Travel

The Most Expensive Zoo: Norway #4

(Photos to be added later…)

So I’ve had no time to write this since yesterday night, sorry that this blog post is a day late. I’ll post today’s blog in a few hours or so, so I’m not out of sync. 
9:52
Apparently they keep explaining things to me in Norweigan…. which is why I don’t know what’s going on… figures. Omg.

So I get a tap on my door at about 9 asking if I’m ready, baring in mind that I’m still asleep, and I panic. My mind flashes with, are we leaving? Why did no one wake me up? I race to get dressed, pull the unneeded things out of my bag and then race for a pee. All finished I slide round the corner ‘What do you want for breakfast?’ Fridge door open for my choosing, I awkwardly select a yogurt from the choices. It’ll do.

After finishing my yogurt, and discovering the correct rubbish bin, I reorganized my bag in to a tidy pile. A few minutes more pass as Carol and Larry  eat their own breakfasts. I linger awkwardly, breaking the silence only to ask how we’re figuring out dinner… Yesterday night I researched more into the park, after Larry’s expensive mistake, and discovered that reviews marked the good as HELLA expensive. I didn’t want to spend crazy money which I didn’t have in food, so I suggested the idea of some kind of picnic. Larry rejected the idea, only to have approval for my idea echoed through Carols mouth. She agreed that the prices were meant to be hella dollar. The waited continued until about half 9, when Larry announced “LET THE ADVENTURE BEGIN!”
‘Great!’ I thought grabbing my bags and shifting into the car. A few minutes into the journey and I notice that only I have a bag of stuff in the car. Confused I look around, checking to see if their swimsuits were in the back. Nope. We turn corner into the small parking lot of a small supermarket. Everyone gets out, and the cogs start turning, we’re getting food. Awesome!  
I awkwardly follow my two Norwegian guides into the building, weaving through the aisles to the bakery section. Carol picks up three plain buns and slides them into a bag. ‘How nice,’ I think, ‘She’s buying us lunch! One sandwich each!’ The two Norwegians grab drinks, but I’m prepared with a bottle of water in the car in my bag. No need to waste money on pop! We wander up the the counter and as Carol pays for her things, Larry turns to me to ask “Aren’t you getting anything? Are you going to buy lunch there?” 
Wait. What. Backtrack. THEY’D TOLD ME IN NORWEGIAN AND I IGNORED IT CAUSE I DIDNT KNOW THEY WERE TALKING TO ME OMFG. In blind panic, I turned on my heel, half jogging back to the bakery aisle. No bags to put buns in are left. Cheap option is out. I start scanning. Loaf. Loaf. Sliced loaf. BUNS IN A PACKET! I grab a packet of two and race back to the counter, halting to a stop behind the man in front. I hand my slightly-more-expensive-then-the-bakery-buns to the woman, praising myself for storing spare notes in the back of my phone. I’m a genius. 

Carol shoots a questioning look towards my prepackaged lower class buns, no bags I explain. Still confused she accepts my answer and leaves it be. Admiring my newly discovered 5kr coins with a hole through the center, we walk back to the car and drive back to the house.

I carry all my things back inside, in hindsight I could have left them in the car, and follow Larry to the kitchen. He begins to cut his girlfriends buns in half, so I follow suit with my own lower class buns. He glances at the packet. Cuts another bun, then glances again. Picking up the packet he says ‘Aren’t these burger buns?’ What in Steve’s name is a burger bun? Do buns have an assigned role in life now? It’s bread isn’t it? I just want lunch to eat and I’m very confused. I take what looks like presliced cheese from the fridge and add a couple of slices into each bun, Larry lathers chocolate spread on his… I was too awks to ask if I could borrow a knife and do the same. Cheese is good though, less likely to have a sugar crash.

With my lower class, jobless burger buns in hand we exit the house and actually start driving to the park.

00:53
Today has been a very long day. It was fun, I ignored my incoming crippling debt of the future, and I enjoyed myself. It took an hour to get to the park and we arrived at about 11am, an hour after it opened. For a country with only about 3 zoos, I was surprised at the absolute lack of lines to get in. It’s summer, a lovely day and yet there was barely any one there! Sure it was expensive to get in, but everywhere in Norway is expensive! Does no one go to the zoo? Anyway, we didn’t need to queue or wait and carried right on into the park with our tickets.

