Friday, September 15, 2017

Drenched in Horten

Wed. 8/9
Last day in Oslo before we leave for Bergen. Went to Horten to see Viking Living History museum. Took a tram, train, ferry, and bus. There was a berry stand on the way in, and we enjoyed giant, delicious raspberries on the walk in. Excellent Viking history displays. The swains played Tafl. Played loggats and another viking game called kubb [from Wikipedia: Kubb (pronounced [kɵb] in Swedish or [kub] in Gutnish) or Stickey Sticks in English, is a lawn game where the objective is to knock over wooden blocks (kubbs) by throwing wooden batons (kastpinnar) at them. Kubb can be described as a combination of bowling and horseshoes.
Play takes place on a small rectangular playing field, known as a "pitch". "Kubbs" are placed at both ends of the pitch, and the "king", a larger wooden block, is placed in the middle of the pitch. Some rules vary from country to country and from region to region, but the ultimate objective of the game is to knock over the "kubbs" on the opposing side of the pitch, and then to knock over the "king", before the opponent does. Games can last from five minutes to well over an hour. The game can be played on a variety of surfaces such as grass, sand, concrete, snow, or even ice.]


archery.jpg

We also tried our bows on the archery range, but it started drizzling. I went inside for an umbrella before
we ambled over to view the viking mounds.

rainstone.jpg


It started raining in earnest, so we headed for the gorgeous ‘Mead Hall’.

Had a lovely time listening to the hall master tell us tales while we warmed ourselves by the fire and took photos. We didn’t drink any mead, though, since there was only water in the drinking horn, and we weren’t offered any.



Decided it was time to head back to town. We had to return their umbrella, and while we waited at least 20 minutes for the bus back, we were totally soaked by the rain.

The ferry back was warm and served cafeteria-style hot food which helped a lot, but our garments were dripping wet when we boarded the train back to Oslo. We were a very motley crew. A nice man gave me his seat on the train, and as I settled in, I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned, and this woman about my age offered me her shawl. I tried to decline, but she said she didn’t want me catching cold. I took it gratefully, and thanked her very much for her kindness [in Norsk!]

Side note: about a month before the trip, I started learning Norsk [Norwegian]. It’s much easier than Lithuanian, and although I only made it through Lesson 4 of 10, I was able to carry on limited conversations.

She exited the train a few stops before us, and I tried to return her shawl, but she told me to keep it! I did, and I did not catch cold, and I’m still grateful to her. The shawl is Swedish wool in an abstract line pattern of white, black, and gray, and did keep the chills off.

From the train, we took the tram back to our place, and all of us stopped at the grocery store for food for dinner and our expedition to Bergen tomorrow. It wasn’t raining in Oslo. Max carried my groceries, and thank goodness there was a clothes-drying rack there. Packed what I could and fell asleep after a nice hot bath.



HIGHly recommended!

Just wanted to let people know about Reefer Madness, the Musical! Best play I've been to in years, [but I have eclectic tastes]. It was every bit as entertaining as Spamalot or The Book of Mormon - cheaper, too. Music, costumes, and performances were all outstanding!

upcoming events

This is the link to Sacramento Pagan Pride at which I'll be attending, vending, and speaking [3 pm Sat. 9/16].
Saturday, Sept. 23rd is the Artists' Reception at the Lynn House at 1st and I Streets [across from the Amtrak station - plenty of parking!] I have 2 paintings in this show


[unfinished photo of Mermoons - looks much better now]. There will be wine and munchies. The event is FREE from 2-4 pm.

Winter Nights! Saturday, October 14th, we will be celebrating at Folkvang [near Cobb, CA]. If you're reading this you're invited [just contact me for info/directions]. People are welcome to camp overnight, but it's very primitive; no water, no plumbing, no electricity. Rite starts at 3 pm [if you arrive at 3:30, you might miss it]. We'll be arriving around noon. Besides our Winter Nights ceremony, we will be interring some of Cecilia Kuhn's ashes in the Folkvang graveyard. Cecilia will be our first woman to rest there. Also, we will be remembering Gamlinginn who passed this year as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Day 3 in Oslo


Tuesday
8/8
Watching the most lovely sunset after another exhausting day of seeing everything in Oslo. Around 7 am, Daniel and Dylan came downstairs for coffee and breakfast, and I joined them for eggs and toast. After they returned from their runs, we were off to a late start to the Munch museum and saw everything but the ‘Scream.’
scream.jpg
Had coffee and munchies; next to the site of the Oya Fest. Took the subway to sentrum [city center] and then visited the national museum and saw the ‘Scream’ there and many other artworks.
munch museum.jpg
[Max & Dylan at Munch Museum]
national museum.jpg
After that, Kim wanted to go to some museum that was a 10 minute walk away, but I asked if we could stop first at the Natural History Museum which was the building behind the one we were in. We were pleasantly surprised to find out it was the National Historic Museum instead, and the first floor was full of Viking loots and crafts.
sigurd door.jpg
[Sigurd door & Swains at Sigurd doors]
swains at the door.jpg
We were enthralled by all we saw and were so overwhelmed we didn’t even go upstairs to look at the Egyptian floor.
runestone.jpg
another stone.jpg

