Our past two days in Norway have been much more relaxed than our time in Ireland. Since I have been here a bunch of times, I find that I do not have as much of a fire to go out and see things, not to mention it is sinfully expensive here.
On Saturday we had a slow morning which started at breakfast in the hotel. This was a first for Lindsey, as it had many traditional Norwegian foods like different fishes, many cheeses, and a big pile of liver available on the buffet. There, of course, was the normal goodies like eggs, bacon, bread and cereal. Lindsey did fall in love with the bread selection and raspberry jam. I think she would have no problems living here as long as she had a steady supply of fresh breads and butter.
It turns out that on Saturday the Oslo Marathon was taking place. This meant that most of the buses in the area were not working as they should due to delays or cancellations. We had planned to go to Vigeland Park and the Norwegian Folk Museum, but taking the bus was not a good option due too all of the detours. We ended up taking a taxi, which to put in perspective, cost $50 to go 8 miles. Vigeland Park is an interesting place that is not for the modest person (i.e. Lindsey). To put it lightly, it is a place that is fully of naked statues. By naked I mean NAKED, lots of dudes statues anatomically correct wrestling other dude statues. I, of course, am fully evolved and this did not bother me….sure that’s it.
Given that the buses were all out of order, we decided to walk to the folk museum which was about a 45 minute walk up a big hill. The folk museum was cool. It a large area full of historical buildings that represent the architecture of Norway throughout the years. The most impressive part was the Stave Church. It was beautiful and had amazing wood work. While we were there, we went to the gift shop to have a look around. Lindsey had always heard of the Norwegian sweaters that they have here and that they would last you a life time. Turns out they had a few at the gift shop, only problem is that it cost $1000!
When we finished up at the folk museum we were going to head back to the hotel. We had some crazy idea that we would walk back to the hotel. According to my Google maps, this was showing to be 13k away and would take us 2.5 hours. The map was showing good walking paths, so we though this would be a good chance to enjoy the weather and get to see the sights. As we started our walk, we passed by one of the last guys finishing the marathon. He appeared to be the last runner, as he had his number on his shirt and was being escorted/followed by some marathon workers clearing the signs after he passed them. Lindsey and I just wanted to cheer him on, as he looked to be pushing himself pretty hard to get through the race.
For a while, our path led us by the fjords, which was a beautiful route to take. Unfortunately, once we got passed Lysaker, things started to take a turn for the worst. Our pretty walking path started to get confusing as we walked through the train station. We ended up taking a wrong turn and the GPS rerouted us to another path. This led to many other diversions, which added time/distance to our trip significantly.
To make a very long story short, it ended up taking us almost 3 hours to get back to the hotel. It was a wonderful walk, and with Lindsey and I focusing much more on healthy things, it really fit our lifestyle. At the end of the day we had walked 20 miles, which just barely beat out our first day in Dublin. As we started to approach the city that our hotel is in, Sandvika, I thought back to that guy we saw in the last place of the marathon. I just wished someone would be sitting by the side of the road cheering us on and acknowledging our accomplishment.
On Sunday, we did not plan on too much and just wanted to enjoy our time together. We ended up getting on a train to Oslo to have a walk around the city and look at the bigger sites. It is a beautiful city, but unfortunately it was a bit rainy today which made us feel lazy. We had a chance to look at one of the cathedrals, the National Theater and the Royal Palace. We had just arrived at the royal palace for the changing of the guard. While not as elaborate as the one in London, it was still very impressive. We were planning on going to the Opera House, but our legs were tired and were we getting a bit too wet, so we decided to head back to the hotel.
We had a little rest in the hotel and went downstairs for some coffee. While downstairs, we ran into some of my coworkers who have arrived for our meetings. I was glad that Lindsey had a chance to meet the people I work with in my virtual team. We make up 10 different countries and somehow are able to work with each other. A few of us were able to go out to dinner tonight, which included a half Norwegian/UK, Chinese, and Polish guy. We were able to swap stories and try to keep the geek talk to a minimum for Lindsey’s sake.
Tomorrow I will bring Lindsey to the train station in the morning, so that she is able to make her way back home. It is a long day for her, but fortunately it is easier to go back and deal with the jet lag rather than coming to Europe. I know that she will be the most happy to see Jennifer again, even though we have talked with her on the computer most days, it is just not the same.
I will be staying in Norway until Saturday, sitting in all day long meetings the entire time. I do not suspect that I will do much blogging as we have some evening activities planned and honestly most of it will not be too much fun to talk about.