Phew! We made it to Arvika, Sweden yesterday evening, but not without your standard travel stresses of airport fire evacuations, Sue forgetting her earbuds, and the hard realization that Iceland Air charges for alcohol so we wouldn’t be partaking in our annual airplane Bloody Mary’s. BUT we made it, and O-Ringen is looking really exciting thus far.
Here’s a quick rundown of yesterday’s most memorable events:
1) No Movies For Sue – One thing we generally look forward to each year is watching as many movies as possible on the flight. It’s our most opportune time to catch up on all the Oscar nominees we’ve missed. This year, Sue forgot her earbuds and Iceland Air charges for a new set. Not wanting to pay, she spent ten hours of time doing other things like drawing guilt-provoking art pieces, or taking photos of Greenland’s amazing fjords as we flew over them around sunrise. Here’s some of her best work:
2) Oslo Fire Scare – Just as we were about to problem solve getting both of our bike bags plus other luggage and luggage cart onto the elevator en route to the car rental desk, a fire alarm went off at the Oslo airport! The entire building was evacuated for at least 20 minutes. Everything turned out to be fine, but it was still a crazy ordeal.
3) Sonja’s Apartment is Amazing! – Arvika has a population of about 14,250 people, and as of a few weeks ago, about 11,000 people had signed up for O-Ringen. The town is abuzz. O-Ringen coordinated with many locals to offer up their homes for the week and have people pay them to stay there, like a short-term Airbnb. We are renting from a woman named Sonja who has a great little apartment right next to a grocery store as well as the bike path from O-Ringen City to Arvika City Center. Here’s a photo from making dinner last night while reading through the O-Ringen event guide and planning for the next day:
4) O-Ringen is All They Said it Would Be – We are blown away by the organization and the number of people in attendance. There is a whole event shop devoted just to orienteering gear, including a wall of any type of orienteering shoes you could possibly want. There are fields full of campers, laundry on-site in the middle of a field, and opportunities to try Trail-O, Orienteering Biathlon, or MTBO. It’s truly an orienteering bucket list item! Races start tomorrow, with a Long Distance for MTBO.