Had a lovely Italian interlude at the Baltazar Cafe in the courtyard of a Gothic church.
baltazar.jpg
Headed back and stopped at the sculpture park above our digs. It was absolutely lovely and charming and we knew we were NOT in the USA when we viewed Dali’s bronze of “Woman with Drawers” and the drawers would open and close.
dali's drawers.jpg
This is in a public park, and anyone can open and close the drawers, and it hasn’t been tagged, broken, defaced, or stolen. Sadly, it wouldn’t last a month in almost any US city.
I ambled back down the hill leaving Dan & Kim to commune with art. As I walked down the narrow sidewalk a bicyclist would huff by every 10-30 seconds. I thought I heard one behind me, but it was a 70 year old man ambling down hill. He’d brought an umbrella along, just in case. We struck up a conversation and had a pleasant stroll down hill stopping frequently for cyclists and the views. I felt like a teenager when he left me at my door. I also felt that I was in a different aeon. I don’t stroll down hill with perfect strangers very often.
Then there was the longest, nicest sunset; almost like the ones you see on an airplane flying west. The sky prinked nicely, and the colors lasted so long - close to two hours - that I could have painted it!

Still last lights of sunset at 10:30 pm. Took a bath at first light thinking it was 5 or 6 am; it was 3 am! Just the perfect time to be in Oslo and we’re having delightful weather. Supposed to be 55-80 in Lithuania next week. More lovely weather.

Day 2 in Oslo

Preface: I returned to a week of 100 degree + weather in Antioch. I’m not used to it now having been in the Baltic circle. Last weekend, I stayed with friends in SF and showed off my loot. It was a welcome respite from the heat, but no internet there, and although I’ve written up a lot of the copy for these travelogues, I’m still working on how to share the photos with you. I do think I have the problem solved; we’ll see. I hope to post at least one of these before I take up a friend’s offer to spend the holiday weekend in Humboldt. I’ve never been to the Emerald Triangle. I’ll be gone Thursday - Monday, and we plan to visit Hobbitown on our return. High temp should be no more than 80 while the East Bay is expecting another weekend of 100 + temps. It’s 92 while I’m typing this at 3 pm in Antioch. Leaving for SF Wed. 8/30 around 5 pm.

Monday, August 7th
Our first day to explore, so Daniel signed us all up for a 3-day Oslo pass. For $73 and 72 hours, I could ride any local bus, tram, train, subway, or ferry, and have FREE admissions to most museums. We got our money’s worth!

First, we took the tram to the Ferry where we hopped aboard to visit the Oseberg ship!
Oseberg ship

Max & Dylan at the original Stave Church

Max with the ship

The original - there is now a copy of it at the original site.

The sight of this ship is engraved on most Heathens’ minds. Indeed, we make a model of it every year for our Ostara ship offering. It was truly awesome to see it and a lot of its artifacts up close and personal. I learned that it was a burial vessel for two women, aged 50 and 80. Astounding!

Next, we caught a bus to the Open-air Folk Museum. This place was packed with historical buildings from all over Norway. Most had been collected by the King in the 19th century and moved to this site. There were farmhouses, smithies, stables, and more. Once again, we were rewarded with another Norsk icon, the original stave church. We could  actually go in and out of it, touch the wood, and really enjoy the experience.

It was late afternoon by now, so we headed back on the Ferry. Once on the docks, we tried to go to Modern art museum, but it was closed on Mondays.
Instead, Dylan was hungry, so we went to his choice of restaurants on the pier. It was a campy, seafood house.
I’m allergic to shellfish, so I thought I might just have some soup, but the Monday special was a Smoked Cod lunch and was totally delicious. There were two large, unbreaded pieces with a mushroom sauce on the side, and I couldn’t finish it. Kim ordered a ‘bucket of shrimp’ and it actually came in a bucket at least 6” high and at least 6” in diameter. It was a lot of shrimp. Norway is far from cheap, but this place was a real find. My lunch was only about $20; the shrimp about $30. The boys enjoyed their cheeseburgers!

After that, we waddled up the pier towards the tram stop, but detoured at the Nobel peace center. As we left it was drizzling, so we headed home. The family got off at the stop 400 meters below our apartment to go grocery shopping, but even in the light rain, I continued to the stop about 800 meters above our place to walk down.
As I left the tram, I could see that this elevated view was fantastic and when I looked behind me I could see a beautiful park with beckoning statuary, but figured I’d be back Tuesday or Wednesday.

The view of Oslo bay and downtown on the way was spectacular. I was looking forward to seeing it again under better conditions. We ate at home that night and caught up on our devices. Went to bed early for me - around the 10 pm sunset- to rest up for another full day of touristing on Tuesday.