"Excuse me, Kai. That was no fart. That was just my body
applauding the food."
Anon (in the gutter)
A VISIT TO THE LAND OF THE NUTTIES ONCE MORE
(A TWO-PERSON INTERRAIL ADVENTURE)
by Richard Karsmakers
This article also contains some dedication notes.
When Stefan and me left Norway in January 1990 there was no way
of being able to tell whether one of us, or both, would ever set
foot on the Hallowed Nutty Soil again or not. Nobody knows what
the future will bring, so we didn't either at that point. As it
turned out the future so far already brought a visit of some
Norwegians to my place almost exactly three years later, and it
can now be revealed that the temporary climax has been reached
when my girlfriend Miranda and myself once more visited the
Fjorden Country last July.
Altogether, the preparations hadn't really taken that long.
Basically they consisted of consulting a good Atlas, writing Kai
Holst and emailing a lot with Gard Eggesbø Abrahamsen (previously
known as the Minute Microbe, but also known by even less
illustrious pseudonyms, some of which are slightly applicable),
Torbjørn Ose (alias Lord HackBear of Delta Force) and the First
And Truest of Nutties, Ronny Hatlemark. Although at various
occasions the plans had to be tossed around so as not to
inconvene too many of the people we intended to see, in the end
the final plans unfortunately had to exclude a visit to Torbjørn
due to the simple reason of our not being able to come sooner
(due to my final sophomore exams) and his joining the army around
that exact time.
And so our story begins...
At 12:55, the afternoon of Sunday July 4th 1993, Miranda and me
left from Utrecht Central Station. Or at least we were supposed
to leave. Dutch Railways wouldn't be what they are today if they
didn't manage to concoct some kind of delay during this very
first stage of our Interrail adventure, and indeed that is what
they did. As we sat in the train, beholding the clock ticking
away minute after minute, we were getting increasingly restive.
We only had about 20 minutes once we would get to Amersfoort
(normally at 13:15) to get the first international train to
Osnabrück, Germany. If the train were to wait any longer than
that, we would not just miss that train but we would also have no
way to get on all ensueing proper trains, most of which we had
reserved seats or sleeping places in.
Outside the train a ticket collector was walking. I was feeling
very uncomfortable. Delays are the kind of stuff you can cope
with on the way back home, but not when the entire holiday had
yet to start. I went outside and asked him, assuming he worked on
the train we were in, if perhaps he had a clue as to when it
would be leaving.
"Sure," he said, "it's leaving right now."
As I looked back over my shoulder, my heart missing a beat or
two, I saw the train doors closing.
"Oops," I said.
"Are you supposed to be on that train?" he inquired in a
friendly and somewhat patronizing manner.
"Sure. Holiday. All my stuff's on board," I said, straining hard
not to, you know, flip out.
The train wasn't yet in motion. I looked at Miranda, on the
inside of the train. I don't think she thought my move had been a
The ticket collector managed to communicate with the driver; a
door opened again and I could quickly get in, though in another
part of the train that was not connected to the bit carrying
Miranda, my rucksack, passport and money.
At Amersfoort I joined Miranda again. We had to dash to get to
the 13:41 to Osnabrück, but we managed eventually.
The train was very busy and it was quite warm, too. It seemed as
if approximately half of all Dutch youths were travelling east.
All of this was made somewhat more awkward by the fact that all
of them - including us - were wearing bulging back packs that
didn't particularly facilitate moving smoothly through the narrow
and thoroughly crammed train corridors.
After about fifteen minutes we had managed to fight our way to
the very back of the train, where there were some seats left for
us to lower our already anxious bodies on. I started reading
Stephen King's "It"; Miranda continued her reading of the second
Volume of the "Rose of the Prophet" trilogy by Hickman/Weis
(borrowed from Alex "Yes-I-Will-Do-The-Second-Part-Of-My-Story-
But-Probably-Not-This-Century" Crousen). Time and the German
landscape - uninteresting and rather plain in a green sort of way
- whizzed by.