For a moment we admired the map we had been given, took a moment to hunt a troll and a princess in the bushes and then headed toward the zoo section of the park. Although we were meant to be going to ‘Asia’ I think we ended up in the Africa section instead. A huge open area with giraffes, zebras and ostriches stretched out beneath us. Camera snapping away, I dealt with the awkward light levels as best I could. At some point a lady walked straight into the back of me, apologizing profusely in Norwegian, like a good tourist I smiled and nodded politely telling her it was okay, no harm done. As she walked away, Larry looked at me and confirmed that I had had no clue what on earth was going on. My age old tactic of nodding and smiling had actually worked! Normally I just end up in weird situations my awkwardness can’t handle and I’m leagues out of my comfort zone.

We wandered further, finding some sort of dessert fox lazing in the sunshine. I don’t know what they are because the signs all had Norwegian names on! They’re huge ears and pointy snouts were quite sweet though. There was also a meerkat area, with pretty much no meerkats in. They had all hidden underground except one… which took one look at us then disappeared in a puff of smoke!
The lion enclosure had a single lion within it, although we did see a few more at a distance in a second enclosure. A few cheetahs lazed under the trees next to a bridge, too far away for a decent photo, but still rather cute. An amusing stop near the monkey enclosure proved amusing due to the miniature playground, if I can call it that. A single monkey bar to test your strength, are you as strong as an orangutan? Larry did four pull ups, Carol two and I didn’t attempt as I know my own strength. I can’t do a single press up, let alone a pull up!! Larry also attempted the tightrope walk, which he did just as well in. Apparently none of us are monkeys.

A small lunch break for Carol and I besides the empty tiger pen. For a few minutes we did witness a tiger ferociously chase a ball in a lake like a kitten, but it disappeared into the foliage. I wolfed down a sandwich and some water to regain energy, the zoo had been built on the side of a hill. Plus the sun was shining down, I could feel my skin starting to burn. 

We carried on through the reptile house, THERE WERE ACTUAL ANIMALS IN THERE! And then walked upon an open enclosure to walk around. Up a hill we followed a trail winding through deer, the common sort you’d find in England. Fairly harmless. We watched a woman cut up carrots for the precious babies, and then walked back down to the llamas. 

It was about 12 when we stumbled across some rides to go on. It was decided to go on a rollercoaster type ride, more of a hill surfing ride. One where a two man cart drives to the top of a hill and then rolls at high speeds down it again. There was question about who was going on their own, but Larry sacrificed himself. He’d go quicker then us he said. Turns out that speed wasn’t really decided if you just let go, we went first but he didn’t catch up to us. The cart came to a grinding halt at the end, feeling as if we would be flung out, and we quickly escaped the jittery vehicle. It was fun, but I doubt I would have been able to pull the lever on my own. I’m one of those people who is terrified of everything until forced into the situation with no escape, then I find myself having fun. It’s just the initial pull of the lever before plummeting to my death I can’t do.

Checking the map we headed to a small port. A pirate boat was scheduled to arrive in the next few minutes which would sail to the pirate themed area of the park. A ship pulled up, and an handsome Norwegian man in pirate gear ushered us into the boat. We sat on the helm, as it had the best view, and the boat set off. Being a children’s park I should have expected it, but the handsome young man ruined his villainous pirate image and started singing a song. The song was fine, fun and line dancey…. the dance…. I felt his inner pain. Words can’t describe. Poor man, what people do for a living. 
We approached a large circle of water when drums sounded. The bad line dancing stopped and the pirate started rallying the 5 children up in Norwegian. A huge ship rounded the corner and the sound of gunfire rang thought the air. This other ship had about 6 times more people then us, but our pirate threw insults across the waters anyway. I had no idea what was said, but it was funny anyway mixed in with the butt slapping and other exciting age appropriate gestures. It’s probably this which makes the bad dancing bearable for the man.

