Monday, June 22, 2009

Norway: Thursday

Coming Back
Seaside town in Norway

Wow. Where to start? We took so many great pictures and did so much I don't want to overwhelm you so I'll post about each day separately...

Traveling to Norway was in stages beginning with a 2+ hour drive to Weeze, Germany the night before our flight. On Thursday, we flew out of Weeze Airport in the morning and arrived about an 1.5 hour later in Sandefjord, Norway.

The contrast visually between Norway and Belgium was startling. Flying into Norway, you can see deep blue sea from almost every vantage point bordered by lush green forests everywhere. Throw in the little dots of red farm houses everywhere and more blue sky and you have a primary color kaleidoscope. It looked so much like our West Coast town that we all felt instantly at home. Belgium is beautiful but is mostly a palette of brick and green... just different I guess.

We got through the airport super quick and hopped on our Torpespressen to Oslo (another 1.5 hours of bus ride). As a side note... the bus ride to Oslo cost more than the flight from Germany!

We arrived in downtown Oslo at 1:30pm at the Central Bus Station. It was pouring rain and we couldn't find my cousin even after circling the entire building inside and out. To add to the stress my cell phone wasn't working and My-Army-Guy had really, really low blood sugar so he was IRRITATED in all caps. We stopped and bought 3 sandwiches and 3 drinks for $40 and then wandered around looking for my cousin.

I caught her out of the corner of my eye at the info desk trying to track me down. I was so happy to see her!

Some history: my cousin is the only child of my father's younger sister. She would visit us often in the states with her parents. She is like a little sister to us. In 1991-92, right after my mother died, my cousin  really helped My-Army-Guy and I out by staying with us and taking care of E-Dude while we got settled. Here's a picture of us in 1982 (when I visited Norway last) and one from this trip:




Tante Fi, my aunt

 The first thing that my cousin said to me when I saw her was that I looked like her mother, my Tante Fi. I heard it over and over again as I met my other relatives. It made me miss her terribly and reminded me that I am as equally Norwegian as I am American.

 My cousin and her husband drove us to their town where we settled in and met her three children...

After a nice dinner, we walked down the hill into town and sat by the water and enjoyed a beer. It's Midsommer in Norway now, so it stays light all night. Keeping track of the time was a little wacky.

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