At 16:21 we got onto the IC 522 train to Hamburg after having
disembarked at Osnabrück. This part of the trip was particularly
uneventful, the both of us just reading a lot. "It" was getting
into the mood.
We had a bit more than an hour to kill at Hamburg Hauptbahnhof.
If we were killing time anyway, why not kill off a few coronary
arteries as well? So we decided to use the few German marks we
had to stuff our faces with whatever we could afford at the local
Station's McDonalds. I was reminded of the fact that German
branches of McDonalds don't have my fave snack - the
Quarterpounder. Instead we had something different, probably some
sort of BigMac (and I hate BigMacs because my mouth just isn't as
big as that of Randy Crawford).
At 19:34 the Eurocity train Alfred Nobel, destined for the
wholly wonderful city of Oslo (which is oddly in vogue with
airplane hijackers these days, so it seems) departed. This was
the train where we were to spend the next 16+ hours in a small
couchette with an American couple and two rather smelly Germans
destined for Swedish Göteborg who joined us when the train had
to board a ferry for the first time, at Puttgarten.
The holiday feeling really struck us in that train. There is
always a totally different and certainly addictive atmosphere on
a train headed for faraway destinations. I guess it's the same
feeling you'd have when on a Trans-Siberia-Express, though
possibly not quite that intense. Already the landscape outside
the train was becoming dominated more by meadows and forests,
less of the good ol' German autobahns, smogged-up cities,
industrial areas, that sort of thing.
At Puttgarden, were we suddenly discovered these Germans having
been added to a couchette that was obviously designed for six but
not nearly enough for four, the whole train was put aboard a
ferry to the Danish town of Rødbyhavn. It was a bit of a
claustrophobic experience, until we found out we could actually
leave the train and go up into the ship to catch some lungsful of
fresh sea air.
There we witnessed a more than average sunset over the waters of
Fehmarnbelt, after which the increasing chill sent us back in.
The boat trip lasted about an hour, after which another hour was
spent getting the whole thing off the ferry again. This procedure
mainly seemed to involve moving the train backward and forward
By the time the train was on the move across Denmark again all
of us tried to catch some Z's. The couchette was getting pretty
damp and hot, the Germans getting a bit smellier too. I had a
terrible night which seemed not to know any sleep, even though I
sortof awoke to some early rays of the sun at about 6 PM, already
in Sweden. I must have slept for a while at least, for the train
had already made another small crossing from Danish Helsingør to
Swedish Helsingborg. Even the repeated train juggling had not
been noticed. Oh yeah, there was an instant of everybody waking
up in the middle of the night when ruthless Swedish customs
officers burst into the couchette, switched on the brightest
lights they could find and insisted we show our passports. To my
dazed eyesight they looked remarkably much like nazis, and they
certainly acted accordingly.
Anyway, I was unable to return to sleep once awake at around 6
AM. I was in Sweden, the sun was shining, and the train was
driving at dazzling speed to where we wanted to be.
After attempting to freshen up myself and shaving a bit I
basically spent about an hour standing in the corridor, seeing
the Swedish landscape scroll by smoothly. All I could see was a
sortof rugged but cultivated landscape with loads of trees. As
time progressed I became aware of a growing number of Volvos and
the odd Saab on distant roads. There's something really
particular about a train with loads of sleeping people driving
through a country totally asleep except for a few early
Gøteborg Central Station was virtually abandoned. The Germans
left us, smelly feet and all, creating a lot more space (they had
large back packs, just like the American couple and ourselves).
For some reason, probably something to do with time schedules, we
remained at Gøteborg for what seemed like - and probably was - an
Not too long after the train had departed, Miranda and the
Americans awoke. We cursed at our stupidity for having spent all
German marks at the Hamburg Hamburger joint. The ridiculously
expensive drinks aboard the train, for which our throats and
mouths were craving most profoundly regardless the price, all had
to be paid for with German currency. To make things worse, all we
had for breakfast were dry wheat biscuits.
