Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Travels In Norway

We are in the beautiful Oslo Gardemoen Airport, waiting for the flight to Tromso. I think that it is the nicest airpot that I have ever seen. First off, in spite of a caribou sized herd of humans, it is incredibly efficient. They also have good food -especially a baguette sub from a little place called the upper crust. The waiting area boasts large comfortable leather seats - the nicest that I've seen in an airport and the best little mock airplane shaped jungle gym for kids to play on.

Yesterday, we did a gruelling 4-museum dash. The first was the Norwegian Folkemuseum - a sprawling collection of exhibits and building from various parts of the last 300-400 years. The Sami exhibit was very well done in particular (I took a picture of a Tuktu pulling a sled for my students. Outside, the was an amazing replica sod hut, like those they used traditionally during the cold winter months. Other interesting exhibits included one on folk dress, another discussing folk clothing, and one on the home for juvenile delinquent boys called Bestoy. There was also an impressive stave church in the open air exhibits along with a variety of buildings that you could peer into and try to imagine how folk lived in one-room farmhouses. I remain impressed with Norwegian wood carving. It did seem that not everything was open, but even so we were at least 3 hours at wandering and reading.

Next we went to the Vikingskiphuset (Viking Ship Museum) where, we treated to a fascinating experience of learning about the archeology of their finds. We appreciated the smaller size of the museum after the huge folk museum.

Next, a little walk down to the Kon Tiki museum showcasing the boats and travels of the renowned Thor Heyerdahl. Having read some of his books (albeit during High School), it was really neat to see the Kon Tiki raft and Ra reed boat. The background info was short and interesting and has renewed my interest in reading some of his books.

The last museum of the day was the Fram Polar Ship Museum highlighting the polar expeditions including those of Roald Asmunden. We were pretty museumed out at that point so we skimmed through the 3 stories of background I formation, but were surprised and delighted to be able to tour the inside of the ship.

Returning by ferry boat from Bigdoy - we immediate went hunting form Concerta, the pizza restaurant we visited the first night and proceeded to enjoy a delicious veggie pizza with artichokes on it. Then it was onto the train and out towards the airport, where we stayed at our first hostel. After paying as much for out shuttle bus fare as we did for our discounted Oslo pass train fare we gave in to tiredness, and slept or read quietly.

This brings s to the present - flying north to Tromso. We are looking forward to being in amuck smaller city surrounded by ocean and mountains. I believe that Norwegian Airlines has free wireless, if so this will be my first blog post from 30,000 ft.


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