When Jonathan took the day off work on Friday, neither of us knew what we were going to do with that extra free time together. Unfortunately, we're not practiced enough with the cross-country skiing gear to pull off a last-minute run anywhere. So, it was up to me to choose something. I poked around Visit Oslo first because I would rather live like a tourist in my own city than be cool, in-the-know, and bored at home.

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Turned out, the game plan for the day was easily settled once I came across a couple of bowling alleys in town. One we've passed many times because it's at Solli plass, just down the street from us. Solli Bowling .

Located in the basement beneath a Peppes Pizza, the bowling alley is small (half the size of Granada Bowl in my hometown) and clean. Like, really clean. And my surprise at how clean it was probably says more about Granada Bowl in Livermore than it does about the Norwegians and their squeaky clean bowling experience.

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Weekdays before 4pm, games and shoes are discounted (30 NOK/20 NOK). Better still... 2pm is GLOW BOWL!

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Does anybody else just go bowling for the shoes? I do.

Now, you might ask whether it's tough to bowl in Norway. I mean, all those crazy letters.

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Here, a "lane" is called a "bane".

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And when your game is over, the prompt on the screen reads:

For å starte en ny serie begynn å spille nå.

What on earth? I'll give you a tip. If you blur your eyes a little bit (tears of frustration can accomplish this, if you're brand new), Norwegian is easy for English speakers to read. Roughly, this phrase translates to:

To start a new game, begin to play now.

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See it?

And yes, somebody input my name as Åudrey, just for fun. And yes, Jonathan beat me. Both games. This is the closer margin of the two. The real tough part for an American bowling in Norway is choosing the appropriate ball. Did you know that 14 kg* is heavy enough to sprain your middle finger? Jonathan can confirm. I showed him my injury from afar after he owned me in the first game.

We'll definitely go back for some midday splits, spares, and strikes. Unless we get lured away by the luxurious lanes at Oslo Bar & Bowling across town.

*Jonathan: You did NOT pick up a 14 kilogram ball. That's twice as heavy as the heaviest ball there.