Posted: 7/17/2010


      Now for something completely different ! After freezing in South Africa I am back in England for a couple of days and then a cheap $10.00 flight on Ryan Air to Oslo Rygge and a Norwegian summer, light until after 10.00pm.

     My friend Harald Solberg, former Norwegian youth international, Manchester United trialist, and pro player has a big ocean going yacht that sleeps eight and we sailed into Oslofjord and had a quiet nighttied up to a bouy. We woke up to the sound of seagulls, a pleasant change from vuvuzelas. In the morning we saw lots of tents on the many islands and a family of ducks looking for stale bread from us. We return to the dock and pick up Ron and Olive Newman, daughter Tracey and their host Kjeitil and friend SindreKjeitil used to play with Harald in the first division for Kongsvinger. Tracey's son Chris Wilkinson is guesting for Lillestrom SK, THE CANARIES at Gothia Cup.

   We sailpast the 130 year old Christiana Roklub( Christiana was the old name for Oslo), past Aker Brygge the trendy cafe, restaurant, club area and to City Hall, where the Nobel Peace Prize is presented annually. The other Nobel Prizes, literature, mathematics etc., are presented at Stockholm City Hall in Sweden. Then to the new Oslo Opera House, one of my favourite buildings in the world. Ilove art work that you can touch and feel. It slopes down to the ground and you can walk up and around to the roof. Outside in the water is a controversial piece of art, designed like an iceberg. You either like it or hate it. I like it.

   They leave to visit Bygdoy peninsula and visit Kon-Tiki, Flam and Viking ships museum. Harald and I drive to downtown Lillestrom, which used to be boring-just burgers and kebas. Now Torgaten the main street is traffic free and some trendy new restaurants and bars. We went to  Fratelli, and they were not accepting any more reservations this Saturday night.

    However, Harald is a long time friend of owner Jan Tore Klaebo and his son Tore. We were seated immediately. It is a really classy Italian restaurant with an extensive menu, and we chose pizzas which were delicious and well presented. Jan took me on a tour of the kitchens. He then joined us an ate a deer plate. They have 2 rows of outdoor tables which lend it a continental touch. At the next table sat Jon Knudsen and his sister Mari Knudsen. Jon plays in goal for Staebek in the top Norwegian league and for the Norwegian National team. Sunday he flies off for the day to play at Bran Bergen.  Mari is on the LSK women,s team that plays in the full size Lillestrom indoor hall.

    We finished up back at Kjeitil's home where we met Chris and Lars, both 13 and born within a week of each other.They were getting on like old friends, after only 4 days and have been training at least twice daily for Gothia Cup, their first time at the 1,560 team tournament., where we all head for on Sunday. Just another great day in Norway, where it is light until 11.00pm. Back to the boat for another night on the water.