Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Gorgeous Day in Oslo

Oslo is only about 325 miles/525 kilometers north from Skåne but my goodness, it is like Eslöv on steroids and human growth hormones combined!

As much as I have enjoyed my first two days here, it must be noted that Oslo will tear your financial arm right off your body and hit you over the head with its soggy end if you are not careful!

After a really good breakfast in the hotel (FREE, well not really because I'm paying about 40% more than what this room would rent for in, for example, Rome or London ), it IS the most important meal of the day don't you know, I was off to my first stop of the day, the Rådhuset.

The reason was simple enough, of the attractions I wanted to visit today, Oslo's City Hall opened first at 9:00 a.m.

First, I perused the outside of the Rådhuset.

Nice Atomic Clock

What exactly is an Atomic Clock? It seems that every European city of any consequence has one. Even Lund has one in its Cathedral.

On the outside arcade of the Rådhuset are several very large woodcarvings depicting scenes from Norwegian mythology.

The Death of Balder

Long story here but basically Balder is a god who is killed by his half brother Hód who is blind but very strong. Odin's foster brother Loke, who is an evil and cunning giant, dupes Hód into shooting the arrow that kills Balder. Loke did all the aiming for blind Hód.

Out of anguish when he realized what he had mistakenly done, Hód moved to Mississippi and became a Delta Blues legend under the name Blind Hód Jeffersson.


A dragon-like, serpent beast full of malice, he is gnawing on the root of the world tree.

I guess the restaurants in Norway were super expensive back then as well.

Thor's Billy Goat Powered Chariot

I'm sure that both Mike and Brian back in California are happy with the thought that one of the premier Scandavian gods drives a late model goatmobile.

Ask, a Norse Adam

Embla, a Norse Eve

Odin on Sleipner

Sleipner, Odin's horse, has EIGHT legs!

I wonder how he would stack up against Agip's six legged, fire breathing dog back in Sicily?

Garm the Watchdog

He guards the entrance to the Underworld.

Could someone trim their eyebrows?

Volund the Smith

WARNING: DON'T mess with this guy!

The evil and greedy King Nidud captures Volund, cuts his hamstrings just for giggles and then orders him to forge costly jewelry on a deserted island.

The two boys seen here are the King's sons who go to the island to hijack all the gold that Volund has stored there.

Volund cuts their heads off, mounts their skulls in silver and sends them to the King.

From the boys' teeth he makes a brooch for the King's daughter Bodvil seen here as well in better days. Volund will eventually rape Bodvil who becomes pregnant with his child.

An MTV Reality Show in the making!

It was now 9:00 a.m. and time to enter the Rådhuset to see the exquisite murals in the giant hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every December 10th.

Slight problem, the inside of the Rådhuset would be closed to the general public on Saturday and Sunday as they were having massive Confirmation ceremonies for Oslo's youth.

Confirmation means Traditional Norse Garb

While the boys and girls to be Confirmed were wearing 21st Century clothing, many of the adults and young chidren not of Confirmation age were decked out old school style.

This latest setback meant that I had an hour to stare at the harbor.

At 10:00 a.m. the Nobel Peace Center opened

This kid's drawing pretty much summed up this small museum.

More on the Lego Obelisk

I realized that the general public had been the ones building the cubes that were part of the Lego Obelisk.

They were given a gray base frame to work with and then it was up to each person or persons to create something unique to add to the Obelisk.

One of the Lego people told me that they were trying to break the World's Record for a Lego Obelisk which was currently 30 meters. They were trying to get this project done by 4:00 p.m. today.

We'll check back later.

FDR in Oslo?

Yes indeed! The Norwegian people erected this statue in gratitude to U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's support for Norway during World War II.

Two Horses, Two Police Officers and
One Vagrant

I had to leave before I started choking on my own spittle from trying to suppress laughter when they asked him for his Passport.

The Norwegian Resistance Museum

A really good museum dedicated to telling the story of Norway during Nazi Germany's occupation from 1940-45.

Many Norwegian patriots were executed on this very spot during World War II. At the end of the War, Norwegian traitor/Nazi supporter Vidkun Quisling was also executed here.

The Resistance needed lots of weapons

Nice Try Vidkun!

One of the Quisling government's attempts to forge a bond between the Nazis and Norwegian youth.

Come on, join the fun loving SS,
Norwegian style!

All Norwegian Resistance was labeled "ILLEGAL" by the Germans.

The Resistance proudly adopted this term: "From now on, in the eyes of all patriotic Norwegians, "ILLEGAL" received the cachet of legality.

Do they really need the automatic weapons?

Those uniforms were enough to frighten me!

Akershus Castle, c. 1300

The hall way to the dungeon

A Newer Tapestry

This officially makes it a castle.

A Vintage Tapestry


I Love Heraldry!

A Heart, a reminder of Laurie

Or maybe of Brighton . . .

Wall Painting instead of Wall Paper

What the heck is a
"Solar Donkey Experiment"?

It was afternoon now, I was getting hungry and I remembered the Havana Hotel Delicatessen from yesterday's wanderings so I got on a tram and headed straight for it.

It was open but it was just a delicatessen with no ties to Havana or Cuba in the least.

At least it was located on a street with lots of people and lots of dining spots so I did have options.

Mexican Food IT IS!!!

I thought I'd make David P. Lassen proud of me by living la vida loca today at Mucho Mas.