Probably around 10 AM the train entered the Hallowed Soil of
Norway. A peculiar feeling grabbed hold of me, clogging my throat
with some kind of half-forgotten sentiment. Norway, country
sublime. I was back. I gazed outside at the country that appeared
more rugged by the minute. Dark green forests lay draped
pleasingly across hills, rocks protruded from the soil. This was
the same kind of land I had driven through with Stefan and Lars-
Erik on our way to Ronny's abode in Ørsta, years ago. Country
sublime indeed. I looked at the sun, not quite realising it would
be just about the last bit of it we were to see, despite Kai
Holst's repeated utterings of expected good weather and our
consequently having packed loads of T-shirts, shorts and other
items of clothing usually worn only during the hottest summer
"It" progressed nicely, encapturing me ever more. I guess so did
"Rose of the Prophets" volume 2.
At 11:46, Monday July 5th 1993, we threw our thirsty bodies out
of the train at Oslo, having spent rather too many hours sitting.
We stretched our legs and dashed for the nearest place where we
could buy something to drink, discovering the fact that Norway
had introduced the half-litre plastic recyclable nondisposable
Coca Cola bottle. Although insanely expensive (as most things,
again, turned out to be in Norway), we welcomed this invention by
buying a few immediately.
At least we got back 1 NOK when we bothered to bring them back.
Next stage in our journey was to be an express bus trip to Kai's
home town of Øvre Ardal by means of the Valdres Expressen, a fast
bus service between Oslo and the area in which Øvre Ardal lay (at
about a height between Bergen and Ålesund, which I'm sure all
your atlases show). This bus was not due to leave until 17:15, so
Kai had informed us, but we already went in search of its
terminal right away, buying tickets and inquiring about its
departure just in case.
Actually, this was one of the few items of information Kai had
supplied us with that turned out to be absolutely and irrevokably
So we had another few hours to kill in Oslo. We were not aware
of any particular places to go and see there, so basically we did
what we always do in foreign places - check out the local
It is said that a BigMac costs just about as much anywhere as
everywhere else. This is a false assumption, for in Norway even
the McDonalds is as expensive as the rest (i.e. even more
expensive than it normally already is). At least, to my
considerable joy, they did have Quarterpounders.
After having bought, written and mailed a couple of dozen post
cards we went back to the bus terminal. The bus left about on
time. Apart from the first and rather unsightful bit, around
Oslo, we were in for a treat.
Only interrupted by a short driver's break, the bus brought us
comfortably to where we wanted to be, awarding us with some great
views of southern Norway. We didn't have to change buses once.
The driver was an expert obviously. At multiple occasions we
thought we would be falling into some kind of ravine the way he
was keeping to the edge of the road - often whilst shifting gear
a lot with one hand, talking on the mobile phone with the other
and using his knee to actually move the steering wheel. It was a
Within about half an hour from Øvre Ardal, where we were due to
arrive at approximately 22:40, we began to doubt sincerely Kai's
predictions about the weather. There was rather too much snow and
ice for temperatures of around 20 degrees. And there we sat,
wearing clothes that wouldn't raise any eyebrows on a Spanish
It turned out to be a mountain we had to cross before an awe-
inspiring descent followed down to the town of Øvre Ardal, which
lay hemmed in by some mountain ranges at the end (or beginning)
of the Ardalsfjord. The 1-kilometre descent was steep and quite a
thrill. Far below us we saw the town's hydroelectricity works,
with the actual town lying more towards the end of the small
river that crossed the valley, to the east.
The word 'picturesque' sprang to mind.
At the estimated time of arrival we crossed the Øvre Ardal
river, the stop after which we had to get off on. Kai "New Energy
Addict" Holst and his dad were waiting for us there. We quickly
got in the car, chilled to the bone already, and drove off to
Haakon's VII Vegen 15, a house that Kai proudly claimed was the
biggest private house in Øvre Ardal.
It has to be said it was a rather nice house, though not seeming
all that big from the outside. Inside there were comfortably
heated rooms with lights on aplenty, a sauna, two bathrooms, a
number of bedrooms we didn't even bother to count, a living room
upstairs, an extra games/TV room downstairs, the works. Miranda
and myself really like wooden houses with wooden floors and
wooden furniture. From the inside it was one heck of a place,
spacey and luxurious.
