About the changing world all around us

Archive for the ‘Oslo’ Category

Ginnie and Astrid have pulled me out of hibernation and into spring!

Okay its spring and I have to just jump out into the water again, or rather jump out into the blog world. I have taken a sabatical, I have been in winter hibernations…and with the spring it is time to wake up.

blogger friends

Ginnie, RennyBA and Astrid

To all my old friends out there I usually avoid saying this, but I am sorry I haven’t been online in so long. To put it simply I have been tired for three months. As most of you know my job is very challenging and we have some challenges at home as well so I have really been lacking in energy and creativity. I felt like I could not keep up my blog, and then once you haven’t written in a while its hard to get started again.

I have recently received a boost though in the form of our blog friends Ginnie from In Soul and Astrid of Picturit who visited us this weekend…and of course our old friend TorAA and my darling husband RennyBA. We had a lot of good discussions about photos and blogging and all we get out of it and I found out it was time to get my feet wet again.

Oslo Opera House in the fog

Oslo Opera House rising up from the fog

Ginnie and Astrid came on Thursday night and were with us until Monday morning – and we had a wonderful time. It was more like being with family then having guests. Renny and Tor planned our site seeing well this weekend and the girls got to enjoy the benifits of the Oslo Pass with the best guides in Oslo. You can read all about it on their respective blogs, I am not going to steal the glory after spening a quarter of the year in hibernation. But I will post a few pictures from Sundays foggy excursion to Oslo Opera House!

She Lies 2

“She Lies” floating in the icy fjord outside Oslo Opera House

We can’t always guarentee sun in Norway, although our photos may often decieve you because we usually shoot on sunny days. However the fog and ice did add an element of interest to the photo shoot. Here you see the icey looking sculpture, a form of integrated art at the Opera House called “She Lies” it is a stainless steel and glass sculpture by Monica Vonvicini anchored in the harbour beside the Opera House.

Ginnie and Astrid are now on their way to new adventures in Norway. They traveled early this morning to Kirkenes and will take the Hurtigruten cruise from Kirkenes to Bergen. We envy them now, this is one Norwegian adventure we haven’t experienced yet. But the reputation of this cruise is legendary….so I wish them all “the worlds most beautiful adventure”.

Advertisements

Fall foilage highlights from Norway

We are having a cold fall this year in the Oslo area, and it seems we are rapidly moving toward the winter season. The days are now getting noticeably shorter and the temperatures at night are below freezing just about every day now.

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Beautiful fall colors on Sandvika shoreline

Still we have had some nice color and RennyBA and I have taken several weekend trips to capture the fall colors on our respective mobile phone cameras and digital cameras, so here are some highlights from this year’s fall color show in Norway!

Yellow birch lined path

Yellow birch lined path

I love the smell of fall and the crunching of leaves reminds me of my childhood. Walking home from school in the afternoon I loved to romp along in the crunchy new fallen leaves and kick them up into the air.

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

Crunch of fallen leaves under my feet

And on a sunny Sunday afternoon a fall picnic is every bit as enjoyable as a summer picnic, and without the wet bathing suits!

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

Fall lake side picnic with famous blogger husband RennyBA

When planning this picnic photo hunt RennyBA said “I want fall colors and I want water!” Fortunately we found both, and traveling around with another avid photograph and blogger I am never lacking for someone interesting to photograph!

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

RennyBA took some very tempting photograpghs of my homemade lunch

Water and changing leaves do make a truly magical combination, don’t you think!!

Color on the water, color on the trees

Color on the water, color on the trees

I know I have not been blogging as much lately, and not commenting much either. I apologize for that, if you are looking for me I usually check in on facebook but I have been spending less time online lately. I always feel more tired in the fall and my job is taking up a lot of my energy. I also have a few personal projects going on in my private life. But never fear I am still around and I am sure my blogging and visits will increase again when I adjust to the darker season!!

Cruising to the Islands in Oslo fjord

When you look at my blog you see lots and lots of lovely blue skies and nordic nature. It may then surprise you to know that if I am being truly honest the weather this summer has really sucked! It is statistically the 4th rainiest summer in the recorded database and the Oslo area didn’t have a single day over 30 C (85 F) this year. That said you can understand why we run out and make the most of summer anytime the sun shines.

DianeCAonboard

On board with incedibly large sunglasses

This is why I was so disappointed in myself when I slept away my day on Saturday. Because days like that have been few and far between. It was a relief then when I woke up on Sunday and found the sunshine was still there. We had a bit more clouds on Sunday but all in all a good enough summer day to get out and enjoy living by the fjord.

IslandFerry

Oslo Island Ferry Boat

The Ferry system to the local islands is part of the total public transportation in Oslo. In a land divided by fjords it is only natural that the boats are a part of the local transportation scheme. And since I need to have a montly pass to get back and forth to work it means my little boat trip out to the islands cost me nothing – nada – zilch – because my card works on the boat too.

Opera_across_fjord

View of the Opera from the fjord

When sailing out from Oslo towards the islands I looked back and had a great view of the Oslo Opera House, which you can see is the white building right on the water. It looks like a glacier running out into the fjord. In the years to come all the traffic around it will be put into underground tunnels (the reason for the construction work you may see) and a renewed area of the city will appear.

