This blog is posted mostly everyday when we take a break from our usual retired Life as former full-time RVer's and travel overseas.

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Bygdøy Day – Mon Feb 29, 2016


First off an apology for not getting these posts upto Facebook like we have during past trips. Linda uses to sweep the blog posts over into Facebook, and at the start of the trip we had to reset a password and somehow things didn’t go right. It should be fixed now, hopefully.


The original plan for today was to spend the day sledding at the Korketrekkeren (the corkscrew), the 2 kilometer long sled run we visited briefly a few days ago when we were at the ski jump. At last cooler heads prevailed and remembering we saw no one within 30 years of our age there, and the fact the run hasn’t had any new snow in over a week so it is icy and much faster than normal, we decided there were more sane ways to spend the day.




I had a shock when Linda sat down with this plate after grazing the breakfast buffet counters. I thought she had found another of my favorite breakfast foods, smoked oysters. She laughed as she told me it was mushrooms, though sitting across the table from her it sure looked like smoked oysters to me. So she ate one just to prove they weren’t. Disappointed Bob.




Just a heads up to anyone contemplating visiting Oslo, the public transportation system here is great. We’ve used the metro, trams and buses with absolutely no problems. But just make sure to either buy individual ride tickets, transportation passes or the Oslo pass, because the inspectors are all over and the very, very high fine absolutely must be paid on the spot. Twice already we have seen people being fined, and no excuses are accepted. We buy the Oslo pass because besides a transit pass it also gives free admission to the many attractions we are visiting.




Descendent of Vikings standing in front of an actual Viking ship. Happy Linda.




Prow of a Viking ship.




We think of Vikings as sword and axe welding plunderers and pillagers. The intricate carving on the ship’s prow suggests there was far more to the Vikings. How else could I explain how Linda could be the sweet, calm, even keeled, kind and loving person she is. Coughing Bob.




More detail, this time from the only complete surviving cart from the Viking age. Is it any wonder we really enjoy the Oslo Viking Ship Museum.




Interesting find in the lower level of the Kon-Tiki museum.




Mr. Kon-Tiki himself, Thor Heyerdahl, interrupting his writing to greet visitors in the museum library. This made missing out on the sledding more than worth it, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to get his autograph. Maybe next time we visit. Bad Bob.




It’s not the Kon-Tiki, it’s the Ra-II, a papyrus reed raft  Heyerdahl and his crew sailed this from Morocco to the West Indies.




No, Linda is not on Easter Island, but the reason she is smiling is that this is a plaster cast of the type of sculptures will see there when we travel there this fall. Bob and Linda, the traveling twosome.




The real Kon-Tiki. Awesome!




The actual Kon-Tiki, a balsa log raft that Thor Heyerdahl and five crew members sailed from Peru to Micronesia in 1947 showing the similarities in the Inca and Polynesia cultures was due to contact between them via voyages across the Pacific Ocean. I can remember reading Heyerdahl’s book, Kon-Tiki when I was a boy and dreaming of doing the same kind of thing. At least I finally got to Fiji last fall.





Linda gazing up at the polar exploration ship, Fram. We really love this museum, and even though it looks surreal, it is the actual ship.




An old polar explorer from one of the Fram expedition’s.




On board the Fram. What’s not to like about this museum.




It is just like sailing in the polar regions, complete with the northern lights. The same lights we hope to see sometime in the next two weeks.




I know, too many Fram photos, but we really like it, and besides, it’s my blog so I'll put in what I want. Egotistical Bob.


Pulling like a dog


They had a belt attached to a weight  that simulated the weight a sled dog pulls. Guess I wouldn’t qualify as a sled dog. Weakling Bob.



Linda was also a little lacking in pulling power. Okay, so Linda had absolutely no pulling power. Take it from me, she more than makes it up in other departments. Badly Bitten Bob.




I started the day with a food photo so I’ll end the day with another. Beef patties topped with lingonberries and root vegetables. Talk about good food, wow. We both chowed down majorly tonight. Must be our Scandinavian ancestry showing. How did each of us get so lucky as to marry someone who loves beets. It’s the little things that make Life what it is.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday, A Partial Norwegian Rest Day Sun Feb 28, 2016




I won’t say which of eats healthier, though the homemade muffin and pile of chocolate spread can be found on Linda’s side of the table. Don’t let the bright red glasses of juice fool you, it is beet juice, something we both can at least agree on.




