June 1, 2024 Eeny, meeny, miny, moe

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe catch a tiger by the tail…..

The trip started out eventful: first a quick trip to the airport the night before to “fix” the tickets. Unfortunately due to a mess up by the airlines, we were not able to check in to our flights. Apparently the first leg of the journey was in not in any of their systems. Thankfully, it was fixed and we managed to yell, so they had to “let us go.”

The flight long was not as long as some others we have been on recently, and we did manage to catch some zzzzz’s, but not many.  Finally in Norway, we breathed a sigh of relief… once we get to the hotel,  we can get caught up on some missing sleep… that is, if we can get out of the car rental parking garage. We found our rental car – a Toyota Yaris – loaded the luggage, piled into the car, and then programmed the GPS unit. Pressing the “start” button, it didn’t start… didn’t start… still didn’t start… woo hoo started!  but then stopped… then didn’t start, then didn’t start. Shucks!! Kathy saying maybe you should go ask….. really? Asking is for amateurs.  Finally it started. Dave “maybe the battery was low” and Kathy then Googled a video of how to start a Toyota Yaris….  found out the car is a hybrid, and apparently it doesn’t sound like it is starting when it actually is.  Being a hybrid, it starts off in electric mode, so the gas engine doesn’t turn over.  Who knew?? We tested that theory out once arriving in Oslo. Yep, silent! Google was right!

Finally finding our hotel, we headed out to explore and have dinner. Not much else to be said about that.  We found a nice restaurant along the water that had a “sharing” menu and we shared a quesadilla and a carne asada, along with a summer salad complete with pickled watermelon. Our agenda was an easy going night for tired travelers.  Tomorrow will come soon enough.

Tomorrow dawned bright and early and we were raring to go! Breakfast at the hotel, and then we were off to grab the tiger by the tail…almost. Instead Kathy hopped on the tail of a huge bronze tiger statue and swung her legs while we waited for our “free” walking tour. We managed to hit many of the highlights on our list, including the brand new public library (shaped like an iceberg!), the Oslo Opera House, the Akershus Fortress, Karl Johans Gate, a floating art exhibit in the harbor, a 400 year old restaurant, the city hall, and the music festival going on today!

The tour conveniently ended by the City Hall where we stopped in and walked where presidents, dignitaries, and countless Nobel Peace Prize Winners have stood to be awarded their prize. Feeling the awe of the open area with its beautiful painted walls was an amazing experience. Interestingly, Oslo is the place where the Nobel Peace Prize is given, while Stockholm is where the other Nobel Prizes are given.  We then headed over to Nobel Peace Center next door and then on to the Royal Palace where we watched a changing of the guard ceremony. Not as solemn as Washington, DC, not as formal as Buckingham Palace, and definitely not as fun as the one in Athens Greece, it was still interesting to watch, with about half of the guards being women. This would be our 5th time watching a changing of the guard ceremony and we have now seen it in 5 different countries, Italy, Greece, US, England, and now Norway. Next on our list was to find the statue park called Vigeland Park, famous for its large fountain and hundreds of sculptures. We walked, oh yeah we walked some more, yet some more at about 20,000 something steps we found it at the top the hill. It was worth every step. Wandering through the statues we joined others who looked in awe, or maybe some perplexing looks or gasps of what some of the sculptures were depicting. We just chose to enjoy the artistic creativity of the statues –  leaving the questions about whom, why, or what for another day.  We encourage you to visit the link to see all the different sculptures and let you decide whom, why, or what for yourselves. The Vigeland Park have over 200 sculptures… | Vigeland Museum and Park

Deciding we should head back to the hotel, we walked back down the mountain, Dave navigating by Google Maps which kept us running in circles we finally found our hotel. After the experience of listening to Google Maps, Kathy is not surprised Dave didn’t want to ask Google how to start the Yaris. Good thing one was right!  Luckily, we stopped for a quick burger at “The Flamme Burger” along the way so we had plenty of energy to make the journey back to the hotel to rest up.  They had the best onions rings we have had in a long time!

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