If you’re a regular follower of P&P or in any way connected to the Svendsen family, then you know we’ve just relocated from Oslo, Norway to Grand Canary, Spain. We’ve apparently moved at the perfect time – right before the fall chill and rain really settled in Oslo, and several months before the heavy-duty heat hits us here.
The moving company came last Thursday to pack and ship all 78 (yes, 78!!!) boxes of personal items. We also gave away about three carloads full of stuff, so I honestly have no idea what’s left in those 78 boxes. Clearly, it’s Per Christian’s fault we can no longer travel with two suitcases each.
The golden child was a huge hit on our SAS flight from Oslo-Las Palmas, and I don’t only say that because he’s my son and therefore perfect in every way. I mean that he was a serious entertainer, thriving on attention from strangers and really hamming it up for their enjoyment. There were numerous occasions when, right before complete overtired-meltdown-time arrived, a flight attendant would walk past us and goo-goo over our son, thereby renewing his will to live for another few moments.
I don’t know where he inherited these social skills. Really, it’s a mystery folks….
Now that we’ve landed, our first task is of course to find housing. That’s apparently a tricky situation in our southern part of the island, where retirees from all over Europe spend their winter months. We’ve been told that the best housing gems were snagged several months ago, leaving us with very few leftovers to pick through.
So, we have temporary housing at the moment, something we’re “test driving” for a week to see if we’d like to rent it long-term. It’s an okay option for us but of course not perfect. The positives include the huge terrace, the sea views, the great light and the simple interior. The downsides are the miniscule kitchen, the cheap IKEA outfitting and the large staircases separating us from the town’s center (definitely not a stroller-friendly option). We’d also prefer to have an additional bedroom for all the guests we expect to visit… So which is more important – the terrace and sea view, or the third bedroom and larger kitchen?
Our local town of Arguineguin is definitely different from I expected. It’s more residential than the tourist centers of Puerto Rico and Maspalomas, so there’s a greater range of local life within reach here. At the same time, it’s also where the majority of Norwegian residents spend their winter months. I kid you not – there are 11,000 Norwegians on the island and most of them live in our backyard. The local SPAR store sells our must-have Mills mayonnaise and Friele coffee (if you can suck up the 7 EUR price tag), and the coffee shop sells the daily edition of Norway’s VG newspaper.
So we have a mini-Norway here in Spain… the jury is still out on how we’re going to like that over the next few years.
We met our Norwegian neighbors on the very first evening – one invited us over for drinks and the other invited us to hire her 13-year-old daughters as babysitters. I’m still shocked at this behavior, and here’s why – I lived for three years in Norway and never once met any of my neighbors. Apparently, Norwegians in the tropics are a different breed than in the homeland, more inclined to chat over their fences or rent out their children to newly-arrived strangers.
Per Christian seems to be adapting well to the change – in fact, I don’t even think he notices the difference. I’m sure he loves the absence of the “lua” (winter hat) he was made to endure in Oslo, and he has a lot more space in the main room for his coming-and-going’s. His recent achievements include semi-skilled push-ups, downward dog yoga poses and full 360 degree belly rotations. He’s clearly getting frustrated by his little body’s limitations, so I think his movements are going to get wider and wilder by the day now.
So, in short, the Svendsen family is transitioning pretty well thus far. We won’t have internet in the house until next week, so updates to P&P may be irregular in the nearest future. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with some photos of our trip south and our current house.
All you potential visitors out there, feel free to comment below — should we stay here or keep looking???
Some photos from the plane ride to Grand Canary:
Views from our current house, Calle Nayra 83:
Time-lapse photography of Per Christian’s full belly rotation: