I just had a great night watching Spain win on the big screen in an Oslo park, cheering alongside some new Spanish friends from class. We had a guided bus tour of the city today, which was a great chance to see and learn more about some of the places I strolled by yesterday. We went up to the fortress for commanding views of the harbor and watched some of the guards. It was different than in other countries, where hordes of tourists can almost ruin events like these. The city is compact and manageable, and everything seems friendly and accessible.
We saw an outdoor viewing area by the fortress for the Twilight Movie release (Eclipse) and the youth were already lining up excitedly. Then we heard there was a public viewing area up on a hill by the harbor, where we could watch the Spanish World Cup game that evening. Since three of my classmates were from Madrid, Spain, I wanted to root for Spain. We queed on a line to get in, and then sat on the grass right in front of a giant screen. It's so wonderful that the city provides several viewing areas around the city for people to get together and enjoy the game in a communal environment. I did not have a TV in my dorm, and I definitely wanted to be a part of World Cup action, which is always so feverishly exciting in Europe.
Spain won, and my friends taught me a few cheers. "Vamos Casilla!" whenever the goalie made a great move. It was a long but fun day, and I was clearly forming new and important international friendships.