Oslo, Norway

April 10, 2003
Weather: high of about 40ºF and sunny

Oslo is a homey kind of city. It has all the comforts of a big city but doesn't feel so Eastern European as Sweden and Finland did. People jay-walk here. There are people loitering good-naturedly on city steps. I can imagine living here. It certainly seems to have enough sky-scrapers to warrant lots of system administrators.

There are about a million indoor malls here. In one of them, Julie finds a yarn store, but it is closed on Sunday. When she finally gets inside, it is too small to actually browse and the staff practically push her out to do their inventory.
In the train station, and many other places, there is a Narvesen store. It competes with 7-11 (which is next door), selling hot dogs, magazines, and the one thing 7-11 doesn't have: Everquest software.
Our tour of Oslo includes the Viking Ship museum, the sculpture park, and an outdoor museum of old buildings. Here Julie lends some sense of scale to a Viking ship that was used as a coffin for a Viking hotshot woman.
Ahh, the outdoor museum. I think Scandanavia has some thing about outdoor museums. Here is my Oslo's Hierarchy of Needs:
  • Outdoor museums
  • Cigarettes
  • Walking with ski poles
  • Salty spaghetti sauce
The outdoor museum includes this old church which reminds us of the temples of Thailand.
Another outdoor museum is the sculpture park of Vigeland. Most of the sculptures are quite touching, but this one I had to capture because of perfect representation of the frustrated baby-sitter.
Many tourists that just have a few days in Norway do a "Norway in a Nutshell" tour between Oslo and Bergen. We do the tour without the nutshell because we already have a train pass for all of Norway. That leaves it up to us to get our own tickets on the ferry that takes us through the fjord and serves hot chocolate and waffles with jam.
The tour through New Zealand fjords was more impressive but we did manage to see some seals as our tiny ferry took us around.

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