Oslofjorden islands 2005
A return to the islands of Oslofjorden that we had previously seen in the winter
- Approaching Bleikøya - I just love this fence, neatly cut and perched on the edge of the fjord. Just in case the invaders approach from that side. Note also the
- Looking across to Hovedøya.
- The bus stop on Gressholmen. Yes, these ferries are operated by the bus service, and run just like a bus (only without sinking, of course - hopefully). They have a novel approach to public transport here; busses, trams, trains, and ferries all run on time. Yes, it's amazing I know, but they actually turn up when they say they are going to (except the very odd occasions when someone parks on the tram lines). And when you cross a fjord on a car ferry, you may be offered waffles with jam. They are very popular here.
- Looking past Gressholmen towards Ormøya, Malmøya, Malmøykalven, Skjærholmene, and Bunnefjorden. Try saying that when you're sober.
- Looking between Lindøya and Hovedøya towards Oslo. The white ski jump at Holmenkollen stands out on the mountains behind Oslo.
- Gressholmen is the remnant of a drumlin, in three parts, each barely managing to cling onto each other. Here you can see the coast of the Gressholmen part, with the Rambergøya part in the background.
- Josie sees a Moose wondering through the forests of Gressholmen, and decides to chase after it.
- The sunbathers on Gressholmen share their island with many birds - mostly geese - who have little fear of humans.
- A fjord in a fjord. In another Fjord. This little fjord cuts almost the whole way across the island, nearly separating Rambergøya from Gressholmen.
- And of course, it was too tempting not to swim across to Rambergøya. And back. And there again. And back. Repeatedly. Would have been nice to swim to one of the further islands, but Oslofjord has several shipping lanes and we did not want to cross them.
- A swimmer's eye view across the salt water to Rambergøya.
- Damer! And in case you have not worked it out yet, damer translates to "ladies", more commonly used as "babes". And thanks to Olli, it is the first Norwegian word I ever learned, and still one of the most prominent in my small vocabulary. Since I have very little use for this word myself, except to use it in nonsensical sentences, I hope to pass it on in the hopes that one of you might find it useful.
- The landing bay on Gressholmen (in other words, the place we swam back to).
- Sunbathing on the coast over Gressholmen. It doesn't matter who you are, even goths sunbathe here (complete with dark makeup)!
- Swimming training - honest.
- A dark cloud settled neatly over the top of the islands. A welcome relief from the heat of the sun.
- The edge of it looked pretty, so I took this picture.
- Damer, damer! Fending off geese.
Norwegians fit so closely to the Western ideals. More often than not they are blond, and always so trim and fit. Large numbers of them jog the more well trodden paths over the hillsides by Oslo. There are virtually no overweight Norwegians (compared with back home), and even 90 year olds still go cycling in the mountains (no I am not joking). Of the nearly 200 people that work in the same offices as me, I can count the overweight ones using the fingers of just one hand.
You would hardly think it if you saw their diet. Their takeaways consist of only one thing; a shop selling three things: kebabs, pizza, and burgers. Nothing else. Seriously, nothing else. Oh, except the little shops that sell hot-dogs. And aside from the constant barbecues, they eat a lot of takeaway. With sauces. Lots and lots of sauces. Each with more fat than a full fish and chips dinner, with fried English breakfast on the side. And they use a knife and fork for their burgers so the excess of sauces do not dribble all over their hands.
A lot of their food is sold when it has already gone past what we would call a sell-by date. They like their meat "strong" and their bread stale. And their shops are always so small. A "big" supermarket has *shock* two cash tills, and very little variety. Maybe it is the price that does it. It's so expensive, they cannot afford to eat too much.
Need more? Ok, the vast majority of them smoke. Far more than at home. How do they manage to be so healthy? Maybe it's because they have such a simplistic taste in other things like crisps, where the most extravigant is - prepare yourself - salt and pepper, or maybe even some paprika (yawn)! Or maybe it's because they don't drink as much; they can't afford to. But in case you are wondering, I am not complaining. I just find it interesting. Whatever. Back to the pictures.
- The edge of the fjord in a fjord is home to many Canada Geese.
- And this is their idea of protecting their young, hissing at passing strangers; "and if you are not careful, we will say 'hiss' again".
- This gave me images of Watership Down and Efrafa, with the larger gulls rounding up the smaller birds ready to be led to their new quarantine.
- I am useless with flowers. For all I know, these probably have some mundane name like "blue flower".
- The tiny piece of land joining Gressholmen and Rambergøya.
- Moose taking pictures in his
underwear . A little over dressed - considering where we were. This side of the island has a nudist beach. Norwegians are not afraid of exposure, and topless sunbathing is common in city parks. This particular nudist beach is badly situated beside the rougher water and stronger winds. Only a few people (all male ;) were actually braving full nudity. We did not stay here long.
- The little villages on Rambergøya and the third part of the island; Heggholmen. The house to the right even has its own little sea cave, which is being used as a garden shed. Obviously.
- Not exactly boulder clay.
- The tiny village on Heggholmen comes complete with its own railway, lighthouse (which we couldn't find) fishing port and boat building yard. For a nature reserve, it sure feels alive.
- Rabbits litter (!) this part of the island. This particularly evil specimen's red eyes glowed at us as we hurried past, with only a couple of minutes to reach the ferry.
- A hut on its own peninsula at Lindøya. I took a picture of this hut four months earlier. I liked it then. I still like it now.
- The picture I took four months earlier.
- The black cloud had made its way over Lindøya, now with some beautiful blue light streamers.
- One of the many Norwegian hytte (holiday cabin) that litter Lindøya, complete with it's own flag. Norway has two flags. One is rectangular with a cross on it, and this, known as a vimpel (pennant). They serve different purposes. Each housing area is expected to have a flagpole, and if you have a flagpole, you are expected to fly the full flag on special occations, such as national days, funerals, christenings, royal birthdays, etc. Usually, one person is given the responsibility of raising and lowering the flags. The flag should go up at sunrise (no earlier than 08:00), and down at sunset (no later than 21:00). In the case of a funeral, it must fly at half mast until the body is in the ground, at which point it must be fully raised. A vimpel may be left up all year round, except on national days when it must be replaced with the full flag. Hytte are expected to have a vimple. And the vimpel must be raised whenever you are there. So the thieves know when to break in. Failure to abide by these rules is considered shameful for you and your family.
- Even barbecues here have their own hytte! This house also had its electric washing machine in its own hytte with almost no protection from the rain, and even had a urinal in a privy!
- Several of the tiny cabins were this shape. Reminds me of an austrian milkmaid's hat.
- Time to get back on the ferry. When we were first here in winter, we shared the ferry with just one other passenger. Now it was packed.
- This sun lit up this cloud as it marched across the fjord, casting its glow on the ships that forged their way to Oslo.
- The lighthouse in the middle of the shipping lane.
- I nearly jumped off the back of the ferry trying to get this picture. The way the light swirled through the cloud, sreaming down, desperately trying to light up the Kolsås ridge. The way the light shone off the water making it look like fractured ice, and with the lighthouse trying to pierce through the mountains to the sky above. And the orange glow where the clouds held the light back. All I need now is the romantic encounter. A kiss in front of the window, with this as my backdrop.
- I simply could not resist. I love a good silhouette, and with this as a background, it was just too beautiful.
- The subject of the last picture. These two immense Japanese military ships were moored in Oslo harbour, while the Japanese emperor was visiting. Many Japanese residents had lined the streets trying to get a chance to shake hands with their emperor.