by

Northbound.

As part of this summer’s do-as-little-as-possible-campaign, I’ve decided to go to Trondheim to visit Klas and anyone else I know who might pop their heads up. I’ve opted for the train as my primary means of transportation, something that might seem odd considering it’s an eight-ish hour ride.

But even though flying does, in theory, sound like a better idea, it’s not. The train takes me from city center to city center, while it takes about an hour to get to and from each airport. As an airline passenger, you also have to be at the airport at least an hour before your scheduled flight to go through check in and airport security. To top it off, the Norwegian air traffic controllers are currently throwing a fit, meaning possible delays. All in all, you might save a couple of hours flying from Oslo to Trondheim, compared to taking the train, but I honestly prefer the steel box on the ground.

So all hail the Norwegian Railways and their trains! Except there’s of course something up with the trains as well. The central train station in Oslo is closed for maintenance the entire summer, and this means that the trains have been replaced by busses between the central station and the closest other railway station. A bit inconvenient, but I eventually managed to get on the right bus.

So now I’m in the quiet carriage on the train. A quiet carriage truly is an ingenious idea: If you’re seated in it, you have to be quiet. Put your mobile phone in silent mode, turn down the volume on your MP3-player and tell your kids to shut up. What would be really great was if people could actually respect the fact that they are indeed in the silent carriage. Most people do, but of course there always are a few people who have to fuck everything up for the rest of us.

Right now it’s the father with two kids who has already had three obnoxiously loud calls on his mobile phone and who let’s his kids roam free in the cabin where they play “I can scream louder than you”. I’m imagining that he would have been told to get his act together on a train in another country. But we Norwegians prefer not to draw any attention to ourselves, and would much rather sit quietly in our chairs while we stare at him with our most angry looks, hoping that they’ll all get off at the next station. We also write angry blog posts about it.

Other than that, the train ride has been pretty uneventful so far. Not a single derailing. Unless the German (or perhaps Austrian) couple in the seats next to me decide to have sex right here in the carriage – there can only be a matter of minutes judging by their activities so far – the train ride will probably keep on being just as uneventful all the way to Trondheim.

If the couple do get on with their business, I surely hope they plan to do it quietly! Below are a couple of photos from my journey so far.

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