We noted that there were lights on everywhere - something which
we considered strange as in our country we're taught (by parents
and the government) never to leave any lights on when you leave a
room so as to save energy. Kai explained this was due to their
electricity being very cheap, what with the Hydroelectricity
works and all.
Fine. But the generated heat still helps global warming. They
seemed to have conveniently forgotten about that.
Anyway. We gave Kai the Whistler Courbois Whistler "Privilege"
CD he had so ardently desired, after which we were introduced to
his sister (whose name has totally evaded getting permanently
lodged in my brain coils, but it sounded a bit like Cecilia or
something) and mother, the latter of which who had already
produced a rather copious meal for us to enjoy.
And enjoy it we did - Reindeer meat in a tender sauce with lots
of veggy goodies as well. Kai's mum is an excellent cook - as a
matter of fact she made spring back to mind all those praises I
had once bestowed on the humble shoulders of Mrs. Butler where
Stefan and myself spent the last day during the "LateST NEWS
Quest". Mrs. Holst is the kind of person who seems to have
dedicated ever morsel of her life most deservingly to preparing
meals to satiate her husband, offspring and possible guests - a
After dinner Kai took us for a stroll around Øvre Ardal. Miranda
and me had each taken one sweater with us - Kai had luckily been
so smart as to advise us to bring one, just in case. They had
been really down deep in our back packs, however, so we had to
dig them out and put on our jackets on, too, when we went out.
It was already growing slightly dark. It was a bit like the
onset of dusk, only at a time of something close to midnight. It
never actually got dark while we were in Norway. This succeeded
in screwing up our biorhythms a bit, but not as totally as the
previous visit to Norway, mid-winter, when it would already be
pitch dark at 4 in the afternoon.
One of the sights of Øvre Årdal was a small but rather active
waterfall to the north of town. He walked us there and we got
quite wet and virtually hearing-impaired.
We went to bed not much later. We were quite tired from the trip
and I for one hadn't slept much at all the previous night (unlike
Miranda, so it seemed, who had told me tall stories of her
sleeping with seven people in a sleeping-chair thingy in the
train - just as small as the couchette we had stayed in but with
no beds even).
Kai had to work every day, get up early and not get back until
around 4 PM. We spent the late morning and early afternoon
strolling through donwtown Øvre Årdal, admiring the clean river
(there aren't any like that in the Netherlands) and buying the
superb and by now famous 'IFA pastiller' (small pieces of
liquorice that really taste nice, available in two divine
tastes). Once we got back to the Holst residence we spent our
time waiting for Kai to get back from work by reading the
assorted copies of "Calvin & Hobbes" comics lying about his room.
We had never really gotten around to reading any of these, and
the both of us really thought they were very funny. That guy can
draw incredibly effectively, too.
Anyway, after Kai arrived his mother once more treated us to a
more than copious dinner, this time involving some sort of melted
cheese sauce and a whole lot of other things that we ourselves
usually never bother to make because it's just such a damn load
of work. Not so for Mrs. Holst, apparently. She seems to thrive
on the mere act of cooking. Amazing. There should be many more
people like that, especially among those who bother to invite me
over for dinner now and again.
After dinner we went for an amazing walk to a place that, I
seem to recall, was called Vettisfossen. Kai's dad dropped us off
at about a fifteen minutes' drive up the river. There, the
seemingly rather quiet river was still fed by multiple waterfalls
that went from 'rather' to 'very' impressive. Crossing the river
several times across makeshift bridges we continued upstream for
a few hours. Kai proved to be quite an athlete, who continuously
had to slow down to let us - poor Flatland Dwellers - catch up
with him as he ascended. The views changed from steep cliffs to
soft green meadows near to which waterfalls crashed down
majestically. Quite beautiful.
After a few hours the quality of the path deteriorated. It was
getting progressively slippery. Once we'd reached a drawbridge
where we made some really spectacular pictures of ourselves
hanging across the down-crashing current, we went back (the
pictures, by the way, got f*@ked when Kai's camera got damaged,
some weeks later).
