Oslo!

Hola Amigos!

I hope you are all doing amazing. Apologies once more for not updating the blog in what feels like forever. Between partying every night, recovering every day, and repeating for the last month I just haven’t found the time or motivation to keep up with it. Now that my 24 day vacation is finished (Who am I kidding, this entire 4 months has been the best vacation of my life) I figured it wouldn’t be a bad time to procrastinate on the massive amounts of schoolwork that have been piling up, and do my best to catch up on the blog.

Since I last updated the blog we have traveled all over the world, and I believe this may very well have been the best month of my life. To give you a quick update, after completing our crazy Eurotrip, which spanned the wonderful cities of Oslo, Amsterdam, and Paris we returned to sunny Sevilla to catch a bullfight, and then our buddy Shane came the next day for a wild week. Following that, we went to one of the most beautiful and fun places I’ve ever been to in Lagos, Portgual for a ridiculous weekend with 50 of my best API friends. There is so much that has happened in my life over the course of the last month that there is no way you would want to read (or that I would want to write) about it all at once so I’ll break it up and try to get up to date as fast as I can, starting with our trip to Oslo, Norway.

OSLO!

The seven of us awoke early on the 14th of April, bursting with excitement, as we were soon to embark on our rapidly approaching adventure across Europe. The initial gang began as Caitlin, Miss Kari Baby, Boliver Bay Bhepard, El Bebe (Hirsh), El nino de la leche/Suave (The child of the milk Nick Pendery), Ciaonnn (Sean) y Saheee (Me).

We had an early evening flight to Oslo, which departed from Malaga so we had to take a train over to Malaga that took about 2 hours or so. Once we arrived in Malaga, a relatively touristy town famous for it’s beaches, we had some time to kill so we set of to explore the sunny city for a couple hours. We stumbled upon some sweet castle like place that provided us exceptional views of the city and wandered around for a while.

Cool Train

Malaga!

Castle

Amazing View

We had to take the metro from the train station, so we spent some time hanging out in the train station, which was located in an expansive mall. I noticed that Pull & Bear (Popular Spanish store similar to Zara) had these awesome white goggles on their manikins, which would be the perfect addition to my sensation white costume. Naturally, I went in to the store and somehow managed to persuade the store manager to let me walk off with a pair of the awesome “rage goggles” for free.

Rage goggles in use

Afterwards, we sat down to grab a bite at Cien Montaditos (One of our favorite restaurants that serves tapa sized sandwiches and I euro mugs of beer on Wednesdays) when then one of us noticed a magnificent product located inside the Asian stir-fry restaurant across from us. Sriracha.

For those of you who don’t know (Shame on you) Sriracha is in my opinion by far the world’s best hot sauce, which has the unique ability to make pretty much anything taste delicious. This has proved to be exceptionally important in Spain, as the food at times tends to be relatively bland so we have thoroughly enjoyed dousing our food in Sriracha on a daily basis. Unfortunately, our slightly unhealthy hot sauce addiction resulted in us finishing 3 bottles or so rather quickly, meaning we were all out and the chino stores were out of stock resulting in our meals returning to their rather boring states. Like drug addicts going threw pangs of withdrawal, we knew we had to get some. Based on past experience, for some reason I have learned that regardless of how much money you attempt to offer to restaurants for sriracha they refuse to accept payment or provide you with a bottle, which gave me only one option at the time. After scoping out the scene for a minute, I managed to sneakily snag a bottle from behind the cash register making for a rather auspicious start to our European adventures. We hopped on the metro over to the airport, and since we had heard that everything was so expensive in Oslo we decided to pick up some bottles from duty-free. Lucky enough, the duty-free at the Malaga airport happened to be an alcoholics wonderland, with a copious variety of alcohols everywhere you looked. We each grabbed individual bottles, and a bottle of tequila as a house-warming gift for our gracious hosts.

Heaven in airport haha

With our bottles in hand, we got on the plane, and embarked on our journey to Oslo, Norway!

As you can imagine, none of us had ever been to Norway before and beyond watching an episode of MTV’s Exiled (show that makes spoiled rich kids do some unflattering activities to make them more humble) in which a girl in our program who also starred on the ridiculous MTV show my super sweet 16 had to herd reindeer in northern Norway to make her more humble, we had very limited knowledge of the country. One of the things we learned very quickly upon arriving was that country happened to be that Oslo is the most expensive city in the world (Perfect for college travelers wallets..) and that everyone there spoke perfect English.

Although Oslo seems like an extraordinarily random destination to visit while studying abroad, which it was, we had plenty of good reasons to go there. Our good friends Shane, who was Ollie and Nick’s old roommate, and Kevin who was my roommate from last year, and our good friend David are all studying abroad there so wanted to visit them. Along with that, Sensation White, which is this absolutely ridiculous rave/dance party event which takes place throughout Europe during the course of the year in which everyone dresses themselves from head to toe in white outfits, and dances the night away to some of the worlds top house/electronic/techno dj’s in the world so we decided it could be cool to check that out as well.