Simple but MAGICAL

The beer was ice cold and hit the spot on a warm day. The people coming and going were interesting on a variety of scales. Finally, they were playing nothing but Beatles songs from their magical seven year run.

Mucho Mas made me want to just sit and enjoy the afternnon a bit longer.

So I did.

I took the leap and ordered . . .

A Beef Burrito

It was large, it looked like Mexican food, it smelled like Mexican food and, Good God Almighty, it TASTED like Mexican food!!! The spice level and quality were right on target.

Of course it cost 155 Norwegian Krona, the equivalent of $26.19, OUCH! Don't you think I could have had some chips and salsa with the burrito at these prices?

Did I mention that soggy end thumping my melon?

Tom FitzGerald has actually seen this act



Only 22 more drinking nights until Finals start! I saw just as many of the red pants this evening as I saw yesterday. U. of Oslo students have stamina if nothing else!

Busy Karl Johans Gate

This is where the trouble all started.

While I was enjoying the beer, the Beetles, the burrito but not the tab, I had unknowingly been trapped on the wrong side of the new Berlin Wall.

Oslo Road Race

Unbeknownst to me, the city had been cut in two because of this race and I was now stranded in the small half with the harbor at my back. This meant that the busses and trams were not running from 2:00 to 6:00 on this side of the race and all the Metro stations were on the other side as well.

I was stranded.

We were not allowed to cross while runners were on the course.

I saw one runner wearing number SIX-THOUSAND-FOUR-HUNDRED-SIXTY-SEVEN!

At least 6,467 people would have to pass us. I saw that the winner finished in 30:12 so what would that make it, a 10 Kilometer race I would guess.

There were still people running the course an hour after the winner passed us.

In a case of Civil Disobedience, literally in front of the Nobel Peace Center, many of us finally out of frustration crossed the line without confrontation.

The busses and trams were still a good 90 minutes from starting up again at this end of Oslo so it was on to the nearest Metro station.

Of course this was also the finish line for the race and we had an extra 6,467 runners and their families and friends also packing the station to epic proportions.

This effectively blew up most of my afternoon plans.

Then I was cruelly reminded of the Confirmation snafu at the Rådhuset

Cool Bakery Truck!

I was on my way now to Frogner Park and the great sculptures by Gustav Vigelund when fate rewarded me for my patience and tribulations as I met "The Girls".

Yvonne Undrum, Marianne Torgerson
and Line Undrum soon to be Mustvedt

They were part of Line's Bachelorette Party. You can see more of the camera shy Party in the distance.

Line is getting married June 4th in Barcelona to a Mr. Mustvedt.

I believe that Yvonne is married to Line's brother.

As a fund raiser for Line and her soon to be husband to someday be able to afford a burrito at Mucho Mas, Line offered to let me paint one of her finger nails for only 20 Norwegian Krona! So far she had sold 8 of her fingers.

If I chipped in the 20 NOK, I would also get to pick the color of the nail polish to boot.


Red and your right thumb nail please!

Artist at Work

I stayed between the lines!

Did I mention the Coke bottle in my left hand?

Karin Plüss, me and Line

Karin was in charge of the libations for the Party and offered me a third of a half liter bottle of Coke generously laced with Jamesons Irish Whiskey to seal the deal.

I think that Line is marrying Karin's brother.

The girl's were a hoot and really brightened my afternoon!

Norwegian Figure Skate
Three-time Olympic Gold Medalist
1928, 1932 and 1936 Winter Olympics

I finally got to Frogner Park and it was well worth the effort.

Gustav Vigeland's sculptures were a simply amazing! He did not name any of them, thus allowing the viewers to project their feelings and interpretations into his work. All of his work is of naked humans.

Let's interpret . . .

I am VERY proud of our two sons

One time, in the Boston Common, Mike kept hitting me with a rubber band . . .

Careful you two, you could break your neck!

Bad Hair Day

Parenthood IS a Juggling Act

Linus, LOW PAD WINS!!!

That reminds me, we had a Norwegian Elk Hound named Chris when I was growing up!

The Monolith

121 figures carved out of a single block of stone!



Kids at Play

From 13 to infinity are the
Hard Years of Parenting

The Circle of Life

You want to cry?
I'll give you a reason to cry!

The Joy of Motherhood


A New World's Record

30.22 meters equals 99 feet-1 3/4 inches!

I just liked the colors and contrasts

The Fountains are slowly coming back from Winter's Hibernation

Nice Bike in front of T.G.I. Friday's


This "thing" guards the monument to Rikard Nordraak who composed the Norwegian National Anthem. He died when he was only 23.

It turned into a GREAT day thanks to the Mucho Mas, the Beetles and a Bachelorette Party, none of which I can find in any of my expensive Guide Books!


Michael Contreras said...

I wasn't aiming at you, it was Andy's fault!

George said...

Yes, I know, and there is not one single guilty man in San Quentin State Prison either!

DPLassen said...

Twenty-six dollars is a small price to pay to know there is real Mexican food above the 45th parallel, isn't it?

George said...


I wonder if they charge more to deliver?

Karin said...

Hi George,
Wonderful blog you have here and I must say you spent a very efficient day in Oslo. It was grand to meet you and we are very honorured to have made it into your blog!
Greetings from the Generously Whisky-laced Bachelorette Party!

DPLassen said...

I'm thinking for 26 dollars, you could probably get Mexican food delivered from here.