We had agreed to meet Kai's dad at midnight at the place where
we had set out on our walk. We were quite a bit too late but the
man turned out to have an angel's patience. He was still there,
accompanied by Kai's sister.
Once back at the house, we got another load of food thrust at
us. We ate to our hearts' content, and then some. Tired
proverbally, we went to bed, spending the first half hour dazedly
listening to the soft scratches of one of their more fluffy cats
who was trying to join us in that room.
The next day, Wednesday, we woke up rather later than we had
intended. Although we both love sleeping late, we also both
consider it a waste of valuable quality holiday time to spend it
in bed. Once we had pulled ourselves through the shower and a
good breakfast we set out exploring the vicinity of Øvre Årdal
again. As the both of us had been impressed by that waterfall to
the north of town that we had visited on the late evening of our
first day, we decided to attempt to find it again.
Remarkably, our attempt was successful.
To the considerable discomfort of Miranda, I spent about half an
hour trying to get as close as possible to the most dangerous
bits in the waterfall (which weren't, let's be fair, actually
that dangerous, though it could probably kill you if you got
caught by the by-rushing current). I frantically signalled
Miranda to take a picture, which nearly caused me to lose my
balance several times.
There is something really minutifying about sitting next to a
waterfall where tons of mountain water come crashing down
mercilessly, having within them the power to shape abysses,
crevices and tumultous rivers. I sat there for a while, enawed,
until I saw Miranda frantically signalling, which indicated that
she was still not feeling comfortable at all at what she reckoned
were my positively suicidal antics.
I like Norway. I like waterfalls. I know where I'll be living
once I've retired. Provided I'll succeed in getting rather rich
before, that is.
Not too long after we had returned back to the Holst residence,
Kai returned. His arrival meant another perusal of most excellent
foodstuffs, and not too long after that Kai took us for a stroll
in a vaguely northeastern direction, towards a flattened mountain
kind of thing overlooking the Årdal Hydroelectricity Works. When
we walked by a supermarket we discovered Kai's "New Energy"
addiction. Suddenly he was sucked in, helpless, seemingly not in
control of himself. He got attracted in some eerie way by a load
of candy, quickly grasped what "High Energy" bars he could, paid,
and quickly left the place.
At least we could get some IFA too.
The mountain - actually more like a big hill - was easily
ascended; not due to a sudden increase in our climbing adeptness
but because someone some time ago had been as brilliant so as to
make a rather very long series of steps to the top. Even so it
was still pretty tireing for us (I know, we're pretty pathetic.
But we're pretty proud of it!).
On the top of that flattened mountain were several remains of
long-abandoned grave sites. They were supposed to be pretty
ancient, and I believe they're Øvre Årdal's claim to tourist
fame. They actually looked as if any bunch of native kids could
have erected them - vague piles of stones, as a matter of fact.
To the experiences eye (such as those we had not) they might have
looked drool-invokingly interesting, but to us they didn't much.
We walked back to Kai's place. So far we had spent only very
little time behind Kai's Falcon. I didn't have one at the time,
and I was actually pretty eager to try it out. Miranda had made
me swear not to turn this into a computer freak orgy holiday, but
she allowed us to spend some time on the machine that evening.
She kept busy reading "Calvin & Hobbes" (yes, computer junkies,
there's a valuable tip to keep your girlfriends happy).
In spite of the fact that Kai insisted on using an overscan (OK)
interlaced (not OK at all!) resolution by default, my encounters
with the machine had a specific kind of magic. For starters the
beta version of my "Ultimate Virus Killer" worked. At least
mostly. Kai also showed some really brilliant demos, best of
which was one by the Respectables (who surely deserve a lot of
it - respect, that is) that had digi sound (CD quality) with
rotating and zooming graphics and oodles and oodles of colours.
Genuinely impressive, that demo. The Falcon-invoked drooling was
interrupted for an hour or so when Kai took us to a local pub. He
was hoping to let us gaze at some of the girls who constantly
profess their deepest love to him, but they turned out not to be
there. Some things we did find were insanely high beer prices and
the continuous tendency of whoever did the music to limit it
solely to dance stuff. Not our kind of place at all. The music
was A) Bad, and B) Too loud to allow for any decent conversation.
