we asked if we can go with them. They smiled and showed us their way of moving: two bicycles!!! We all laughed and went to our direction. After one hour we decided to go to south on the highway with the hope to be picked up. After 2-3 km two girls took us to a gas station near Rygge airport. We laughed a lot and they were enthusiastic by our idea if hitch hiking. The English girl (the guest of the norwegian driver) was so amazed and she asked us about DRH school for a friend from England. So we became promoters! They offered us a job at the norwegian girl mother’s house to change her tires and a sunbath in the evening. We had to refuse because we were decided for Goteborg. From the gas station we started another walking part to the south (21.00). In ten minutes a car stopped 100 meters in front of us. He drove back for about ten meters and we went to his car.
“Going to Goteborg?” “Yes” “Up, up!” He was a chilian who knew only Spanish and we were lucky because Ada learned Spanish some time ago. So they spoke for some time until we all got tired. He drove 7 hours before picking us up and he was quite tired. But he continued to drive for some hours for 240 km to Goteborg. Great driver!
At 21.30 we entered EU by passing the boarder to Sweden (Sverige) and continued on the highway. We saw a lot of wind mills and beautiful bridges. Sweden is more flat that Norway and we saw a lot of woods, fog and even some nice deer in the grass.
We passed Uddevalla and reached Goteborg at 23.15. Our excellent driver stopped and let us in a gas station in the city. We thanked him, went inside for some warm up and some food and asked for the direction. We were lucky with some free Yellow Books and had a good map. Some foreigners clarified the place where we were and showed us the way to downtown. We continued to the next gas station and got some other recommendations (00.20). We followed them and I insisted to go downtown in spite of our fatigue. We stayed for a while on Gotaalvbron, a large bridge to the center. I had the occasion to make some night pictures on Gota alv river. We shouldn’t forget about the wild rabbits running in the night on the grass!
In ten minutes we reached the central railway station where we planned to relax and maybe take a nap.
We tried to sleep for about 1 hour on the benches and at 1.30 we were woken up by the guardians. They needed to close the terminal and asked us to go out. We were so sleepy and went out knowing that we have two buses for Oslo at 1.55 and 2.35. The driver of the first bus didn’t understand our situation and refused to take us to Oslo. At the second bus we were lucky and the driver accepted to take us to Uddevalla on two free places. These places remained free and we woke up in Oslo and 6.15. A great way to come back to “our” country!
We were so happy for being here at this hour. We decided to visit Oslo, especially the touristic area. We went on the Opera for landscape and for the last sandwich which Ada shared with a hungry pigeon.
Near the main station Oslo Sentrum Bane Stasjon I explained to Ada the symbol of the Bengali tiger and we found our UFF store (a part of Humana People to People foundation).
I had to make a fast plan for visiting Oslo. We decided to go on the Oslofjord shore to Akerhus castle and after the Main Hall (Rådhus) to turn right and come back on Karl Johans pedestrian road. We walked up in the castle and I showed Ada some of the Oslo museums (Kon Tiki Museum, Fram Museum, Navy Museum, National Armed Forces Museum, Nobel Museum, Norwegian Resistance Museum) and the views from Akerhus.
We went down through Akerhus gardens to the Hall Place situated near the ferry harbor. We went for a few minutes to the park near the Hall and admired the original fountain.
I knew a road which brought us to Theater Metro Station close to the National Theater. We saw the Royal Palace and passed near the german style built university.
I told Ada the story of the first representation in this theater (the fight between Ibsen and Bjørnson for the first representation).
Our next target was the cathedral and we saw two other beautiful churches: the catholic church of St. Olav and the Church of the Holy Trinity.
We reached the place in front of the cathedral and we weren’t so surprised by its size. We had to avoid the Parliament house which was destroyed in the bomb attack and saw a lot of flowers in the memory of the innocent victims. We went down to Karl Johans gate and I bought myself a norwegian model sweater. From here we went to the central station and up on the roads on Rv4. We didn’t know how much we were going to walk before getting out of the city. So we went up to the botanical garden and followed the road Rv4 to Gjøvik. We had to stop at a gas station to refill my camelbag with water and take an ice cream for each of us. We followed the signs and walked for more than an hour to Linderud area and commercial center. I had an idea to use the metro for 13 minutes and cca 10 stations to Vestli and we reached this point at 12.30. We were a little dizzy and manage to find our good direction in a few minutes. We went down to our road and hitch hiked for a new car. We were lucky and a norwegian woman stopped and took us on the road back home. She was a permanent globetrotter and went in a lot of countries in the whole world. Unfortunately she hadn’t been in Romania and she knew most of the negative part of our country. Of course, she also knew about the beauty of Romania from Brasov and surroundings. We continued to talk and we reached Gran at 13.40. This was her destination and we continued to hike for the next car. After 20 minutes of waiting an iraki stopped and picked us up. He was going to Gjøvik, a mountain city on our way back to Øyer. He knew only iraki and norwegian and I talked with him in norwegian about his situation here and in his native country. I found out some information about Iraq labor market and his life as a self employee here in Norway (11 years of running an asian food store). He left us in the center of Gjøvik and in 5 minutes we went up in another car which brought us to Øyer (15.45). We were surprised and happy to meet other three teams and share our experiences before being picked up by the representatives of our school.
It was a great adventure for all of us and we were very happy to strength interpersonal relations and to improve the power of the groups. We had some emotions for other pairs who managed to reach Øyer until midnight. Only 1 ½ groups didn’t manage to come back in that day and we were so glad when they came to Hornsjø to the school! Totally we made 1080 km and we got a prize for the longest trip made in these two days – a big and delicious chocolate!

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