Another day, another flight to take … this time I’m flying from Oslo all the way beyond the Arctic Circle to the Lofoten Islands. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for a long time, even before I made my first trip to Norway in 2002. The Lofoten seems to conjure a vista that captures my imagination – jutting mountain peaks right out from the sea, with red white-gabled Norwegian houses dotting the narrow flat lands. It’s another step closer to my relaxation – at the moment, the tension from work seems to be a thousand miles away … well, literally, it is! 😀
I had a good time yesterday exploring the silver mine in Kongsberg with my friend Hugo. We took the tour deep inside the mine – we had to take a little train into the mine complex. Each carriage seats eight passenger and the carriage is tiny! We had to sit snuggly against each other. We were given ear plugs as well as the 15-minute trip across the tunnel was pretty noisy. Each passenger was then given a hardhat as well, so we looked like Doozers from the Fraggle Rock. However, when I got my picture taken, I looked more like a Chinese mining official! Hahaha. 😆
The whole tour took about two hours – we learnt about the history and the nature of the mine. We learnt about the technique used to build the mine in the 1800s – apparently, it took three months for the miners to advance a mere metre! They burned logs inside the mine to heat the rock wall, to make it easier for them to break and chisel. For an office-dweller like me, it’s an insightful journey into the mining history!
We had a wander down Kongsberg town centre afterwards – we had lunch in a bakery-cum-cafe called Fattigmann in the mall, as other cafés were closed already. A bowl of chicken salad, a slice of marzipan cake, and a bottle of apple juice cost about $25 – pretty steep, eh? The town centre was pretty quiet in the afternoon as the shops closed at about 2.00pm. We also had a look around a cemetery complex hidden from public view near the carpark – we tried to guess what happened to the local dignitaries buried there – judges, doctors, pharmacists. It’s always great to learn more about history from a walk through the graveyard!
One last thing, I read somewhere that a visit to Scandinavian countries is like a wander through Vogue – everybody looks like a real-life version of Barbies and Kens. Well, it’s almost true! Eight out of ten people who I see, regardless of gender, look like they belong in modelling agencies – prominent cheekbones, blue-eyes, blonde hair, perfect figure. Hahaha. 😆