Early August winds sway the grain field as the air cools and the day winds down. On the right is a slow-setting sun that shines toward the brightly lit moon on my left. The clouds have drifted to the horizons as if to open the sky. My heart wants to stay in the field but my legs force me forward to finish my run and get back for dinner.
Norway is known for its mountains, fjords, and cottages, all of which I experienced during the week I spent at a friend’s summer house. It was a short drive from the town of Drøbak, a seaside establishment with seemingly more boats at port than streets on land. With just over 13 thousand inhabitants, Drøbak used to be the winter harbor of Norway’s capital, Oslo, when harsh winters froze the narrow sea inlet between the two cities.
In the town there is a variety of cafés and shops. A local favourite is Guri Malla, an ice cream shop with flavors ranging from the usual chocolate and vanilla to less commonly seen mojito and liquorice. During the summer there is a flea market at the town center, but the immense Christmas shop called Julehuset (the Christmas House) ensures that Christmas time is never lost, no matter what time of year it is.
Drøbak has all the features of a comfortable town feel, with a small cinema, or kino, and tasty handmade baked goods at Håndverksbakeriet. Yet being so close to Oslo, it is possible to take a simple day trip to the capital, a chance to be introduced to the deep history of Norway’s development and its more current cultural evolution. It’s also possible to check off a visit to another country: Sweden’s border is an hour away, ready to invite travelers into one of its largest candy stores.
Back at the summer house, it was just my two friends, a “furball”-dog, and me. The house was in a neighborhood area surrounded by kilometers of farmland, the majority of which were grain with the occasional strawberry patch. One of the families had a berry kiosk that supplied our daily strawberries, which were some of the best I’ve had. It was common knowledge that there were snakes in the grass, but that did not deter us from jumping around like children in a ball-pit.
I’ve been traveling since I was just months old. It has become a way of life, and I couldn’t imagine myself without it. However, over the years I’ve also started longing for a home. Drøbak was a perfect mixture between old and new; comfortable yet exciting.
With summer vacation coming to a close and the habitual lifestyle of college around the corner again, the sunsets and lake views were a perfect “reset button” for the new year.