FamilyBoats

Family fun on the fjord

Private family boating is a popular recreational activity here. I would love to have a boat myself, having grown up with one in upstate NY, but in this area the cost of docking your boat is incredible, so I am quite happy to use the ferry and thrilled when friends who have a boat invite us to visit!

LushGreenIsland

Inviting green paths of Hovedøya

Hovedøya is a lovely green national park where all the plants and animals are protected. In addition it has a rich cultural heratige with monastery ruins from the 1100’s, the remains of a shipyard from 1640,and a bathing area from the beginning of 1914.

ExploringClosterRemains

Monestary ruins from the 1100's

Above the remains of the Hovedøya Monestery. In 1532 the monastery burned down and was demolished. Stone remaining from the Monestary was used to build Akershus Fortress – Castle. Fourteenth century recycling! Cool!

ExpertKiteFlying

Chinese kite flying on the beach

After crossing the island I came to the beach I was looking for. You didn’t think I forgot the beach did you? It wasn’t nearly as crowded as it is mid summer but as you can see there were people out enjoying the day. Like this chinese family who were really experts in flying a special kind of kite!

KyakGroup

Lunch break for the Kyak group

Or a group of (totally hot) Kyakers who stopped on the island to eat their lunch and take a break, and even a little swim.

CoupleSwim

Romantic late summer swim

Not exacly the tropics, but romantic none the less!

LookingBackToOslo

View across the fjord to Oslo City Hall

On the way back I just had to take this photo with Oslo City in the background. The town hall is directly in the middle and I thought, this photo will make my sweetie proud hehehe. The weather on the way back was if possible even better then on the way to the island but one learns the hard way. If you wait too long to leave Hovedøya you might wind up waiting for a ferry or three before you get room on board. The island wasn’t SO crowded this Sunday afternoon but I wasn’t taking any chances. Besides RennyBA was home from his adventures and I wanted to hear about his trip!

The right to do Nothing

This week went by super fast and was super busy! Coming back from vacation I get only new cases at work, and new cases take much more work then ones which have been going for a while. You have to start from scratch each time you know. Every situation is different.

Plus last weekend my team at work had a working weekend at a cabin in the woods. Yes girls we did have a great time too, and I found out lots of funny things about my colleagues LOL! Things which of course are sworn to secrecy, because that’s how it is with us girlfriends you know. But being on a working weekend we did work at least 10 hours each day I think. We were very effective making new plans for new activities and everyone I work with is really dedicated. Now we have to work on launching these new plans and without having a weekend off last week. Actually the two weeks kind of blurred into one big flurry of activity.

Bygdoybyboat

Bygdøy Museums from the fjord

So now finally we have Saturday. Renny is away celebrating his 25 year reunion with at least a part of his education (he went to several schools) and I have the whole weekend to myself. I had tons of plans of doing all kinds of things I love. Primarily I was thinking of going shopping, eating out and hitting the beach. Strangely a kind of California dream in the middle of Norway?? Yes well maybe it is the influence of the tv, who knows. The weather was gorgeos, the temperature was a bit cold but then again I wouldn’t have to go in the water to enjoy the view. Prime goal here was sunshine and a good book!

What did I do? Nothing! And I did a darn good job of it too 😉 Not true of course, nobody can do nothing. I spent a good amount of time on the net, checking out internet radio stations, reading articles and popping in to Facebook regularly. I slept – a lot – I slept till 10 this morning when I got up to see my dear hubby off, then around 2 I felt sleepy again. I went into what I like to call SuperBed and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZz! A little embarrassing…I slept for THREE HOURS!

Well I feel kind of guilty and embarrassed, but then I guess my body needed those ZZZZzzzs and at least if I have trouble sleeping tonight I still have the day off tomorrow. And I have new ambitions for tomorrow. Shops are closed…thinking a trip into Oslo, lunch, a boat ride and the beach…sounds good. Probably a dream, but it sounds good.

Oslo Opera House tour at OsloBG

We couldn’t invite our friends to Norway without showing them the new pearl of the city shoreline. The Oslo Opera House opened in 2008 designed by the award winning architect firm, Snøhetta. The Opera House is best seen from the water as you see in the photo below. I admit this photo was taken in July when my father was visiting, as we had better weather and a boat ride! As you can see it resembles a Glacier flowing out into the ocean. The surface reflects the natural elements of snow and ice and has a cold feel to it. Covered in pure white Italian marble it sparkles on the landscape.

OsloOperaHouse7

Oslo Opera House

The concept of the Opera House was that they wished it to be available to the Norwegian people in other ways. Therefor it is the only Opera House in the world where the roof is intended for use of everyone. It gives a wonderful view of both the city and the fjord and is a popular place for Norwegians and tourists alike. In the summer time free concerts are held on the roof for all to enjoy.

Visiting_the_opera

Guests walking on the roof

Looking through the window increases the feel of ice, and yet you can see the warm “wave wall” which adds the element of Norwegian Oak Wood. The wave wall which contains the main scene and several others appears to rise like a great old oak tree right in the center of the opera house, and the large glass windows allow you to see inside, allow light to enter from outside, and even allows you to see the fjord right through the buildings.

