A day of seafaring history in Oslo, Norway

Hallo! We’re in Oslo, Norway right now. The day started quite spectacularly at about 4 AM when I awoke to visit the bathroom. I noticed that it was getting light outside, so I took a glance out the window and saw the most spectacular sunrise I think I’ve ever seen. We were cruising up the Oslo Fjord and the sky was a mixture of pink, orange, red, and purple. I woke Barb up and we ended up standing out on our veranda in our sleepwear taking photos.

After a few more hours of sleep, we woke up to get ready for our shore excursion. I was a bit irritated with the shore excursion guy who, when I asked him if they were holding any seats near the front of the buses for disabled people, told me to “just run fast and get to the bus first.” Yeah, right – when I’m pushing Barb in the travel wheelchair? Fortunately the tour guide had other ideas and held the first row for us.

Oslo is very beautiful, neat, and expensive. As we went through the streets towards the Viking Ship Museum, we were amazed at how prosperous the city seems. Norway gets a huge amount of revenue from oil and gas, so the standard of living is pretty good. The city has a population of about 430,000, and the population of the entire country is a bit over 4 million.

We went past the location where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded, so when the guide mentioned our President winning the award in 2009 (before he was even in office), I had to say loudly that he had received it for doing nothing. Of course, the award has also been given in the past to the Palestinian terrorist Yassir Arafat and to Adolf Hitler (his prize was revoked), so it looks like the prize has always been a farce.

The ship museum was cool. They have three large ships, all of which had been buried in the blue clay of the area for many years and were well preserved. The largest of the three had beautiful carvings on the prow.

The next stop was at the Kon Tiki Museum. The museum houses the Kon Tiki balsa raft and Ra II reed boat used by Thor Heyerdahl on his voyages to prove that ancient mariners could have traveled huge distances. Across from this is the Norwegian Maritime Museum, which talks about the country’s heritage of shipbuilding. There was a 20-minute movie showing the beautiful Norwegian coastline that has influenced the people to work on the sea for millennia.

All too quickly, we headed back to the ship. We were close to the downtown area, so Barb and I walked to a little dockside cafĂ© and shared a “fish burger”. Of course, I had to have a Norwegian Hansa beer…

Our only complaint about the shore excursion is that it was too short. If it had been an hour longer, we could have spent more time perusing the exhibits. After returning to the ship, we headed up to the Cove Cafe for a couple of drinks and Internet.

Sailing out of Oslo for Copenhagen should be cool. The sun isn’t supposed to set until about 10:30 or so, and I’m hopeful that we’ll get some great photos of the fjord as we cruise south.

Pictures will be coming soon.

1 Comment »

  1. kbaier Said,

    June 14, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    Sounds exciting and I’m sure it’s just going to get better! I’ll probably learn more from your posts than I would if I was there – thanks!

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