sponsors always were:
During my travels newspaper columns were published weekly in the Dutch daily newspaper
This project has been supported by these great and warmhearted companies:
Netherlands: Paping Buitensport, ODLO, IPtower.nl, AVRO Dutch Broadcasting Org., Travelcare, TunaFish, Book A Tour, StadsRadio Rotterdam; UK: Lazystudent, KissFM, The Sunday Times, The Guardian; Isle of Man: SteamPacket/SeaCat; Ireland: BikeTheBurren; Belgium: Le Temps Perdu, Majer & Partners; Austria: OhmTV.com; Norway: Scanrail Pass, Hurtigruten, Best Western Hotels; South Africa: eTravel, British Airways Comair, CapeTalk, BazBus; Spain: Inter Rail, Train company Renfe; Australia: Channel 9 Television, Bridgeclimb, Harbourjet, SeaFM Central Coast, Moonshadow Cruises, Australian Zoo, Fraser Island Excursions, Hamilton Island Resort, FantaSea Cruises, Greyhound/McCafferty's Express Coaches, Aussie Overlanders, TravelAbout.com.au, Travelworld, Unlimited Internet, Kangaroo Island SeaLink, Acacia Apartments; Malaysia: Aircoast; Canada: VIA rail, Cedar Springs Lodge, BCTV/GlobalTV, St. George Hotel, VICKI GABEREAU talkshow, Ziptrek Ecotours, Whitler Blackcomb Ski Resort, Summit Ski & Snowboard Rental, High Mountain BrewHouse, Cougar Mountain Snowmobiling, Whistler Question Newspaper, Snowshoe Inn, First Air, Nunanet.com, Canadian North Accommodations by the Sea, DRL Coachlines Newfoundland, The National Post and Air North.
ReportsMonday, 27 August 2001
Oslo --> Drammen (N) Remco Brink had already left early in the morning and as his flatmate, the metal artist, was not at home either, I woke up in a deserted house.
Remco had told me that I’d make coffee and eat some breakfast. He even left a note of 100 Norwegian Kronen for me. So that I could buy a subway ticket to the Oslo city center, which was only 20 Kronen.
After the breakfast I had, I packed my bag again and departed the apartment.
I walked to the nearest station and took the metro to the central station of Oslo.
This place was very crowded, but almost the cleanest station I have ever seen. You are not allowed to smoke in there, so there are no unusual smells and there is no mess on the floor anywhere as three different garbage bins are standing together in almost every nearest corner.
One bin is for paper, the second for plastic and the third is for bottles and cans. That’s recycling.
The American guy David Simmes I stayed with a few days ago, the tattoo artist, was amazed when he first visited Europe as we are so into recycling.
“Americans just like to create waist,” he told me. “If a tray of Pepsi cans is cheaper than a big bottle of, than you buy two trays of Pepsi cans, because you’ll get the third one free. Overconsumption to the max and we all throw it in one garbage bag.”
“Yes, or we first blend everything into little pieces so it fits better.”
Of course I know how other countries deal with their garbage disposal. It’s just a pity that not everyone on this planet cares more for the future, just a little bit would be good.
I had to pick up the Scanrail Pass, which I was offered by the NSB, the Norwegian State Railway.
With the pass the NSB entitles me to unlimited rail travel in Norway, Sweden, Finland and even Denmark! Next to the train transport the pass also offers 50% discount on ferries and busses.
The NSB gave me a pass which I can use for 21 consecutive days, so I’ll make it around onto September 16.
I hope I’d be able to make it to the east part of Scandinavia, however I am in the need of a worthless visa to visit the Russian Federation.
Also because one big week later, in the end of September, something exiting will happen within this project! (Ssst, secret!)
With the Scanrail Pass I took the train from Oslo to Drammen, a suburb of Oslo, only 35 minutes away.
Drammen has the main cargo shipping port in Norway and used to be very industrial in the past, shipping away wood and paper to the European mainland.
It was Rune Enger who came to pick me up at the train station in Drammen. It had been a long time ago since he coincidentally stumbled onto my website. His reason for inviting me was basically to see if I would really come over.
Well, surprise Rune! There I was!
Rune is send out to work at the Toyota warehouse in Drammen through the employment agency Manpower.
He shares his apartment with Vegar, an economy student, and Pål, a postal delivery guy. They have known each other for a long time and decided to share the apartment for simple economic reasons.
Rune’s flatmates had never seen the website before, so when I arrived there, I showed them the site. We listened to the BBC Steve Wright's radio recording from when I was in Copenhagen and they then were very amazed by the impact of the project.
We did absolutely nothing tonight. With soccer games on television, pizzas on the table and internet in the corner of the living room I had nothing to complain.
The house I stayed in was not one of the cleanest I have ever seen. But it was all very recognizable from my student point of view. The kitchen was filled with piled up dirty dishes and it was clear that non of their mothers had ever been to their bathroom.
After the soccer games we listened to their MP3-collection of their computer, connected with their huge stereo system. I had a nice talk with Vegar when the rest had gone to bed.
He asked about how physically hard my project would be to me, because he could not imagine to travel like this and stay with other people every day.
To be honest, I don’t really think everybody could handle it. However it is extremely exhausting sometimes, I do think that it is just the price I have to pay for traveling around for free. Thanks to the supportive letters I receive from my family and close friends I stay sharp when I feel like having a bad mood day.
They say: “whenever you feel miserable, think about going home, back to the study or find a job” and then I immediately feel happy again to be traveling through Norway right now.
Vegar went to bed and I prepared with a good night sleep as I am going to stay on a very, very small island tomorrow…
Good night Drammen!
In the media today:
* USA TODAY: Described in Hip Clicks by Whitney Matheson.
* On Exite.co.jp (Japanese)
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