Wednesday, November 20, 2013
After two weeks at home we learned that Jason needed to be in Atlanta in two weeks for a meeting and in Brussels the week of Thanksgiving for another meeting, so we decided to plan a trip to Scandinavia. We spent the next two hectic weeks planning and reminding people that, yes, we were aware that it was winter in Scandinavia. One of the decisions we made in planning this trip was that we would leave Pika behind for the very first time. We were all very sad about this but agreed it was probably in her and our best interest. Jason's mom valiantly stepped up to the plate to take on the job of taking care of our nervous, anti-social, bitey chihuahua. I'm pretty sure this secures her a spot for sainthood. So off we flew to Atlanta to visit the great-grandparents and for Jason's meeting, chihuahua-less. We spent a couple of days visiting with family and resting before our flight to Oslo.
We arrived in Oslo at 9:30am very jet-lagged and discombobulated. We had a series of follies as we worked our way from the airport to our hotel. We missed our first train by just seconds. We caught the next train, but when it came time to get off we gathered our stuff quickly and then stared dumbly at the door, waiting for it to open. In a stroke of genius, I saw the open button and hit it, but it was too late. The door opened half-way, then closed and the train was in motion again. We managed to get off at the next stop and we all piled into an elevator with one other person. The doors wouldn't close so we all piled out thinking maybe it was over its weight limit. The doors closed abruptly and down it went. We had success with our second try. On the next train platform we had to buy a new set of train tickets to get us back to the stop we had just missed. Once we got off at our train station, dazed, we wandered back and forth, back and forth trying to find the street to our hotel. Once at the hotel, they informed us that according to their computer, we were supposed to have checked in the day before. Luckily, I had an email confirmation with the correct dates and they gave us a room. At this point we were starving and in serious need of caffeine so we stumbled into the hotel restaurant and dug into the sandwich and cake buffet. At this point we knew that Norway is expensive, but we did not have a good handle on the kroner to dollar exchange and ended up spending $250 on sandwiches. Oops. At least they were fancy sandwiches in a fancy restaurant. With full tummies and fully caffeinated, we hit the streets.
Jason navigated us to Akershus where we soaked in views of the Oslo harbor before taking an audio tour through the 1300's era castle. Afterwards, we circled back up the overlook at least three times, for reasons I do not think I will ever understand. The ultimate goal was to watch the early sunset over the water but I haven't a clue why we circled so many times...I suppose a byproduct of our jet-lagged state. At any rate, we had a lovely time watching as the sun sunk lower and lower in the sky until it disappeared behind the horizon at 3:40. At this point we wandered through the dark streets past a mixture of ultra-modern and traditional European buildings back to our hotel for a quick shower and rest before dinner at a Vietnamese-French restaurant. We all collapsed into bed at 8:00 where we fell asleep in spite of the loud music and screaming that emanated from below our window until 3am.
Click here for photos.