Friday, February 25, 2011

Norway Day #5

Early on day #5, we left Northern Norway behind (with a piece of my heart) and headed back to Oslo.  

We checked into the Hotel Continental in Oslo.  It must have been a SLOW day because we got upgraded (for free) to a suite with a balcony!  Sweet suite!  The hotel has a lot of history because some of the Nobel Peace prize winners have stayed there.  Super cool.  

our sweet suite

view from our balcony

Once settled in at the hotel, we headed for the Viking Ship Museum.  Aside from two other museum goers, we had the entire place to ourselves!  Norway in January is pretty great.
these boats were BIG
There were three boats at the museum.  All three had been buried with wealthy Vikings somewhere around 800 BC.  They were buried with things they might need in the afterlife - and boats were going to be a way to get around.  The boat pictured above (and in the next two photos) belonged to a very wealthy woman.
View from the top
the profile of the stern of one of the boats

The second boat was a little less ornate than the one above, but also huge.  This boat belonged to a man.

After the Viking Ship Museum we headed to Frogner Park to check out the sculptures of a famous Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland.  This little guy was on a lot of postcards, so I snapped a picture. 

A giant sculpture made from a single stone was the highlight of the park.  It featured writhing bodies fighting to get to the top.  

close up

After being outside in the cold most of the afternoon walking the streets of Oslo, we went inside into the cold of the Oslo Icebar.  Yes it was cheesy and touristy - and yes we were the only ones in there (which was strange).  Our admission included one drink and the use of a giant insulated cape - and a 45 minute stay inside the Icebar.
I got a champagne and blood orange cocktail

I imagine it is much cooler if there are other people there.  The music was loud and it smelled slightly of mildew.  The ceiling was just a normal office-style drop tile that wasn't very cool or club-like.
The interior of the Icebar
Later on, as we walked to dinner, we passed another advertisement for a strange burger at McDonald's.  El Maco Fiesta anyone?
McDonald's in Oslo
The sewer covers in Oslo were cool looking.

For dinner in Oslo, we had gotten a recommendation to try Lofoten Fiskerestaurant.  Billed as one of the nicest places in Oslo, we went in with high hopes and the appetizer course started strong with a trio of salmon done different ways.  It was delicate and flaky.  Unfortunately, that is where it ended.  The remaining courses of the multi course chef's tasting menu were only OK, and the service was pretty bad. We'd had so many great meals in Norway, that this one was barely a blip on the radar screen.
salmon three ways
I liked the food (and culture) in Norway so much that when I got home I promptly ordered a Norwegian cookbook and a book on Scandinavian design.  One of these days I'm going to try making a fish au gratin similar to the one we had in Tromso.  

Day #5 was really our last day in Norway.  Early the next morning we got up, took the train back to the airport and went our separate ways.  My hubby went back to the US (meeting in Boston) and I went on to Ireland to meet my co-workers for a two week European work trip.  Not a bad way to start the year!

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