OperaLookThrough

Lookinglass Opera

On the main floor there is also a restaurant -cafe serving fine dining both indoors in the main hall and outdoors in good weather on the Opera roof itself.

OperaCafe

Opera Cafe

RennyBA and Lawrence were kind enough to arrange a guided tour for us with a most excellent guide, in english of course. She brought us through the galleries elegently designed in fine Nowegian Oak, and into the main scene, which of course we were not allowed to photograph as they were setting the scene for Figaros Wedding.

Gallery

Galleries

We had a peek at the ballet as well! The Opera House is also the home of the Norwegian Ballet, and has rehersal rooms in the same high quality as the ballet floor itself (which is lowered from the roof onto the scene of the main floor to insure optimal quality for the dancers).

OperaDanceroom

Ballet Dance Floor

My favorite part of the tour, I have to admit to dreams of being a dancer or an actress when I was around the age of 5, was our tour through the costume rooms. We were allowed into some of the costume storage and had a peek at the beautiful creations being made. Here are some colorful tutus for this years presentation of the Nutcracker. Yes, already in August they are busy making the costumes for Christmas’ high point.

OperaCostumes1

Costumes

The guide, also a visial artist, showed us the elaborate details of the work.

Operacostumes2

Nutcracker ballet skirt

And we also had a breif glimpse of the wonderful costumes to Figaro’s Wedding.

Operacostumes3

Figaro's Wedding

Some of the best experiences from Oslo Blog Gathering was experiencing new things together with interesting and curious friends from around the world. It was also fun taking photos together and seeing how some of the others captured the details around them. All in all every day was an experience of a lifetime.

If you want to learn more about our experiences at OsloBG please visit my friend’s posts:
RennyBA
TorAA
Lelè Batita
Maria…
Claudie
Lifecruiser
My Grand Adventure II
Return to Norway

Memories of OsloBG, Vigeland Sculpture Park

Well now OsloBG is over and most of our guests have gone back to their homes. A couple are still wandering around Oslo but they are welcome to stay as long as they want of course! I was so tired Sunday night I went to bed at about 7 pm, and slept until 7 am. Then of course it was back to work, vacation over.

Vigeland Sculpture ParkI’m sorry but I can’t get the slide show to embed, please click on the link above to see the side show. Here is a sample photo from the set.

curiousboy

Vigeland Sculpture Park

So now I am looking through all the lovely photos we took and remembering what fun we had! I hope you will enjoy a slide show from our first day, a trip to Vigeland Sculpture Park. The weather was a bit grey but the art work is beautiful just the same and our guests were happily shooting away with their cameras and learning a lot with the help of our excellent guide, Margaret!

Blogger friends exploring Oslo at OsloBG

The Oslo Blog Gathering is already half over!! Time goes by so quickly! We are really having a wonderful time meeting our blogger friends face to face, some for the first time, and others we have greeted before. It is truly an experience of a lifetime, and we feel like we are quickly becoming friends and we have so much in common. Even if we come from different cultures and struggle with the language from time to time everyone is so interesting, open and friendly. It really is a dream come true for Renny and I.

DianeCA

I don’t want to use very much time writing a post now so I will go into more detail later, but I know some friends who wish they could be here are following along around the world, so I want to give you an idea of what we have done so far! I am starting to realize that we really can’t manage everything in four days, so some of our friends will just have to come back and visit us again. But still we have managed to fit a lot into our schedule

TorRennyMaria_angryboy

First Oslo Guideservice provided us with an excellent guide who took us through Vigeland Sculpture Park, Holmonkollen ski jump, and Bygdøy. Many thanks to Margaret for her excellent information and sunny personality!

RoyalTreatment-mayor

Then of course we were received at the City Hall by the Mayor of Oslo and served champagne and wonderful party food. We were treated as Royalty, and again provided with an excellent guide who could give us a lot of information about this very special building and its history.

Visiting_the_opera

We started our second day, after a good nights sleep and a nice breakfast at First Millenium Hotel with a visit to the new Oslo Opera House, and Renny and Lawrence were able to arrange for an incredible guided tour there as well. Only the best for our guests you know! We were given an explaination of the thoughts behind the architecture, as well as a peek in the main stage, and a peek behind the scenes where dancers and musicians are practicing, scenes and costumes are being made and art is being created long before it reaches our eyes and ears!

VisitCastle

In the afternoon it was time to visit the Royal Castle and of course all the tourists want to see the changing of the guards!

boatingfjord

And in the evening we took a boat ride on the fjord out to a little island where we were served the most delicous dinner.

Incrediblefood
Many of us chose the fresh seafood of course, but if you are not a seafood lover there were very good choices of chicken or meats available as well.

I feel it is safe to say that everyone is well satisfied and enjoying the trip here in Oslo. And we are having fun playing host, getting to know people and acting like tourists in our own home town. We are even living at the hotel you know so we don’t miss any of the action!! Now it is really time for bed hahaha! Good night and see you all again soon!