Since most of us were practically up all night, we had to stop so the drivers could take a quick power nap. We didn’t make another stop after that. Oslo. We had to reach Oslo. By the time we reached the Norwegian capital, it was late in the afternoon. The NGO had put us up at the Scandic Holmenkollen Park, a beautiful heritage hotel atop a hill with an almost 360 degree view of the city below. We were excited to see Oslo but first we caught up with Troels, the guy we had been in contact with.
Now Troels has a story to tell (check out the video). He was born with cystic fibrosis which eventually caused his liver and lungs to fail, calling for a transplant. Now here is where things get interesting. The required matching organs had been found but there was one glitch – on order for the organs to function in his body, he had to replace his heart with another one from the same body the lungs and liver came from; which is why he donated his own healthy heart to someone else in need and switched it up with one that would work with the other organs. He is a living heart donor!
After he left (we were to meet for lunch the following day) we went out to explore the city. We took the metro to the central area. Our first stop was Frogner park, a beautiful park full of fountains and more nude sculptures than I could count. At first glance it’s all rather awkward but if you study each sculpture, you’ll notice how artistically beautiful the whole thing is. The way I saw it, the lack of clothing signifies a raw vulnerability in the portrayal of the subjects’ emotions. A mother and her baby, father and daughter, a group of old ladies, a dancing girl, a sleeping boy, lovers, haters – they were all there frozen in time. Paradoxically, the park was alive with action! Maybe it was the unusually warm weather but everyone was out maybe for a jog, a quick bike ride, a yoga session, doggy day out or just a casual stroll in the park. We then took a bus to the Oslo Opera House which was a pristine white building overlooking the sea. Most museums were already closed as were many of the shops, so we just walked around the city. We were, however, able to take a few quick pictures in front of the Royal Oslo Palace before it got dark (a concept I lost familiarity with)
When we got back to the hotel, the lit up building was breathtakingly beautiful against the navy sky!
The following morning after a hearty breakfast and a good nights’ sleep we headed for Troels’ office to meet the rest of his team. When I say office, picture a stereotypical office space. Now imagine the exact opposite. They worked above a Boat Club on the marina. What a view! We sat in the sun eating ice cream, discussing organ donation and ways to increase the number of donors. It was all around a good, fun and productive day. In the evening we set out towards Stockholm but couldn’t make it in time so another night was spent in our cosy house on wheels.