Work takes me to Scandinavia a couple of times a year, mainly to Sweden and Denmark, with visits to Norway and Finland taking place less frequently. In fact it is five years since I last travelled to Norway and I haven’t been to Oslo since 2012. I returned to Oslo in August and was relieved to find that I still knew my way around. Getting from the airport into the centre of Oslo is simple with a fast train leaving for the central station every ten minutes. I downloaded the Flytoget app on my phone and was delighted to discover that my account for the airport train was still open making it easy to purchase a digital ticket.
There are several hotels within walking distance of the central station. I stayed at the Thon Opera in 2012, a pleasant hotel with views towards the harbour and of course the Opera House. Sadly, further construction around the harbour has blocked the view from the Thon. I couldn’t get a room in the Thon Opera and decided to stay at the Scandic Byporten on the other side of the station. Amazingly, I could see the harbour from my hotel room window and a small corner of the Opera House.
I took a walk across to the Opera and climbed the roof, just as I did in 2012. The Opera House is an incredible building combining glass, granite and marble to create a structure that in places appears as if it is floating. While the Opera hasn’t changed since I was last there, the surrounding area has. I couldn’t believe the number of new buildings springing up everywhere.
The other change I noticed in Norway was the proliferation of electric and hybrid vehicles, encouraged apparently through government incentives and a decent network for charging said vehicles. I even got to travel in a Tesla. An impressive vehicle indeed. I guess in time we will all change to electric vehicles. It is what our governments want!
All that change got me thinking. While I quite fancy an electric car I’m not so bothered about high-rise buildings popping up everywhere. I guess I prefer the low rise waterfronts that characterised my childhood island home. In a world of change I am grateful to and for the One who never changes.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NLT)