I scored a 38 Euro flight from Madrid to Oslo to visit my friend, Kine, in Trondheim, Norway. As the flight touched down, we heard over the crackly loudspeaker, “Welcome to Sandefjord!” Wait a second; I should be in Oslo! Evidently, the cheap flight via Ryan Air took the scenic route of some god forsaken icy wasteland. Luckily there was a bus I could take to Oslo.
“Chin up,” I thought, “What’s life without adventure?” I set off in search of the fabled Oslo. By the time I reached the proper station I had approximately 3 minutes to find my bus to Trondheim. I only just made it. 9 hours and a stiff neck later, I arrived in Trondheim, to be greeted by a wild Viking woman tackling me, NFL style. Kine! I spent one week touring the city and historical monuments. Kine and I passed the too short week in a whirl of activity, laughter and one get-hypothermia-just-thinking-about-it swim in the frigid Norwegian coastal waters. While it was snowing, might I add.
It was time to head back to the balmy Mediterranean. Tears were shed, goodbyes made, as I boarded the “Polar Express,” southbound to Oslo. I securely locked my suitcase to the medal bar and settled in for an enjoyable ride. Four hours into our steady southern course, we stopped, yet again, to allow passengers on and off. However, this time, the train went the wrong way. That’s when I was informed that I was on the wrong train.
Ok, I’m cool. I can handle this. I repeated the mantra as my brain worked furiously for a solution. The ticket taker kicked me off at the next stop, “Ghost Town Central.” I went to grab my luggage, yet it was nowhere in sight. I sprint, yes, headlong sprint the length of the train, frantically searching. Mr. Ticket Taker had no concern for my well being, just a swift kick in the rear and there I was, standing dazed and confused on a deserted platform with nothing but my passport. Another fun fact: I had no money.
I was a budget master. Or so I thought, until I was left alone, penniless in a cold, bleak world. Break-down time; nothing clears your head like a good cry fest. After a bit of incoherent blubbering, I sharply slapped myself across the face and got down to business. Behind me stood a dilapidated structure that I imagined, long ago, one might buy train tickets, or ask for help when stranded there. Not anymore.
An eternity later, I felt that distinct rumbling under your feet announcing a train. I fervently prayed to Zeus, Buddha and Chocolate they would accept me; ticketless, luggage-less and helpless. They took pity on me; however I still arrived in Oslo 4 hours late for my flight. No money to buy another ticket, too late to reimburse my old one and no where to spend the night, so I called home. I soon had a flight for Monday and a hotel Sunday night. But it was Saturday. That evening, I bunked in the airport, with a nice pair of lost souls; such as myself. We spent the night huddled atop what little belongings we had; taking comfort that, although we didn’t speak a word of each others language – I took them to be Russian – we had a mutual understanding, unique to travelers world-wide. I spent three days lost in transition and wouldn’t trade one second of it. I blithely dove into that trip looking for adventure and learned yet another trick of the traveling trade.
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