07.20.2012 - 07.22.2012
I took a trip this past weekend to meet up with some friends I hadn't seen in quite a while and got to see Norway. Fortunately the weather was lovely and I was told it wasn't usually so sunny, though flying in at 9:15 in the evening, in the plane it looked like it could be noon. Dusk was around 11:30pm and it probably wasn't completely dark until around midnight. Interestingly my flight was delayed an hour and on the airplane in one of the magazines found in the seat pocket in front of me was a magazine that proclaimed proudly that Scandinavian Airlines had won awards for being the most punctual airline...an hour delay I think will mean missing out on another award. Too bad for them. They also were out of water so were unable to serve coffee and tea, but orange juice was free - everything else was for purchase. I bought nothing and waited for my arrival. Still, an hour and a half plane flight with only an hour and a half train commute to Amsterdam from Nijmegen sure beats a 27 hour train ride from Amsterdam to Oslo. Also, I was a bit relieved at the late departure seeing as there were no direct trains from Nijmegen to Amsterdam airport when I left because of all the walking festivities going on in Nijmegen. The train took a bit more time and I had to transfer in Utrecht. I thought I might miss my flight.
It is important for me to note that the agents working security at Amsterdam airport and at Oslo airport are WAY friendlier than at any airport I've been to in the U.S. and the protocol to me are far more reasonable. Everyone does not remove their shoes, only boots and heels or if you set off the machine do you have to remove them. Also, no naked machines as far as I could see though potentially they have them for special use. My belt buckle looked like a knife at Amsterdam airport apparently so they had to check that out, but the most amazing thing was my return trip from Oslo. I had some souvenires in my backpack that I did not put in my checked luggage and I forgot that one of the items I purchased was a wine bottle opener, I sighed and realized as I approached screening that they would take it away so I let the gentleman know I had it and he asked and I was permitted to keep it! Imagine being able to reason that I would most likely not be able to do anything too devastating with a wine bottle opener. Coming from the U.S. where even nail clippers are the most dangerous of weapons on an airplane I was surprised and relieved for this. It also left something to be desired in my own home-town country.
Enough blabber and onto some photos!
On the train on my way to Amsterdam airport I saw this interesting photo in the paper that I cannot explain other than it is Romney in some sort of mask that is in the newest Batman flick. I turned to the page it stated for further information, but there were only advertisements for the new flick and no words to help me better understand how Bane Capital and Romney are related to Batman...
The money used in Norway is the Krone $1.00 equals roughly 6 Norwegian Krone. It looks like a lot of money so when I went to the atm I felt like a baller carrying around this.
However, it also feels like you are spending a ton of money all the time there because the numbers themselves are so large and I wasn't much a fan of this.
I took the shuttle to meet up with my friends and I pretty much passed out as soon as I got in.
The next day though, the only full day I was in Oslo I took lots of pretty pictures including where I was staying.
There are parks all over Oslo and I spent some time in them in the sun after all the sight seeing. All women who read this, prepare to be jealous - the society is set up for family way better than our country (as are most of the European countries whose healthcare systems I am aware of) and in Norway you get to take the first year of your child's life off of work with full compensation. Men, you also get to take the time off. We could learn some family values from the Norwegians I think. Anyway, this was very evident with the families out and about even on the weekend.
We were not interested in spending money to go in the museum, but here is a picture of the painting that the line forming outside was waiting to see...i'm sure it's much better than the printed poster outside.
AND I probably wouldn't have been allowed to take a pic of the real one for you all anyway.
I didn't eat here, but I thought it was interesting there was a "Texas burger joint" in Oslo.
speaking of the food, my vegetarian/vegan friends made and showed me the best food I've had in Europe. Seriously. Primarily vegan stuff and incredibly delicious. I would have eaten completely vegan if it weren't for the spicy marinated feta. no pictures, just my teasing words to let you know that the food was wonderful.
These next photos are my favorite - city hall with awesomely old wood carvings going through Scandanavian folklore - I really felt like I got in touch with my Norwegian roots by looking over these, or maybe I just love mythology. Here is where I told the city hi for my mom who asked me to say hello to the land of our ancestors. It didn't say hi back, obviously.
A few final photos of touristy stuff before my friends and I just went to hang out.
graffiti art I saw on Sunday before leaving to catch my plane back.
I definitely hope to return to Oslo, but I think only in the summer months. It was good to see my friends and hang out with them and enjoy some sunshine! Although, my return to the Netherlands has had me pleasantly surprised with sunshine this week thus far. Will keep my fingers crossed the sun keeps coming and the rain clouds stay away. Only three weeks left in Europe and I'd prefer the weather do things my way (if only I had that much control).