At port, Larry hunted for food and found a hot food shack, I think a burger was about £5 maybe more. Bit pricey though if you compare with my £1.20 burger buns. Whilst he ate, Carol and I finished off our own food, staring at the small children in costume running around. We detoured into ‘Miriams Enchanted House’ or something, which was some kind of haunted house. In pitch black we shuffled through the entrance to the waiting point, holding onto each other so we didn’t walk into walls. We were first in line and got to witness the moment when an actor messed up and came out of a door, saw us, and retreated faster then lightning. Twas a giggle.
A few moments later a woman ushered our small crowd into a room where a video of a witchy woman started playing. I must admit that things really aren’t scary when you don’t understand the threats. Some flashes and bangs went off and a door opened behind us, revealing the actor from earlier. Everyone stared blankly at the covered creature with two lights for eyes, which in turn creepily slid behind us and pointed us through the opening. The haunted house was not that scary, cupboards shook when you walked past them, and the single.jumpscare which was pulled failed when the actor wussed out at my karate pose I’d made, surprised that someone was in the darkness. The UV lights were cool though because they made my green hair glow. That was cool. 
On our way out we quickly went up a set of stairs, which Carol remembered from her childhood, at the top was a jail cell. Inside the jail was thousands upon thousands of dummys, the ones for babies not the stuffed ones from clothes shops…. that would be creepy as fudge. Apparently one of the main pirates takes groups of children to the top of this tower and tells them to throw away their dummies and become real pirates! Or something. Carol says it was a traumatic experience in her childhood.

We went back to port and watched a small singing pirate show, apparently this black hair pirate was a popular children’s character. I can’t recall the name though. Captain Sabertooth maybe, big black mane of hair and a pale white face. As the day went on we slowly realised that all the songs in the park were based off of his theme song, overkill much.

To escape the army of small children we slink away into a backstreet which leads to a small outside amusement center of sorts. Hook a Duck, Shoot the Target and other well known activities to win prizes on. These cost money unlike the rides available, but Larry still put £2 in a pot to try his luck in Hook a Duck. Sadly she did not win a giant doughnut for his beloved.

The next ride we went on was similar to the swinging pirate ship I see in most English theme parks. A contraption which swung side to side and span in the air, unlike pirate ships we went almost upside down at the top. It was less scary and more just nervewrecking, Carol hadn’t helped in the slightest. Before getting on she told me about the time her friends safety harness had come undone, and how and her other friend had to hold hands in an impromptu safety belt. With this story in my head I dint know where to hold on! The comfiest position was clinging to the harness as we spun upside down and hurtled to the the ground, but I was worried it would open… I admit it was super fun though, even if Larry was afraid of heights.

Although the plan had said we’d go up to the next three areas of animals in the zoo, for.some reason we skipped them and walked straight to.the water park. By Steve was it needed, it was too warm for my English body. I melt at about 17C, anything over and my brain turns to goo. We scan our tickets and slink through the gates, a bridge with fountains squirts water over our heads. 

Upon approaching the park we can’t see any lockers or such to store our bags, there were beach huts to get changed in but no lockers. Very odd. Curious, we walk past the beach hits and further in to the park. Suddenly my two translators start walking with a purpose around a large building, we found the center. Double checking that the building does actually have lockers, we join the line behind a large family ordering food or something complicated. Carol, in desperate need for a pee, hunts for a toilet. A few minutes pass by, the family in front still having issues in life, and Larry suggests that I go and get changed whilst he purchases the use of a locker. I enter the changing rooms, which are mixed gender cubicles surrounded by lockers, lined with a show rack, but don’t know where to go. Instead, I join Carol in the queue to the toliet as I didn’t want to be left alone. 

I think a woman was dressing her children in one of the two toliets in the entire water park because she took an age. I finished my thing quickly and joined Carol in looking for a changing cubicle. At this point in time we were unsure if there was a gender colour scheme or something, and in our confusion we just grabbed the nearest cubicles. 

TO BE CONTINUED…

It’s late, I’m going to at this and finish it in the morning..sorry it’s so late published but I’ve had no free time! Don’t want to be a rude guest!

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