Kai is probably not human, or at least not totally. He went to
bed way after midnight, something which we now noticed he had
done the day before and something which he also turned out to do
every successive night. What with him having to get up at around
6 AM every day, this is definite proof of him actually being a
Cyborg. Or possibly a Virus Terminator (some of you probably know
that he's actually doing "Antidote", one of the most serious
"Ultimate Virus Killer" competitors).
Enough of these observations. Allow me to proceed to Thursday.
Thursday was definitely the least interesting day of those we
spent at Kai's place. We spent the morning and early afternoon
occupying ourselves again, this time by going to higher
locations of the waterfall we had investigated in more detail the
There was a bridge across the waterfall that we had already been
on for a short while on our first evening, the spray wetting us
through. There was no spray now, so we crossed the bridge and
tracked up a winding path that went up the northern mountain
ridge in western direction. We made some pretty stunning pictures
of the town from the much higher positions, but when it started
to rain somewhat we went back to the bridge to hide under it.
When the rain slackened a bit, we followed the mountain road up
along the river that was the waterfall. We were treated to a few
showers that didn't wet us but instead just cooled us off a bit.
It wasn't exactly cold or warm, but the climbing just made us
break into a bit of sweat perpetually.
This was the first time we discovered that for which
Skandinavian summers are notorious: Flies. There weren't
particularly many of them, but they seemed to make a habit of
flying around our heads and getting attracting by any motion
you'd care to make to attempt to chase them off.
We didn't quite make it to the top, because the road got further
off the waterfall and we got the idea we'd never see the top of
the waterfall no matter how far up we followed the road. Also,
the time had arrived when it wouldn't take too long until Kai
would come back from work, so we went back to his place.
The rest of the afternoon we had orginally planned to get
dropped at about 1 kilometre height, at the bit where the Valdres
Expressen had started its awe-inspiring descent some days ago.
The rain had increased dramatically, however, confining us to
the Holst residence where we spent the time reading some more,
talking shop, and copying various Falcon-related items onto my
Late in the afternoon, but before dinner, Kai's oldest sister
and boyfriend arrived. They took up the attic bed room so Miranda
and me had to spend the night in Kai's bedroom, with the dude
himself sleeping on the couch in the downstairs additional
games/TV room (such sacrifice!). Anyway, our last dinner was
rather excellent as usual.
That night I slept as well as ever. Though I was severely
tempted to raid Kai's Falcon and rip off his "Antidote" source
code, I restrained myself and noblely refrained from this
loathsome and karma-damaging act.
Friday was not a nice day. The weather was OK and all people in
the house were as friendly as ever, but a feeling of 'goodbye'
pervaded the air. We had to wait until a time after noon, which
was too long not to do anything but too short to do anything
decent. So we basically sat waiting, at times attempting to break
"Tetris" hiscores on the Gameboy we had brought.
After a heart-rending goodbye and Mrs. Holst giving each of us a
portable umbrella (which was slightly embarassing because we'd
never quite experienced hosts giving presents) the sister and
boyfriend brought us to Årdalstangen, a town at about a quarter
of a mile (and one long tunnel where the maximum height is 4.2
metres) west of Øvre Årdal, where Kai worked in a laundry. We
would meet him there, he would arrange the ferry/bus tickets, and
we would grab a boat west.
Some time after Kai and the family had left us, the ferry
arrived and we were allowed to board.
It was the beginning of a rather very long and equally intense
journey across Sogn and Fjordane involving several ferries and
buses. The ticket did not contain a lot of information so we
really had to try hard to find out where we had to disembark,
where we had to run to which buses, the works. For someone who
likes to have his entire holiday figured out before he goes (and
I do mean completely figured out), this was a most stress-
As was indicated already, the first bit was by ferry. It was a
medium-sized ferry, the kind of which would probably sink at the
first wave if it were ever to be used at sea. After about an hour
(at least I think it was something like that) we had to get off
at Kaupanger. It was a good thing we didn't know that we really
had to dash for the bus, for otherwise we would have been so
worked up that by the time we arrived we would not even have seen
it. As it was, we didn't know and Lady Luck must have considered
us a pretty nice bunch of tourists for the bus left at the exact
moment we got in.
