Oslo, as recalled on Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Written in Alesund
It’s 10:15 and we’re dockside in a truly beautiful town of 65,000, having just had breakfast in the Lido, and awaiting a 13:00 tour of a city famous for its Jugendstil (Art Nouveau) architectural style, following a fire on January 23, 1904. But, that is getting ahead of the story.
Our overnight out of Copenhagen found us awakening in Oslo and taking a bus tour up to the famous ski jump, the Holmenkollen, with a beautiful view of the harbor. From there we went to an outdoor folk museum where we felt the unseasonable heat as we trudged up and down dirt and cobblestone pathways to visit a number of rustic buildings. They had it pretty rough, those Vikings! Finally we went to the Akershus Fortress and the Resistance Museum, the Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum, which pays tribute to resistance heroes, some of whom were executed in a small garden just below the museum. It was an occasion to review the surprising victory of the Oslo port defenses, using Krupp cannon and torpedoes in sinking the German cruiser, von Blucher, carrying an invasion force that was supposed to seize the king, parliament and gold reserves. It was quite a story as the battery was manned by a skeleton staff of reservists with a few key veterans, and a retired officer, and they fired, without orders, and not knowing who they were firing upon, as Norway was a neutral nation when it was attacked in April 1940. Our tour guide, Maya, was a child in what was to be East Germany after the war. She immigrated to Norway after the war. Our bus driver was Canute! We will be bypassing Narvik and Trondheim, and Telemark, all of World War II fame which I would have liked to see.
Oslo was clean and neat and beautiful, and there was much more in this metropolitan area of 1,000,000 that would justify a return trip, but with a bit more research, next time. I did not do enough research.
Back aboard ship, we had our first dinner in the Rembrandt Dining Room on Deck 2. We have open seating and we met Liz and Don, she a nurse, he, retired from IBM, a florist, and a part time bus driver, and a Dutch couple, for a pleasant dinner conversation. She, Liz, is an Obama supporter, as is the entire Indonesian crew, which probably doesn’t hurt the service when they see the button.
Finally, on leaving Copenhagen en route to Oslo, we saw the windmill battery and in the distance, The Malmo-Copenhagen Bridge. Here it is, Bill. On a Canon Elph...at 12x, I think. Insertion failed....sorry!