Big Smelly Bus

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Ben: The morning light on the church this morning was too good to ignore.  Enjoy a few more shots of the Lom stave church!

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Bree: With only a few weeks left to go on our trip, it is painfully clear that we’ll never end up in Helsinki on time without some help. It was with this realization that we concluded that today we needed to take a bus to Oslo.

We’re not that keen on taking buses in general, so it wasn’t until we were literally boarding the bus that I was sure we weren’t going to bail on this plan. To make matters worse, the already expensive bus fare was made far more unreasonable by the fact that each of our bicycles required its own ticket which cost exactly the same as a child’s fare. With our “children” messily stashed in the belly of the bus, we climbed aboard our home for the next six hours.

The bus was equipped with wifi, in theory allowing Ben to work en route, but the reality of the fact that we’re both pretty prone to carsickness made the wifi a bit useless. We closed our eyes and tried to sleep off the waves of nausea brought on by a top heavy bus lumbering through a winding canyon. At least twice, I nearly scrambled for something to throw up in, but thankfully the situation never got any worse.

The redeeming point of the trip was the 45 minute break we took in a small town where we sat in the shade and picnicked in the fresh air. Bus travel might be fast, but it sure isn’t very fun.

Back on the bus, I felt at least a bit better, but the ride still wasn’t glamorous. The kid in front of me had an old, dry cough, making me cringe. The last thing I need is to get sick. On and on we drove, the hot sun blasting me through the huge window while we marveled at the beautiful scenery all around us. I imagined how this ride might have been on a bike, how we would know every crest and valley and how we would stop frequently to take a picture or have a snack. It just isn’t the same when your vehicle propels itself and all you have to do is sit quietly and wait.

By the time we had arrived in Oslo, I was starving and feeling pretty grumpy. I was tired and nauseous from a whole day of transit, anxious to “be” somewhere instead of always “going”. I was unsure I even wanted to be in Oslo at all- I really don’t care much for big cities. The prospect of sightseeing or of riding into Sweden or renting a car tomorrow seemed terrible and overwhelming to me. With all this keeping me company, we reassembled our stuff and headed toward camp.

The ride was only 3.5 kilometers, but I’d read that the campground had a great city view. Though that detail might have been a selling point to some, I knew it meant the whole ride would be straight uphill. We pedaled up and up, the sun still surprisingly strong considering it was 7 PM. Feeling miserable and sweaty, I pedaled hard (and slow), Ben encouraging me all the way.

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Finally we checked in to a campground that looks like its own village of campers and tents, hundreds of families sprawled across huge swaths of dead grass. Ben set up while I sat on the lawn and ate everything in sight in rapid succession. Once fed, my mood became a little more manageable and we got to work, sorting photos and uploading journal entries, soon deciding that we needed to stay put another day. We are days and days behind and weary of such fast paced travel. Unfortunately Helsinki is still a long way away.

 

 

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2 Responses

  1. Kim says:

    I was just looking at the map and wondered what route you are planning to take to get to Helsinki? Are you going straight across, then take a boat or plane to Helsinki? Or are you winding up and around? Helsinki is fairly close to St. Petersburg, which would be interesting to see.

    • Breeanne says:

      We’ll ride through to Stockholm and then catch a ferry toward Finland (possibly laying over in Estonia. We’ll see). St. Petersburg has major visa requirements so it is probably a visit for another trip unless we take a visa free “cruise” over there. I havne’t quite sorted out the logistics on that one.

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