That bus trip was pretty ordinary. We drove along a fjord most
of the time, headed for what I believe was a town called Sogndal.
We didn't know where we had to get off, but it was a lot easier
than we had thought as the bus virtually drove into a fjord at
the spot where we had to embark on a boat again, I think in a
town called Hella.
That second boat trip was most comfortable. The ferry was a lot
bigger and the scenery was much more admirable. We did get into a
few rather heavy showers, but nothing big enough to make the ship
crew run around with buckets or that sort of thing.
At Fjærland we got off the boat again, onto a waiting bus. It
was getting pretty cold again, and after a few minutes we saw the
reason for that cold as we glanced out of the bus windows. Ahead
and to the left of us lay an enormous glacier, poised as it
were, coloured all shades of grey and light purple. Impressed we
gazed at it, even attempted to make a picture of it (Later
examination of an atlas told me it had probably been the
Huldrefossen or Jostedalsbreen glacier).
We had not yet regained our composure again when the bus hurtled
itself into a seemingly endless tunnel. When it came out again we
were, obviously, at the other side of a mountain range. The
weather was quite different, and a bit more sunny there.
Wow. So far, this had certainly been the best day as far as
scenery was concerned. This Vettisfossen thing had been
incredible, but the glacier we had seen was to Vettisfossen what
a dinosaur is to an elephant: Bigger, and almost infinitely more
We spent a long time in that bus, driving through lush green
valleys aglow with just fallen rain, accompanied by small and
briskly flowing rivers that eagerly sought their ways to
Near a hotel, probably in Skei or Stryn, a bus was found waiting
to take the two of us to Nordfjordeid. The soft rain had
increased to something more akin to a downpour now.
The landscape continued impressing us relentlessly. It seemed as
if every hour brought us steeper cliffs with wilder rivers at the
bottom of ravine, to the edges of which the drivers moved their
buses increasingly closely.
We left the bus at Nordfjordeid, and sortof automatically
entered the bus that stood waiting next to the one we'd just
left. It seemed like the right thing to do, also because it had
"Ørsta" displayed on it.
When the bus driver came to check our tickets he told us we were
in the wrong bus. We needed to get into the bus that was just
about to leave on the other side, i.e. the bus we had just left.
We quickly fetched our back packs from the baggage space in the
bus' bowels and ran back to our previous bus. It promptly left
Ørsta...I couldn't wait to set foot on Ørstaian soil again, see
the wonderful town once more in less wintry conditions. We were
mere hours away from it.
This last bus trip yet increased the depths of the ravines and
the proxomity of their edges even more.
At a certain stage, within about three quarters of an hour from
our estimated time of arrival, around 8 PM I believe, the scenery
began to look familiar. Within minutes the bus went on the last
ferry, crossing the Austefjord to Volda. Volda was the town where
Ronny had to bring back rented videos some years ago, and it also
was the town between Ørsta and Austefjorden where Frøystein
Hustadness (a.k.a. the F-Word, Frøyboy and Frøykid) lived (Later
I was told that Frøystein has had no contact with anyone anymore
and had concentrated on mountain climbing a lot - hence his not
answering my few letters I had sent the last three years).
I was sitting at the edge of my seat. Volda was within a very
short distance from Ørsta, maybe fifteen or twenty minutes. The
bus rode across the same road that Lars-Erik had used some years
ago. Today's destination was brimming on the horizon, enluring
like a fata morgana.
After an exchange of drivers, the bus pulled to a halt at
Ørsta's main bus stop. We got out and fetched our back packs,
scanning the scenery for Ronny to appear.
He arose from a battered blue Ford Granada, on his face the big
smile I still remembered him perpetually wearing. Although his
hair was now a bit shorter, he had grown a bit older and his
English had deteriorated a little, he hadn't really changed. Good
old Ronny, godfather of Ynnor the Divine One.
Deja Vu struck.
Will be continued in part II...
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.