No curve was too sharp for them and their bicycle. No puddle was deep enough to stop them. -- Friends by Helme Hein

09 March, 2012

A Glimpse of Oslo

School in Denmark convenes for a week in February so kids can take a whack at black cats in barrels, leaving James with nothing to do but hang out with the two of us.  It was lovely.  With un-Foss-like perfect timing, we found a sweet deal from Groupon that got us a two night mini-cruise on a DFDS Seaways ship to Norway. 

 We boarded the cruise liner at 4:30 on Monday at the Port of Copenhagen.  Neither of us had ever been on a cruise before, and we both swore we probably never would, but $60 for 2 nights was enough to make us put our scruples aside.  

 The sea was blocks of ices for miles and miles.  The boat itself was something like a 1970s velour Vegas casino, minus the gambling.  Lounge acts, bad buffets and boring duty free shops (who buys that stuff?).  We kept an open mind and enjoyed the view.

 A helicopter made a practice emergency drop not long after we set sail.  It was amazing to watch it hover above the ship and see a little rope come out and a man slither down to the boat deck. 

 Little Felix seemed to love the boat.  He had two ball pits to play in and a pool to swim in.  He also slept really well with the very slight rocking of the ship the first night. 

 The next morning Felix had us up early enough to catch the sunrise (it's not so hard when the sun rises at 7:30 in the north) from the ship.  These views from the deck as we entered the fjord were the highlight of the trip. 

 The Norwegian scenery is breathtaking. 

 It was too cold and windy for the littlest.  

 So instead we had a date in the coffee shop (jammies permitted when you are cruising) and watched the scenery through the window on Valentine's Day.

 For his first birthday, Woody entered his 8th country.  I can't say I did that until my 20s.

The boat made it into port in Oslo at 9:30 the next morning and we had 7 hours to explore before boarding again.  Oslo was cold and the light never really got brighter than this.  In fact, the sun stayed low in the sky all day, never peaking at high noon.   

Oslo is a nice, small city.  It reminded me of a more northerly Portland.  Clean, quiet streets, turn of the century buildings, a green street car and a gray sky.  We visited a castle, had Indian for lunch and then wandered a little more.  We contemplated visiting the viking museum, but opted for letting Woody stretch his legs out of the stroller.  

Funny little electric cars piqued our interest.  I've complained about Denmark being expensive, but it's nothing compared to Oslo.  Our Indian lunch was $40 per person for curry and naan.  A 1 hour validity bus ticket is $10.  

We found a nice local brewery to warm our toes and bought three delicious beers for $43!  Yikes!  

7 hours in Oslo turned out to be just enough for us.  If I were to go back, I'd love to further explore the fjords or get up into the mountains, but no more city for me.  At 4:30 on Tuesday we got back on the ship bound for Copenhagen.  We were happy to return to our little room and watch the view from the warm ship.  That night was super rocky--at times my stomach was seemingly in my throat, making it tough to eat a buffet dinner.  Felix and I took a dip in the pool, I got a few minutes by myself in the sauna, and we went to bed with the waves.  Right on schedule, at 9:30 on Wednesday morning, we arrived back into Copenhagen.  It took us all a little while to find our sea legs after all that rocking. 


Scott and Heather said...

What a fun quick trip! I love that about Europe. Looks freakin' freezing! How many layers do you wear daily? I would have about five on for sure.

Erik R. said...

Gorgeous photos! Great price. You should go back in the summer. Of course the price will be higher...