Paddling on the Oslo Fjord: it's the very first weekend of autumn but the summer seems reluctant to leave and the weather is beautiful.
After launching from the middle of the city with my guide Titus, we go paddle along the city's waterfront, from the long dock of Aker Brygge with its floating lounge bars, restaurants and old square-rigged sailing ships, past a huge cruise liner and on to land beside the famous Opera house for a closer look at this amazing building.
Fjords are naturally more sheltered than an open coastline, perfect for SUP. With numerous islands and channels to explore, there's always something new and exciting around the next corner. Oslofjord is no exception and has countless islands and many points of interest.
We turn south away from the city and soon we are in a completely different world. We thread our way through the peaceful islands and I'm happy to be accompanied by a host who knows the area very well. Titus points out Hovedøya, with its charming yacht club and Gressholmen, its lagoon once the landing point for international seaplanes, now a nature reserve and the island itself now completely overrun with a population of tame rabbits!
We paddle on and meet . . . A Viking! . . A real one! Shirtless in his wooden rowing boat, his white beard tickling his knees, looking like Santa Claus's big brother paddling towards his colourful wooden island hut. It's a timeless scene, back in time. I am brought back to the present by Titus filming our trip with his drone camera. When he has finished the peace and quietness return and we are both happy to be silent and just experience the majesty of where we are.
All too soon we must think about returning to the bustle of the city and the end of our journey. But not before stopping off at a restaurant on stilts at Hovedøya's yacht club for a fish and some beer.
If you are going to Oslo or Norway. Please contact Titus from www.SUPNorway.com who will be pleased to share his knowledge with the kindness as exceptional as the beauty of the place. Titus also offers expeditions in other fjords in Western Norway that we can highly recommend. And when in Oslo, be sure to take the subway to the last station on the line and take a trip to the top of Holmenkollen's Olympic ski jump ramp: the view is amazing!