Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Norway - Part 2


Our visit to Norway began with a physically stressful travel day. By the time we eventually collapsed into a hotel bed in Oslo we had been awake and on the go for about 30 hours. We might be getting too old for this!

I would have loved to visit the Oslo Viking Ship Museum and the intriguing Vigeland Sculpture Park, but, since we weren't able to leave the hotel to explore until well after 2 pm local time, our options were limited. In spite of fatigue, we forced ourselves to walk around nearby streets and see what we could within walking distance of the hotel.

Our hotel was directly behind Oslo's iconic opera house, the white building seen in the next picture.
Notice all the construction cranes. Construction was underway almost everywhere we went during our limited Oslo exploration. Notice also the overcast sky, a preview of weather conditions for nearly the whole trip.

Our first destination was the City Hall, or Radhus. We passed these street scenes on the way.
Inside the Radhus colorful murals depicted Norwegian history and life.
Artwork continued along the walkways and gardens outside.
Across the street from the Radhus was the Nobel Peace Center surrounded by ever present construction cranes.
We strolled around the nearby harbor area.
From the harbor we could see old stone buildings on neighboring high ground. We wandered up the hill and found an old fort/castle, the Akershus Fortress, completed around the year 1300. A chilly, damp, gray, autumn feeling descended on us as we explored the fortress grounds. The colored leaves might have been glorious on a bright, sunny day.
Here's a panoramic view of the harbor area from the fortress hill. Click on the image to enlarge it.
 Old stonework and arches within the fortress were interesting.
Our biological clocks were telling us it was 11 pm, but on Oslo time, at 5 pm, it was dinner time. Previous airline meals were served at odd biological times for us, so we didn't really feel like eating a full meal. Instead, we stopped in a small cafe near the Radhus and had some thick pea soup. I could finish only about one third of the bowl before my stomach told me to stop.

On the walk back to our hotel we passed the Norwegian Parliament seen below.
Back at our hotel we had only enough energy to become friends with some oddball sculptures in front of the hotel.
Eventually, we collapsed into bed wishing we could sleep more hours before our early morning departure the next day. Trains, a ship, and a bus would carry us on a scenic route to our next overnight stay in Voss.

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People say I'm crazy doing what I'm doing
Well they give me all kinds of warnings to save me from ruin
When I say that I'm o.k. well they look at me kind of strange
Surely you're not happy now you no longer play the game

People say I'm lazy dreaming my life away
Well they give me all kinds of advice designed to enlighten me
When I tell them that I'm doing fine watching shadows on the wall
Don't you miss the big time boy you're no longer on the ball

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round
I really love to watch them roll
No longer riding on the merry-go-round
I just had to let it go

John Lennon