To live in the place where I live, you have to embrace a certain, cold rhythm. Half the pace of human heartbeats, it is the clickety-clack of winter boot heels on ice-glaced pavements. My most vivid childhood memory is the feeling of my hair banding into icicles as I walked home from a swimming session through snow so dry it creaked under my feet, brazen sunbeams alight behind rows of Norway spruce – soon-to-be Christmas trees. The frost and snow were romantic to me. A true Norwegian girl, I skied under nights wild with stars and wrote the name of my childhood sweetheart in the same squares in which I made hundreds of snow angels.
Oslo is a blend of forrests, sea and lit city roads like pulsing veins. Where I live, far removed from the city center, the woods are verdant against tram lines and grey roads. In the summers they take on a feeling of desolation and airlessness, becoming almost inhumanely lonely with the slow car or two passing by in the space of an hour. But in the night-time, with sprays of stars glittering against black, the desertation is devestatingly beautiful. Sometimes it doesn’t get dark at all, and I watch the sun go down behind the marble statues in my favorite park, haloed by a yellow and pink light. While those nights are unforgettable, the real Oslo will always be a winterland, silent with sheets of frost over the city.
When I travel, people often ask me «Where is Norway, exactly?» No one have yet known where Oslo is located. I wish they did. I wish they would visit. When they say they would love to, I recommend no restaurants, no museums, no parks. I tell them the best travel tip for a visitor to the place where I live is to just look up at the night-sky. From a snow angel angle.