Sunday, May 13, 2012

oslo is oslom: Day 2

We finally emerged from our apartment around 10am. I always have high hopes for an earlier start, then I realize that I have to feed and clothe 4 children…and make them brush their teeth. 

It's a long, painful morning routine.

Back to Oslo.
We hopped on a tram and got off at the Oslo Cathedral. It was happenstance. We admired the lovely architecture and the nearby fresh flower market then set out toward the water. 

We stumbled upon a toy store/gaming center. Harry Potter was there, in Lego form. The kids took mental souvenir notes.

We got back to walking, and strolled past some horse stables. Then walked up a path in a park and suddenly the harbor was in front of us. What a stunning view!

We located the ferry to Bydøy Island and boarded. The kids were super excited about this part. It was chilly, but we were grateful for the sunshine.

Our first stop on the island was to the Norwegian Folk Museum. We grabbed a bite to eat at the cafe out front, then headed in…or out. The museum  consisted of a re-created village from different times.
The woodwork was lovely, and the design, even the roofs were so well thought out. A few of the little cottages were open with demonstrations. One of them was a couple making flatbread over a fire. They then sold their goods next to a giant wooden bowl with fresh butter--so tasty!

I had really hoped to see the Staves Chapel, but it was under construction and therefore completely covered up. It was a great little hike and so rich with historical culture.
After finishing up, we walked up the street to the Viking Ship Museum.

It. was. awesome. 

The coolest museum I've been to. It had the most wonderful interior design, and such a good flow of energy. Oh, and the ships were pretty cool, too. 
The Oseberg and the Gokstad have truly survived the test of time. I can't believe that these ships were excavated and restored to such miraculous beauty.

I loved this place. It was simple, not a lot to it. One day, when we own a house again, it will be designed with this museum in mind. seriously.

After the Viking Ship Museum we decided to head back to the ferry with quick stop at an ice cream truck. Did you know that in Norway you can't just buy a single item from the ice cream man?? Well, you can't. We bought a box of 10 ice cream cones for $20…then we gave some away to some friendly local kids.
After the ferry ride back, we stopped at the Nobel Peace Center. Just before we went inside we tried to give away the last of our ice cream. Ryli carried the box over to a family with two children and tried to offer them, but I'm pretty sure they thought she was trying to sell. They said no with a pitiful shake of the head. It was pretty embarrassing. We ended up just throwing the ice cream away:(
The Nobel Peace Center was incredible. I loved every one of the exhibits. The one I spent the least amount of time on was the "Sheroes" exhibit, and I spent the most on the "I Afghanistan" exhibit.
This was the "Give Peace a Hand" exhibit. They had a basket of pastels to decorate your hand and then wipes to clean up. My kids favorite thing to do was stick their face under the camera.
(a treasure hunt for the kids)
There was something very comfortable about that place. I felt validated and supported in my heart. I think the Nobel Peace Center specializes in that sort of thing…if that sort of thing matters to you.
Here, you wrote down your idea for the first step to peace, then sent it down the spiral to the wishing well below. (then, if you're my kid you race your siblings down the stairs to try and dig your paper out disrupting all of the other peaceful thoughts.)

After we concluded our tour there, we headed over to the Vigeland Sculpture Park. Gustav Vigeland was a famous sculptor, and he passed away while the park was under construction.
I was on this fence about visiting, because all of the sculptures are nude. Ty is becoming curious about the body, while my other two like to snicker. I decided to through caution to the wind. Once in a lifetime opportunity, right?? Living in Europe means becoming less sensitive to the nudity (as long as it's art) and this park couldn't be missed!

I'm really glad we did it. The kids had a great time climbing and running around, and the locals appreciated my kids craziness. It was a welcome change from German "appreciation".

Stomachs started growling and tempers were getting short, so we decided to find dinner and call it a day. After a few failed attempts at recommended restaurants, we settled for some good old McDonalds. It was very expensive, but it did the trick. My biggest critique about that was not enough salt on the un-american! Seems like the thing over here, unsalted fries. Boo.

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