Culture Night and last Thursday there was a river walk with candles, food, music and cool lights. Around 8pm we met up with our friend Benny and took the tbane and then a bus to Grunerløkka, an area in Oslo, to walk along the river. It turns out that we started at the end, so we were walking uphill and against the flow of traffic. And it really felt like traffic out there sometimes. When we went into this ballon tunnel going the opposite way of almost everyone else, I felt like I was at Disneyland during the summer! While it was occasionally annoying to have to push our way through a crowd, it was also cool to see so many Oslo dwellers out enjoying the cool air and the twinkling lights along the river. About every 300 feet there was a new music group of some sort, a food stand selling coffee and pastries or some other form of entertainment. We would stop every so often to listen to a choir or a folk band. One of the most unique musical sights was a man playing klokenspiel. I'd never seen this instrument before and in case you haven't either, I'll describe it: the man was playing a keyboard type thing that was connected to bells. (See picture below.) SO cool. It was great to hear the music, watch the man's fingers move along the knobs/keys and see the bells moving. We were also simultaneously mesmerized and creeped-out by a pair of fire performers. They were wearing leather clothes with blood-like make up dripping from their eyes and they were eating fire and twirling it around. Kind of impressive, but also a bit horrifying. I just wonder if there tongues are scratchy or something.
In other news, tomorrow I am off to Stavanger for hiking and camping with a group of 10 friends. Well, some are friends and some are soon to be friends- I only know 3 other people in the group. Josh will be here in Oslo going to class and studying. Hopefully he we will be more productive without me around! Then on Saturday my Grandma Ann and Grandpa Matt will be visiting! There's lots to look forward to and even more to be thankful for.