Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hei Venner!

Hello friends!

I am currently writing you from downtown Oslo! Thought I would write a quick update to all so I can answer all the questions and comments at once. Plus, a great way to fill my I-need-to-write-on-my-blog-more obligation!

So we ('we' is 10 of us consisting of my aunts/uncles and cousins) left from Fort McMurray early Monday afternoon and met up with the rest of the crew in Calgary. From Calgary we flew to Frankfurt and then onto Oslo. The flight was about 9.5 hours and I pretty much thought I was going to die. Thankfully there were lots of movies to watch, so I indulged in the Justin Bieber movie and of course, a little classic Adam Sandler. No vegetarian food (boo Air Canada) so I was starving and for those who know me, starving=bitchy. German customs were scary and we hardly made our flight but we somehow slid through! Pulled up to Oslos badass modern airport, grabbed our luggage and headed around the corner to spend $8 on a bottle of water. And its not even HALF as good as Aquafina (took that shit for granted!)

Enough of the airports. Shuttled to the city and got to our hotel. It was about a 20 minute walk with no sleep, a heavy ass suitcase and dont forget, Im starving! Got there, checked in, unloaded and chilled for a bit. Gord instantly was not impressed with the location of our hotel because of some crack-head-type folk he seen as we were walking from central station. I didnt notice cause I was too busy grunting around with my head down. The boys started scouting out new hotels and Kristen and I took off on a little exploartion of the Viking port city.

So to give you some perspective on the city.... Im finding a mixture of extremely mod and extremely old. Keep in mind this country is OLD and us Canadians dont know shit about history (well unless its history of everywhere else in the world since we hardly have any) The mall is insane modern, glass walls and glass elevators. Walk through tubes of glass, etc. The airport looked like IKEA and... well... thats about it actually. We walked down a couple streets and then onto Johans Gate which reminded me of Whyte Ave in Edmonton... shops, restaurants, tons of sculptures and statues and fountains. We passed the University which looks like a mini White House and then headed up to the Royal Palace. (I had no idea there was a hierarchy in Norway) The Royal Palace is surrounded by a huge park so we took a stroll through there and tried to get some education on some of the crazy looking broads that some of these statues resembled. As we continued walking, I saw some young kid shooting up heroin behind a tree and i COULDN'T believe it! It started to come to me that Norway wasnt this god blessed country full of the rich and beautiful and glamourous... this is a straight up, normal city with problems like the rest of em. And why wouldnt it?

Growing up, Norway just seemed like this heavenly land that I heard so many amazing stories about. A country that was proud and supportive of itself and because of that, is rated among the happiest and wealthiest countries in the world (number one on the list a few times) So to see a weak side of things was interesting for me for sure. After the sighting, we headed back down to our hotel, had dinner with the family and headed to bed to try to recover from our jetlag (we are 8 hours ahead of Alberta time)

After a terrible sleep, we woke up and moved hotels... moved to a more central location. After that we headed to a very famous sculpture park (I forget how to spell the guys name and I cant google it because this stupid hotel computer will only allow me one window at a time) After that we stopped for lunch and headed back to the hotel. Couple of us went shopping and then we went down to the harbour for a few hours. Got back to the hotel around 1:30am and went to bed.

This morning, we headed out to the Munch Museum (Edvard Munch is famous for the very recognizable painting titled 'The Scream') and that was crazy interesting. I bought a couple prints there and cant wait to get them home and framed. After that we took the subway to the harbour and then jumped a ferry across the land to a few more museums, including the Fram museum, the Viking ship museum and tghe Norwegain Folk museum (even got to snack on some lefse!) and then we headed back to the pier for dinner and some shopping. The pier here is unbelievable! SO modern and so many restaurants and bars and a very exquisite lifestyle. I loved it. We just took the subway back to the hotel and Im seriously falling asleep as I type this, so you better damn well enjoy it! jk! But seriously... SO TIRED.

Tomorrow morning we will be waking up at the crack of dawn and taking the subway back to the centre and checking out the Nobel Peace Prize centre (did you know that was Norwegian? I just found out!) So we are gonna go see what I gotta do to get my paws on one of those bad boys! After that we are catching the Eurorail to Trondheim, a six hour train ride through valleys, where we will stay for a few days before our cruise. Looking forward to Trondheim, as it is a less busy and transient city with a little more depth.

Highlights of the trip so far:
-the heroin addict in the park (I know, Im weird!)
-the sculpture park
-the harbour
-Munch museum

Not so awesome parts of the trip
-Paying to use EVERYTHING! You cant even go to the washroom without paying (everywhere!) so you can imagine.... every corner you walk by outdoors is peed in and doesnt give of the most friendliest of welcomes!
-People here are not friendly and have terrible manners.
-Lots of littering (yet somehow Norway ranked top 5 countries for recycling, so I can only imagine how bad other countries must be!)

Oh and I forgot to mention that everybody here are amazingly good looking (every girl is tall, tan, super fit and gorgeous) Im pretty much the GoodYear blimp on legs! lol! Also, the currency here.. 100 NOK is about $17 Canadian dollars and is very easily spent. This country is not easy on the pocket book, that is for sure!

Overall... great trip, great weather, food, attractions and of course, awesome company!

I think thats it for now... hopefully I answered some of your questions and if not, just ask. Ill be back in a few days to fill you in a bit more hopefully!

Hope all is well and I will be around soon!

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