I did finally take a photo of the delicious dried fish I enjoy every morning. It is Lofoten Stockfish which is unsalted fish that is naturally air dried by the sun and wind on wooden racks.




The other fish is peppered mackerel, another lip smacking good breakfast goodie. As Linda says, “Eat all you can because when we get back home there is no way you’re going to have any.” Tough Love Linda.




American tourist in the Oslo Visitor Center. We were the only ones there this morning. I thinks that was because it seemed like everyone in Oslo was out on the streets enjoying the sun in the below freezing air. Moments later we once again joined them.




Why let cold temperatures keep you from enjoying your Sunday morning coffee. We saw this and decided to believe that old saying, When in Norway in the winter, join the Norwegians for their Sunday morning sidewalk coffee and pastry and you’ll freeze your butt off. So we didn’t. Wuss Bob. Warm Linda.




Vigeland Sculpture Park, our favorite outdoor place in Oslo.The amazing thing was that it was just as busy today was it was when we were here 18 months ago when we were wearing shorts. Obviously cold weather means nothing in Norway.




Linda has her favorite sculpture and I have my three favorite sculptures. We really enjoyed trying to decide what each one means and the emotions it evokes. You can not just look at them, you get involved with them, which is what art is really all about.




Another one we both love. Truth be told, we love every one of the 36 granite sculptures that surround the monolith. And you can add in the bronze sculptures. I’ll make it easy, we love all of the over 200 sculptures in the park. For us, this is one of the three must see attractions in Oslo, and we spent a goodly amount of time enjoying it.




Selfie by the fountain with the monolith in the distance. The last time we were here we were both in shorts. As Linda said, the bad thing about visiting in the winter is there are no flowers, which grow in profusion during the summer. The good thing is that the sculptures are still here. Which goes to prove that half a loaf is far better than no loaf.


To be a kid again!

Just goes to prove there is no fool like an old fool! Disclaimer: no bones were broken in the videoing of this event, though I wasn’t sure if Linda would have helped me if I had. Bad Boy Bob.




Next it was off to the Vigeland Museum where Linda happened on this grouping of some the greatest people in Norway. What can I say, when you’re great, you’re great. (At least in my own mind) Overly Optimistic Bob.




One of Vigeland’s wooden sculptures. Doesn’t look like much, does it.




Close up it is a different story. He may have been a seriously great sculptor, but he definitely had a humorous side. He had another one with a different body part that I just can’t show. But if you travel to Oslo and visit this museum, it is something that you very likely would smile at. Everyone I saw looking at it sure did.




Another exhibit. Two doors with a long corridor between. This is almost exactly what you saw, though the red may have been even more intense. Don’t ask me what it was, but it was almost mesmerizing. Baffled Bob.




The Sunday afternoon sports show on Norway TV. Cross country skiing is very big here. Everyday there are a number of people dressed for skiing and carrying their cross country skis on the trams and metro trains. And yes, we called it quits a little early today as we have been going very hard since we arrived and the next three days are also going to be big days.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Dose of Culture Today

Yesterday had been a very long day, so we decided to stay close to home today, but that didn’t mean we had to skimp on breakfast.


I thought I’d show what Ms. Eats Healthy had on her plate this morning. Obviously she is not a fishterian like me. So sad, so sad. Deprived Linda.


Speaking of deprived Linda, as I’ve mentioned in the past, Linda was not allowed to have a horse when she was growing up even though she lived on a farm which has resulted in a lifelong feeling of having lost out on something important in her youth. As an antidote to her feeling of melancholy, I encourage her to hug a horse every time she sees one. Who would have thought we would have found one tethered to a building less than a block from our hotel. When Linda commented on how stiff he was, I pointed out anyone would be if they were standing out in the below freezing temperatures Oslo was experiencing. Life is too short not to laugh at ourselves.

One of our stops today was the National Art Museum. We were climbing the stairs to the first exhibit rooms when I noticed Linda wasn’t behind me. Turning around I found her down on the landing taking photos of her feet. As I learned, it wasn’t her feet she was interested in, it was the fossils in the tile.


