Scandinavia 2013:
Day 2 - Oslo, Norway


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Scandinavia 2013: [Day 1 - Oslo] [Day 2 - Oslo] [Day 3 - Copenhagen] [Day 4 - Vilnius] [Day 5 - Stockholm] [Day 6 - Stockholm] [Day 7 - Umeå] [Day 8 - Umeå] [Day 9 - Umeå]

Sunday, November 3, 2013: After a good night's sleep, we checked out, stored our luggage, and walked to a nearby bus stop.
Our Oslo Cards gave us free travel on all public transportation, so we took this tram ...
... to Frogner Sculpture Park. Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian sculpture who created all of the works of art in the park.
All of the statues are of naked human bodies with a couple of exceptions involving dragons and partially-clad people.
This bridge is lined with many sculptures. We didn't look at them too closely, partly out of respect for their nudity, but mostly because we were too entertained by ...
... this little guy, who had spent the entire time that we had been in the park crying to be held. At this point, he was throwing himself in front of his mother, arms spread wide, hoping that she'd run into him and have no choice but to pick him up.
Here's a larger sculpture in the middle of the bridge.
Here's the Fountain. Nope, it doesn't have a name other than the Fountain.
It's surrounded by sculptures of trees with children and people in them, ...
... and tiny scenes sculpted into the fountain wall, ...
... like this one of children trying to get away from a bear.
Here are some gentlemen outlined on one of four impressive gates at each entrance to the main attraction, ...
... the Monolith.
Here it is in all its intricate glory.
Here's the view looking back to the entrance where we started from, ...
... and here's the view looking in the opposite direction. ...
Here's a closeup of that gate, ...
... and here's a third gate -- the one we departed from.
We walked a diagonal path until we reached civilization at this parking lot. What's this then? It's an actual Tesla, recharging at one of several charging stations. Oooooh, pretty.
And here's one of the tiny plastic electric cars we see around our hometown regularly. It's a THINK car and they were made in Norway until 2012, something we did not know until we returned home and looked it up. There was an Indiana factory as well.
It was quite amusing that the Norwegian movie theater has a giant Thor poster in front.
We were headed up to Frognersteren next, and we ran the last few hundred meters to catch the next train. Since this is the view of the station from the train window, we obviously made it in time.
The train ride turned out to be great fun. Frognerseteren is up on top of a mountain overlooking Oslo, so the train tracks twisted and turned up the mountainside. In this photo, the tracks circle around this soccer field and are visible further up the hill in this photo.
Look how cute this Norwegian home is!
The city started to be visible through breaks in the trees as we climbed the mountain.
We passed many homes covered with grass and moss. So darn cute!
We reached the final stop on the train's route and all got off.
From the train station, it was a short walk down a steep hill to reach our destination. The view from up here was great, and the sun was breaking through the clouds to light up the Oslo fjord.
Here is Frognerseteren in all its mountain top glory.
We got lunch in the tiny, crowded cafeteria and found a seat in the beautiful hall, covered with painted designs and rustic touches.
Tom had tomato soup and a roast beef sandwich and Debbie had her first shrimp sandwich of the trip, which was very reasonably priced by Oslo standards. We shared a tasty piece of Frognerseteren's famous apple cake.
After our visit, we trekked back up the trail to the train station. Oddly, the walk up was much easier than the original walk down.
A train was waiting for us at the station, so there was no waiting in the cold for the next one.
Back down the mountain again, we passed a whole resort of grass-topped buildings.
Here's the very top of the large ski jump at Holmenskollen, ...
... which we could have visited if we had gotten off at this station.
Apparently, some pretty wealthy people live up on the mountain with the great views of Oslo.
We got off at a station near our hotel, on Karl Johans gate.
We saw our first Max restaurant outside of Sweden, so the chain has come a long way since it was first founded in the north of Sweden in 1968.
A short block away, however, we saw the American equivalent -- our beloved McDonald's. We did not visit though, because we needed to get back to the hotel, grab our luggage, and be on our way.
We dragged our suitcases a few blocks through Oslo's charming streets to the ferry pier we had passed the day before.
We were booked on the Crown Seaways, which looks just like this except with an outside hull and obviously much, much bigger, since this photo was taken while standing in it.
We booked a Commodore Cabin on Deck 9.
Here it is, ...
... small but comfortable and much bigger than the alternatives.
The bathroom was very tiny but at least it featured a shower curtain.
Our Commodore cabin came with complimentary chocolates and tropical fruit mix, ...
... plus complimentary champagne and water bottles.
Before sail out, we headed up on deck to the bar in the stern of the ship.
We sipped our $10 beer and enjoyed the sights. That's the Opera House in the back left, ...
... with the interesting buildings behind it that we had first seen on arrival in Stockholm from the train station..
There's the giant ski jump at Holmenskollen with Frognerseteren hidden in the clouds above it.
Sail out was at 4:30, just as the city lights started to come up. We love a good sail out.
City Hall was beautifully lit.
In our cabin, we sipped our champagne and watched the fjord scenery passed by us, including this old lighthouse, Dyna Fyr, that was turned into a restaurant.
Speaking of restaurants, we had booked a window table for two at 5:30 PM in the ship's restaurant for its Christmas buffet.
Feast your eyes on this sumptuous spread.
Yes, this is Scandinavia.
No way! The buffet featured lutefisk! Is it possible that we would have lutefisk twice in two days?
Yes, indeed, it happened, and this lutefisk was even more delicious than the night before. Nearly everything was delicious: the caviar, red cabbage, lutefisk, potatoes, sausage, and so much more.
Oh, the dessert selections!
There was rice pudding with cherry topping, caramel pudding, cloudberry cream, applesauce, and an assortment of ginger and almond cookies. We tried them all, even the cranberry sauce in the glass that was much too sour to actually consume.
We took a photo of the large display in the hallway that showed we were just entering the Outer Oslofjord.

As we turned in for the night later on, the map in our room showed we were just passing Fredrickstad, where two of Debbie's great-grandparents lived before emigrating to America and meeting each other. This is when the seas turned rough and we spent a sleepless evening in a ship being tossed by waves that sometimes reached our window.

Day 3 >


Scandinavia 2013: [Day 1 - Oslo] [Day 2 - Oslo] [Day 3 - Copenhagen] [Day 4 - Vilnius] [Day 5 - Stockholm] [Day 6 - Stockholm] [Day 7 - Umeå] [Day 8 - Umeå] [Day 9 - Umeå]

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