When I last left you, Sten and I had just finished exploring a large portion of Oslo. It was a fantastic insight into the city, Norse history and local culture. But, I wasn’t done. In fact, my hosts still had a few surprises left up their sleeves.
After a quick hello, and then a far longer nap (dare I cry jetlag?) I eventually stumbled out of bed and wandered into the living room. A bit groggy but generally feeling refreshed I settled into a stool and joined the others. As it turned out, we’d all crashed for longer than anticipated. When the sun never sets, a nap here or there quickly turns into a great idea.
To my delight Hildur had picked up some pre-cooked whole shrimp on her way home from work, and had set to preparing a classic regional dish. The ingredients were simple. Boiled and well salted shrimp, sliced bread, mayo, sliced green onions and lemon. Combine it all as pictured in the image above, and then enjoy. It was delicious, and a meal I hope to replicate sometime in the near future. The shrimp in particular caught my attention – the Norwegian shrimp are a different species than the ones I’m familiar with in the US. They’re a deeper orange-almost red when cooked, slightly smaller and have a saltier/stronger shrimp taste. Stuffed, we decided to enjoy the weather and set out towards the park. Hildur grabbed a bag of blocks – which I later learned was a fun game to play in the park.
The 3 minute walk to the park was pleasant. The weather perfect – riding that fine line between cool and warm. The sun had started its ever so gradual descent leaving everything with the slight suggestion of Sunset despite the reality that it was still hours off. As seems to be the case with most Scandinavian parks in summer, despite the late hour (it was perhaps 10PM), there were still lots of people out and about. BBQing, lounging, drinking, chatting, and playing an assortment of park games.
For our part we set up shop next to one of the small ponds, then found a flat area to play our game. To my surprise, it was one I’d never seen before. Each team set up a series of rectangular blocks standing on end. The blocks were spaced about a foot apart in a long line, parallel to your opposition’s blocks. Each team had 6 or 8. Located in the middle – about 10 feet from either side – was a larger, taller rectangular block.
The goal? Each individual used three foot long round, wooden, stakes which were lobbed straight at the opposing bricks. The goal? Knock as many down as you could, before eventually going after the central block. The catch? Distance, aim, and a few additional challenges which went with each block which you managed to knock down.
All in all the game was one of the more entertaining park games I’ve played in a long time (afraid I’m not a huge fan of Frisbee). The company was great, and the setting…well…how often can you claim to have spent a relaxing evening playing in the park in the shadow of Norway’s Royal Palace?