It is the middle of March already. Do you feel the spring somehow? Here in Oslo the sun shows its face for the third day in a row, making our greenish faces happy and smiling 🙂 Feeling the sun on my skin, I can tell that the seasons are changing, the sun got warmer and soon the first signs of spring will come. It is such a joy for me every year: it is like a victory of life over death. When the first buds appear, I know: we have survived again 🙂
But so far the winter doesn’t want to give up its positions. While the sun tries to melt some snow on the roofs, creating icicles (and threatening our walks), the temps this week fell to -15 at night. Gosh, I have no words for describing how tired I am of this eternal winter. Sometimes it looks like here in the North our seasons are: white and dark winter, light winter, green winter, yellow and rainy winter. All the snow that felt and melted a week ago turned into a blank ice on the streets, and I notice that my feet know so many ways to walk in winter. Heels down first in the mix of snow and salt, fishbone pattern when the snow melts, trying not to slide into the water from the ice on the side, side-side on the black ice. I never knew I could say so much about different quality of snow, ice and road conditions 🙂 So before the ice is gone from our streets, I don’t breathe out with light heart. It is still early to say that we have survived this winter 🙂
On the bright side, the Happiness Report is out again. It always comes out in this boring season when everyone is waiting for the spring but the weather still plays winter games. And it looks like the report was made for cheering up the Nordic countries in this weird period. Because, guess what guess who, the first place this time is taken by Finland! Norway was moved to the second place, and the top is still crowded by the Nordic countries. Haha, very funny. Have these researchers ever been here? 🙂 I have heard a lot about Finland lately, and to be honest, those reports didn’t hint that Finland could win that happiness competition. But it looks they did it anyway, so congratulations! 🙂
While the days are white and sunny, I want to share the photos that were taken some weeks ago – but nothing changed so far 🙂 On one especially sunny day I went to a neighborhood of Torshov for a photowalk. I didn’t suspect it would be so pretty with its classical lines, creamy facades and some eye candy colors. The signature detail of Torshov is the arches as I’ve noticed many of them, both old and new. Torshov is a quiet residential area, close to the centrum and neighboring on the hipster Grunerløkka. It is getting more popular as Norwegians become more urban and want to live in the city. Torshov has also a lovely park, where the stairs were closed because of the snow (they looked more like the sledging hills :)), in the summer it is perfect for picnics, and in the winter you still can get up and sit in the sun or sledge with the kids.
I have never viewed Torshov as something worthy of attention, but this photowalk has totally changed my mind. In the end I was gasping with inspiration, freezing off my fingers and toes and couldn’t stop noticing pretty details. This little hobby of mine, which I have named micro exploring, is turning me into Oslo patriot. Well well, after 11 years in this city it is just the right time for that! 🙂
And where do you prefer to live? In the suburbs, in the country, in the quiet areas or lively neighborhoods? I am an urban animal, and in Oslo I would not live another place than my hipster Grunerløkka. I have lived in the well-off suburbs, in the immigrant-dense central areas and have changed six addresses in this city – and Grunerløkka resonates the best with me. But I would not mind Torshov, if I had to be there. Because, well, it is just a short walk away from Grunerløkka, of course 🙂
Enjoy this walk with me! And may you walk in beauty!
P. S. click on the photo to view it in the gallery.