We landed in Oslo pretty late that night, grabbed our bags and hopped on a bus from the airport to meet our good buds at the train stations. We had a joyous reunion with Shane, Kevin and David, and hopped in a taxi and headed off to their residencia, Krinsja.

We’re in Oslo!

Their place was sweet, as the program that they did was an international one so all of their roommates were from all corners of the world, spanning Brazil to Australia and most places in between. Since we had arrived in the city so late at night, we cracked open a few of our bottles and spent the evening drinking and catching up with good friends we hadn’t seen in what felt like far too long. At some point, we all thought it would be a great idea to go check out the nearby lake. Kevin and I took off at a jog, and before we knew it we had a mass migration of Maryland students drunkenly running through Norweigan woods. We finally arrived at the ice-crusted lake, and after some great and some goofy conversations, we all decided head back home to call it a night.

Everyone hanging out at their place the first night!

Our sleeping situation there was rather comical, and in my opinion a testament to our friendship and ability to co-exist as there were five of us crammed into a small bedroom that was covered wall to wall in mattresses haha.

The next morning, we all got ready and then hopped on the metro towards the city center. Throughout the trip, we made a habit of crossing our fingers while on the train in hopes that no one would ask us for our tickets as our poor wallets could ill afford to pay the 10 euros or so per ride that the metro fare demanded.

Amigos reunited!

Found a maryland cookie bar

Once we got to the main part of the city, we grabbed lunch at this crazy underground anarchist co-op restaurant place, and then walked around for a while to explore the city and checked out a sweet theatre.

Crazy restaurant

Oslo!

Kevin is 6′ 5 and this hookah was taller than him haha

Cool bridge

Theatre/Opera place

Cool structure on the water

That night, we pre-gamed back at their place and then headed out for a fun and interesting for some night on the town. We all managed to get split up in different groups of friends throughout Oslo, but by the morning we all managed to re-unite haha. I ended up at this fun place called the Law pub or something like that, and broke it down with some Norweigans for the night. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that the rest of the world doesn’t party nearly as hard as Spain, and as a result was rather disappointed to find the club closing down at 2am as we were all so used to our wild 6am nights in Sevilla haha.

The next day, after some much needed rest we woke up extremely excited as that night was the night we had all been waiting for: Sensation White! We cooked some more grocery store brand pasta that we had been using to sustain ourselves and our wallets on during the trip, and headed back on out to see more of the city. Kevin had recommended we take the boat cruise and we did just that. It was a beautiful day we chose for the trip, and it was an awesome experience. The boat stopped at multiple islands, allowing you to hop off and on as you pleased. We got off to check out one for an hour or so, and the island we chose turned out to be a great one! There were randomly ruins on the island, and so naturally we all had a great time climbing them and performing other shenanigans such as skipping rocks on the water for the rest of our time there.

On the ferry

Norweigan Flag

Ruins on the Island

By the water

A couple Norweigan ladies were having a picnic in the park with traditional and delicious looking Norweigan cuisine of peppers and Salmon..yumm

We hopped on a ferry back to the shore, grabbed some delicious chicken shwarma’s and then headed back to Krinsja to get ready for the night. We all threw on our ridiculous outfits, bumped some tunes to get in the mood, and rolled on over to metro to head off to what would turn out to be the wildest dance party we’ve all ever been to!

Outfit on and ready to go!

Everyone dressed up

Sensation White was taking place at a massive stadium on the outskirts of town called Telenor Arena. We took a bus from the metro station to get there, and that was where we got a taste of what we were in for. Once we arrived, i had never seen soo many people dressed in white, or for that matter so many white people haha. We entered to some bumping house music, and the madness began right away. There was something like 20,000 people raging all dressed in white, with some of the world’s best house and techno dj’s playing their best beats. It was a sea of white.

Unreal – truly was a sea of white!

Such cool pyrotechnics

We were all breaking out our best dance moves, and some we didn’t even know existed and had a great time. I had never seen soo many beautiful blonde women in one place in my life, and felt like I was in a giant party filled with Barbie doll models. I tend to consider myself a brunette guy, but Norway and it’s blonde bombshells definitely made a positive impression on me. We arrived at around 7pm, and danced our faces off till what must have been 2 or 3 in the morning before our weary legs forced us to head back to krinsja and our cramped but cozy mattress closet of a room.

After our unforgettable night, awoke to some more pasta and the sad news that Kevin had already taken off for Italy to meet up with his familia. I managed to convince Shane to come to Sevilla with us following our trips to Amsterdam and Paris, and as a result he needed to spend some time at home getting all of his stuff together at the place. The rest of us took the tram to this sweet human statue park, and had a great time posing and playing on all the statues for the day. We spent the rest of the day relaxing, recovering, and resting up for the rest of our Eurotrip adventures. Next morning, we headed to the airport, hopped on and flew off to Brussels to kick off the next leg of our excursions…Amsterdam!

Cheers!

-Sahil

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