July 26 – Oslo Airport to Oslo (64 km, 40 miles)

When I woke up this morning it was still raining and the top of the airport control tower was in the clouds. I wasn’t too excited about pedaling in the rain today, but the thought of staying near the airport another day was less appealing. So I packed up my stuff and set off on the first leg of the trip – approximately 30 miles from the airport to downtown Oslo. It rained for about half the trip and had stopped by the time I got to Oslo. Although I’d like to pedal the entire distance to Rome, it’s not really feasible given my available time and the desire to stop and visit friends along the way. So I’ve decided to take trains at the beginning and end of the trip. This way I can quickly cover some distance, leaving more time for the ride from Copenhagen to Genova, Italy. I stopped at the train station in Oslo and reserved a seat for tomorrow on the train from Oslo to Copenhagen.

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Hey, this sign looks familiar. We have moose signs in Alaska also. This one is along the road between the Oslo airport and Oslo. ^

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Located just outside the city of Oslo, this concrete tower actually does lean like this. It has an 11° lean off vertical, which is almost 3 times greater than the angle of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which leans 4° off vertical. As far as I could determine, this tower's only purpose is to draw passing motorist's attention to the advertising sign on top of it. You can see this tower in Google Earth - the coordinates are 59.985163 North, 11.019493 East. ^

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Here's another view of the base of the Oslo tower. ^

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Wildflowers along the side of the road. ^

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More wildflowers along the edge of the road. ^

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Getting close to Oslo - it's about 10 miles away. ^

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Entering Oslo, Norway. ^

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This rock outcrop along the side of the road shows a textbook example of glacial erosion. ^

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I’m now in a campground in Oslo. The campgrounds in Europe aren’t like the ones we’re used to in the U.S. Where our campgrounds are usually a just a tent site and picnic table in the trees, the ones here are more like city parks – open grassy fields where people just drive in and park their campers or set up a tent. But what this one lacks in privacy, it’s made up for with amenities – there’s a grocery store, showers, and full restrooms with running water. It’s actually a pretty good setup for a bike tourer.

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Campground in Oslo. This is typical of European campgrounds.

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I had an interesting experience with an ATM machine this morning. I forgot to check to see what the exchange rate was between U.S. dollars and Norwegian kroners. The only option on the cash machine was, of course, kroners. I had no idea how much to get, as it dispensed denominations of 100 and 500 kroner. Someone before me had left their withdrawal receipt at the machine, and it was for 2,000 kroner. So I just guessed and withdrew 500 kroner, which was about $80.

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Sculpture of a wolf chasing a moose, in an Oslo city park.

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There are some interesting sculptures in Oslo. This one was over a waterway near the city's waterfront.

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