Sliding into winter like….

I had initially pictured myself in Italy when I applied for this year abroad. Odds took me to Oslo. Oslo in Norway. Odds have taken me north. And boy, did I know nothing.

I knew it would be cold but I didn’t know it would be THIS cold and I knew there would be snow but not this MUCH and for some reason my brain blanked on the ice part, so I didn’t expect ice but I did get some. The most accurate comparison is that most places have become ice rinks.

As fun as this sounds at first, it isn’t. I cannot hold count of the amount of times I have gone through the very scary instances of nearly losing my balance on the ice. Seeing my life flash before my eyes on a daily basis is making me reconsider one too many life choices… but I am proud to say that I have only fallen twice (cue me falling some more and starting a bruise collection). I have, however, never felt so incapable and unskilled here, than I ever have in my life. Do you know how much your confidence levels lower when you see people running, I repeat, running on the ice whilst you struggle, slip and slide trying to WALK?!

The world around you also transforms, the pushchairs disappear and you instead see kids being dragged around on sledges. People carry around their cross country skis like no big deal and the funny thing is that even though this city gets snow every winter, they are still ever so slightly unprepared for it (hello cancelled busses and plane delays).

Winter in Oslo has been one of the most beautiful ones I have ever experienced regardless. It is like you would imagine it. I basically wake up in a winter wonderland every single day, opening the curtains and seeing snow falling is still as a magical as on the first day. It just doesn’t get old and the best of it all is that rain isn’t a thing anymore. It’s only beautiful fluffy snow falling from the sky.

If you are thinking of coming to Oslo please do not be scared off by the cold. I joked a lot about how un-prepared I was for winter and turns out I still have all my fingers and toes. Just get a good coat, a nice pair of gloves, woolly socks and a proper pair of winter boots and you are good to go! Yes, temperatures will go down as low as negative 15°C but most of the time it is a manageable negative 5°C and it is a ‘nice’ type of cold because Oslo is rarely windy. The other struggle worth mentioning is… that thing that puts light in the sky, you know that ball of light, ummm, oh yeah the SUN! You’ll see it so rarely that you even forget what it’s called and what it looks like. You feel like your day is over at 3pm and sometimes you’ll walk to school in the dark, spend the day inside and walk out in the dark again. Thankfully because everything around you is white the light you do get, reflects on it and makes it seem so much brighter. And despite this Oslo remains a very colourful city as you can see below, it might not be sunny everyday but it is for sure a colourful life.

On a final note, what worries me slightly lately is that any time the temperature goes slightly above 0°C the snow obviously starts melting… so if Oslo is currently a giant ice rink, will it become a giant swimming pool by the time spring hits? The answer on the next blog post!

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