Sunday, 18 May 2014

"Norway Day" Aussie style

Happy National Independence Day or just "happy Norway Day" to you all!
A great day to be Norwegian, both in Norway and other countries. This year is also the 200 year anniversary of our constitution, which is still in use today.

So to celebrate it headed to Emily's Bistro for the mandatory ice cream. I also made my own flag with the use of my permanent markers. The cafe is a old general store and still has the old shelves and counter from back in the day. Another cool thing they had, was the money handling system; basically the men behind the counter would receive money from the customer, put it into a small bucket and pull on a rope which then would "fire" it off to a enclosed till room where the ladies would empty it, put in the right change and "fire" it back again via the rails. So cool! The owner filmed me doing it, so will show you that some time.

The Ghan railway used to run through up until the 1980s, but the station and much of the maintenance halls are still in use today as part of a tourist attraction. Every weekend they bring out the old train set, going Port Augusta - Quorn - Port Augusta.
You can just about see the white smoke rise up inbetween the hills. Then coming round a turn, you can see the locomotive. I felt like someone had given me a ticket for the Hogwarts Express, departing from platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter reference). The mere power of that black beast is astonishing. It was truly magical seeing it pull in.

After ice cream and locomotives, I headed back to the house to start test packing. Like I mentioned in previous posts, I now have front panniers instead of a trailer on the back. After going through everything I found a few things I don't need anymore. So gave my full body mosquito net, shotglasses, ducktape, deck of cards and trailer to my host and mate Paul. So now I just need to make sure the rest of the stuff from the trailer fits in bags. Will do that in the morning.

Fun thing happened today. There are over 6 billion people on earth, about 5 million Norwegians and 1300 people in Quorn, the town I'm staying in at the moment. I walk into this amazing bookshop which also looks like something from the world of Harry Potter. Anyhoodle, got talking to James (one of the staff. Guess what? He's currently learning Norwegian and hope to one day study and live in Norway! I mean, what are the odds of that happening? So ended up talking heaps about Norway and the language, with parts of the conversation in Norwegian. So surreal! Weird to speak Norwegian again, face to face I mean.

Tomorrow: pack and prepare to head back to where my bike broke down and cycle here.