Why we enjoy the art we do. Besides that, I was able to translate the German words making me mighty good in Linda’s eyes. Call me easy, but that made my day. Happy Bob.


The moment I walked into this room I knew who had painted the painting hanging over the cabinet.


He’s my favorite artist. Think dark and moody. He’s from Toledo. He was known as “The Greek”. Sorry, but if you haven’t guessed who he is by now, me telling you who he is isn’t going to mean anything. Besides, I probably wouldn’t be able to guess your favorite artist either. Ordinary Bob.


Some paintings require more study than others due to fact they have an interesting story to tell, like this one. And don’t think for a moment that I am into art in any way other that truly enjoying what I like. Ask me to draw a person and you will get a stick figure. Non-artistic Bob.


This painting by Edvard Munch, Norway’s most famous artist, is titled “The Day After”. I’d say this a painting that most people can instantly relate to. For any Munch fan’s out there, the principle reason we visited this museum is because Munch’s original painting of “The Scream” is on displayed here. I guess you could say that Linda and I don’t know very much about art, but we know what we like when we see it. We hurried through the room with the Picasso’s and the artists who copied his style. So why did we linger a long time in the room of Munch’s paintings then hurry through the several rooms of artists that copied his style? I guess there is just no accounting for taste when it comes to art.

Another museum, where we learned about the Sami people and their culture. We knew them as Laplanders, and they are the indigenous people of the far north of  Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. One thing that travel really brings to the forefront is that no matter what country it is, the indigenous people were either mostly exterminated or forced into adopting the ways of the “more civilized” people who were occupying their lands as if it was their right. It’s a simple question that is impossible to answer: “What makes our way of life better than theirs?” And before we blurt out “ours” and list our reasons, perhaps we should walk a mile in their shoes. On His Soapbox Bob.


First “Footie Photo’ of the trip. And you’re right, Linda was definitely not happy I took this. Possibly in Big trouble Bob.


This is the great thing about travel, you never know what you are going to stumble upon. This was an exhibit of all the items the ancient Egyptians used to to turn the deceased into mummies.


This is the – There’s no way I am going to touch that thing – look. It’s a pan full of salt, and under the salt is a chicken. Linda is pointing to a foot as I tell her to touch it. That’s its head sticking out of the other end, and it’s heart is the beaker to the left of the pan, while below are other internal organs. Next Sunday they are going to actually mummify it. This is exactly why we need to come over to Europe for three months at a time instead of just one month. Now we won’t get to see them do it. Sad Bob. Happy Linda.


This what makes an even happier Linda. a stop at a shop to buy more KVIKK bars. She learned to love these the last time we were in Norway. Beside I really like them too. How true is that old saying, “The quickest way to woman’s heart is to give her her favorite chocolate bar.” Quick Bob.


It’s a little icy in the harbor.


I was ordered to take this photo of her. Something tells me that if I don’t include it in today’s post I'll never hear the end of it. Smart Bob.


Our favorite Thai restaurant in Oslo. Okay, so maybe it is the only Thai restaurant we know in Oslo, but we did love the food we had here the last time, okay, the only other time, we were in Oslo.


Don’t believe me? Here is a photo of Houston and Von who we ate with that night with that very same background painting behind them. Elephant Memory Bob.


Nothing like a couple of drinks complete with fresh flowers in them to make the pre meal time more festive. Glowing Linda.


Our appetizer plate. It was right at this point that Linda said, “We forgot to take a picture.” As you can see I fixed that oversight. Unfortunately not shown are the spring rolls and seared tuna, though you do get a glimpse of the coconut sesame prawns. What can I say, we were hungry and it looked so good. And it was that good.


My spicy pork and vegetable dish. I placed the sticky rice at the corners.  Linda had her favorite Thai dish, cashew chicken. I know it’s the only meal she ever orders at a Thai restaurant, but since she has standards, who am I to question them. If you’ve eaten Thai food in the States you know about what you’d pay for a meal like this. tonight’s bill came to NOK 1200, which is almost exactly $100. This isn’t a fancy restaurant by any means and had many tables with parents and children. It’s just that Norway is a very expensive country, but one we find that is worth every Krone. As always, your results may vary. Just remember: Life is not a dress rehearsal. You get one chance, make the best of it.