I’ve arrived back in Norway and it feels great to be back. Hard to believe I’ve already been gone for a week, it’s flown by. Right now I’m in Oslo (Capital city of Norway) and I really like it here. Anyways, I guess I will start from the beginning of my trip. I flew from Vancouver to Manchester and had a pretty good flight. Over the years I’ve had many LONG trips with lots of flight connections, so it’s always a treat to fly directly to Europe. I flew Air Transat and there wasn’t a great deal of room and unfortunately my TV screen didn’t work, but those are my only complaints. Luckily I had some DVD’s with me and I watched Braveheart, one of my favorite movies. I hardly slept, maybe 45 minutes all together, so I was pretty tired when I arrived in England. Of course as soon as I landed it started to rain and I hopped on a train to Crewe. I lived in Crewe for around a year and have also spent a lot of time there over the years. I used to spend most of my summer holidays training with Crewe Alexandra FC, so it was nice to be back there. I stayed with one of my friends and former teammates and it was great to see him and catch up a bit. It was a short visit though, as I was heading back to Manchester airport early on Tuesday morning, to catch my flight to Oslo.
It was a really nice feeling to get back to Norway. I got dropped off where I’m staying and was told I had about 45 minutes until I would be picked up for my first training. I was exhausted and fell asleep for about 20 minutes, before going to train. My legs were heavy and I felt pretty jet jagged, but it was good having my first training session with the team. Throughout the week I started to feel better and better, and I think its safe to say I’m over the jet lag now. Training has been good and everyone at the club has been very welcoming, I really like it here. I remember last year, when I arrived for my first session with a Norwegian club, I felt so foreign and I had no idea what was being said on the field. Of course, I still feel like a foreigner and I don’t know much Norwegian, but I noticed right away this time I knew exactly what was going on during training and for the most part what the players/coaches were saying. This was definitely a good feeling for me, because it can be very hard when you're trying to translate in the middle of a training session.
In my spare time this week, I’ve been doing a lot of resting. I have gone into the city centre a few times. Oslo is a beautiful city and I really like it here. I visited here for a weekend last year, so I know my way around a little bit. I haven’t gotten very lost yet and luckily the city centre is only about 6 train stops away from where I’m staying. It’s very easy to get around with trains, busses and trams all over the place. One thing about Oslo, that has been very nice for me is the amount English is spoken everywhere. When I was up North in Bodø last year, it was a much smaller town and everyone spoke good English for the most part when they needed to. But it was rare to see anyone speaking English, unless they were talking to me. But with Oslo being a bigger city, people seem to be speaking English everywhere, which is really helpful for me. I really hope to learn more Norwegian this time around though. I can understand a lot of the very basic things and most things on the soccer field. But it would definitely be nice to be able to speak some more of the language and get a better understanding of it. So I’m going to have to work hard at it. I’ll write another update in the next couple of days & try to get some pictures up at some point.