Oslo, Oh Oslo, How You Won Our Hearts

Remember the old saying “You can’t go home again”?  That was the feeling that came over me on the morning of our arrival at the pilot station for our three hour sail-in to Oslo.  The skies were overcast, and fog was threatening to obscure the beautiful landscape.  I knew I had some outstanding photos of our arrival in 2008, so I did not bother with pictures.  I just enjoyed visiting with Tor and Judy and Paul, and by 0700  we were docked at the Vippetangen berth in downtown Oslo. We couldn’t have wished for a better berth as it placed us just beneath the famous Akershus Fortress, a medieval castle that was built to protect the capital of Norway.  Construction began around the late 1290’s.  Visiting the grounds was at the end of our to do list however.

We had scheduled no tours since we had already taken the one Alan was again offering.  Today we would be using public transportation by purchasing a “transportation pass for seniors”  A bargain indeed.  As we left the ship we walked by the very large  Costa Atlantica that was docked in front of us at the Akerhus berth.  She was disgorging passengers via two gangways and it looked as though they were all loading onto waiting tour buses.  From there we proceeded through the very tempting terminal building with it’s stalls of vendors starting to display their wares.  I had to keep reminding Barbara that they would be here when we returned.  As we followed the quay side toward the city square, we passed by two excellent vessels, and I could not resist getting a couple of shots, though the lighting was not the best.

I guess they could be called “Beauty and the Beast”.  We were close to our first stop, which would be the ferry that would take us across the harbor to the Fram Museum.  Soon we were on-board and leaving the inner harbor behind…….

…..in the distance you can see how the Prinsendam is dwarfed by the larger Costa Atlantica, which I think carries some 2400 passengers.  Certainly not the ship for me. The Arcadia of P&O was berthed at Riverkaien in the ferry port around the corner and much later the Queen Victoria docked at the cargo & ferry terminal at the West side of Oslo. So roughly 8000 eager shoppers and sightseers’ descended upon Oslo to enjoy a beautiful day ashore. (Stats from Captain Albert’s blog – http://www.hollandamericablog.com/albert/p=3220/.

I have already blogged about our fisit to the Fram Museum, so I will move onto our next attraction – The Gol stave church in the Norsk Folkemuseum at Bygdøy.  The museum is another “open-air” museum, so we were hoping for sunny weather.  Our timing couldn’t have been better as when we disembarked bus 30 at the entrance to the museum, we were bathed in glorious sunlight, which would stay with us for the rest of the day.  Once again we were able to purchase senior tickets at a reduced price, and we immediately headed for the Gol Stave Church.

Appropriately, the church is sited at the top of a hill surrounded by a beautiful green field.  I have my own idea as to why the design is called “stave”, and that is because it’s  roof is shingled with what looks like staves.  Note also in the details, the wooded gargoyles on either side of the cross.

Leaving the Church we enjoyed strolling the path, serenaded by domestic sheep calling to each other across the small hills.  As we sat to enjoy our lunch on tables and benches in a festival arena, we were joined by a class of school children on an outing with their teachers and a couple of parents.  What a joy it was to watch these young spirits enjoying camaraderie in the-out-of-doors – aw,  the memories that came flooding back of our child rearing years.

The museum was established in 1894 by librarian and historian, Hans Aall (1867-1946). It contains over 150 buildings which have been relocated from different districts of NorwayReidar Kjellberg became Director of the museum in 1947 and remained museum director until he retired in 1974. (Quoted from Wikipedia)  Here are just a couple of those more interesting buildings….

…. and the details of their foundations and construction……

and  the intricate carvings…..

… and the beauty of the aged and weathered wood..

We were tired, yet satisfied that the day had treated us kindly as we boarded the crowded bus back to the city.

With time for a couple of mementos of Oslo….

… the beautiful marble flooring of the grand meeting hall at City Hall and….

…. the underground utility cover of the City of Oslo.

We had two final items on our Oslo to-do-list; see the fortress, and buy Barbara’s sweater.  I could tell by the flush on Barbara’s cheeks, that she was in no shape to do both, so I told her that I would find the sweater and she should see the fort, and we would meet back on the ship.  When we parted, I thought to myself “What have you done?”  The heat is on now.  However as I perused the merchandise in the last stall in the terminal, one sweater spoke Barbara’s name, and I knew it was the one.  Now I had to make sure I had the right size – her words kept ringing in my ears “get me an XL – extra large one”, but as I looked at the XL “tents” I knew I was in big trouble. Then I spotted one of the ladies from our tour group, who in my estimation was about Barbara’s size and asked her if she would try on the M – medium.  It looked great on her, so now I was committed.  I knew if I left the decision up to Barbara for this particular sweater, she would balk at the price.  At that point I could care less about the price, I knew this was the one.  When I got back to the ship, she had not returned so I laid the sweater out on our bed and waited for her return.  I hid in the walk-in closet as I heard her key in the door, and then the pleasant gasp of surprise as she saw the prize.  I think she uttered something like “Oh, how beautiful” as I breathed a sigh of relief.

My Gift from Norway to My Love

By the way – it fit perfectly and she loves it..

Next:  Two days in Amsterdam

One thought on “Oslo, Oh Oslo, How You Won Our Hearts

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