We had a lecture about the Vikings. Their reputation looms large but their actual existence was a period of only 250 years 850 to 1000. They used runic letters and carved their presence in many places include the Hagia Sophia!
Once the capital of Norway it is now the third largest city in the country but the capital is now Oslo. As we approached the city the landscape flattened.
Quite a nice cover for the septic system.
A lecture on the Vikings this afternoon was great and I will try to give some idea of it tomorrow morning.
This has been a very full day and now at 10 PM I realize I might finish this tomorrow morning. At the moment I am supine in my cabin 550 on the ship Nordlys plying our way north to famous fjords.
The rain did not stop our trip about an hour outside Bergen to a fish farm raising salmon. Our guide said that anyone uneasy about climbing onto 19 passenger boat riding low on the water can stay in the pontoon building that is part of the monitoring station.
The ride from the pontoon building located a 5 minute ride from shore was a taste of Mutiny on the Bounty. Our guide was a young man who apologized for the fact that he was new in his job having been with the company only two months. But he said if we had questions he could not answer he had immediate contact with others.
The ride back from the pens took us back to the port where our trusty bus was waiting warm and dry. None of were either warm or dry.
We are continuing north to Bergen where in a few days we will board our ship to go further north to Finland. But before we leave we will visit some locals – two local families.
From that scene through a long tunnel we began an ascent that included the famed granite mountains and the sinewy waterfalls from the lakes above.
We are heading to Bergen today with a stop at a farm where we have been told we may be required to do chores. Given the condition of some of my fellow travelers getting on and off the bus is a chore.
Been having internet issues. I will continue in hopes of being able to connect with photos as well as text. Unfortunately my two earlier attempts are somewhere in the ether…
They seemed to have cleaned up the problem so I will have to recap my previous blogs and hope to give you a feel for this city.
Oslo on the weekend was eerily empty. According to one of our tour guides it is because all the families are either still away or just back because school starts today, Monday August 22 – all levels from pre-school through university. But this morning though there were more people the city still seems rather empty. Our group did a city walk this morning along a river the takes water from the hills above the city from which the drinking water is delivered. Sounds impossible but that’s the story.
The mills employed mostly young women from the countryside many of whom worked for very little pay. They often were exploited also for sex and when children were born various religious and civic organizations would house mothers and children and often take care of the babies during the day while the mother worked.
The university has its arts campus in this riverside park. We were told that there are music events the utilize the steps for concerts. We trekked up to use the facilities and to take a quick look at the two large galleries on the entry floor both of which featured paintings.
Lot of activities and lots of people and a hiccup our two. But by and large a terrific trip. There is something about old friends that makes talking about the changes we’re finding as we age one really new topic. And Old jokes about old times seem as funny to us as ever, but only moderately so to partners. That could be why so few were in attendance but the pandemic was the reason given.
In a matter of days I leave for Finland, Norway and Lapland! After considering getting a larger piece of luggage I decided to stay with the one I have and just take whatever fits. This is travel to a cold climate so I thought I might need bulkier clothes, sweaters and such… I will simply wear as many layers as I can while traveling and do a lot of washing. I know how to do that.
Usually I bring stuff to leave behind because often folks where I travel have little. But not so in these countries. However we are having a lunch with a family in Lapland and I have a memento designed to signal coming from San Francisco. It is a dish towel and we can always use another one of those.
I am also going to buy some Jam made in SF because the locals of the Sami people who are the only remaining indigenous people in the region. They make jam from lingonberries and sell it and I hope they like the raspberry rose jam made by a small group in San Francisco.
Back to trying to figure out what to take and what not to. I am back to taking my walking shoes as well as my new rubber shoes for the rain which looks like an almost every day occurrence.
Hei hey! That’s so long in Finnish