Oslo, Norway: A Week Without the Kids

Posted by Ryan on Sunday, September 23, 2007

May of you may know that Tamie and I took the opportunity to go to Oslo, Norway for a week. I was invited to speak at JavaZone 2007, a big geek programming conference, and the Church was gracious enough to sponsor my airline ticket over there.

More Oslo Pictures...

It was the first time that we've had the chance to go on a trip-just the two of us-since our honeymoon. As much as we were anticipating it, I think we underestimated how good it was for us. And before I go on, I need to recognize how great our families were in helping us take the kids. Grandma Janet stayed at our house with the two little ones while Grandma Heaton and the Boyles tag-teamed Ty and Tanner. We can't thank them enough for their willingness to do that for us.

Oslo is one of those classic European cities: train stations, cobblestones, cafes, shops, palaces, and fortresses. A couple of our evenings were spent just wandering the streets and taking it slowly at a nice restaurant. Tamie got a cute European-style haircut on our first day. She didn't feel like "going anywhere" by herself while I was at the conference, so she found herself reading in the park and suppressing the occasional feeling of panic that she hadn't changed a diaper within the last 30 minutes.

More Oslo Pictures...

We were pleasantly surprised to see so many mothers out with their babies and little kids. It was kind of nice to see how acceptable it was to bring your baby with you. We noticed that the people also seem less socially inhibited. It was so interesting to see two unfamiliar people of different ethnic backgrounds sit next to each other at a table and opening up a conversation. Or to watch a group of kids at a park laughing as one of them started dancing spontaneously.

We had two full days after the conference to vacation. Oslo has a cool bike-sharing program where they have these bike stations scattered at different locations around the city. You can buy a bike pass from the tourist information center that will make a bike available to you from one of these stations. As you ride it from location to location, you can park it at a bike station and take a new one when you're ready. We used our bikes to see a cool fortress and bike to the harbor where we took a boat across the Oslo Fjord to the Norse Folk Museum and the Viking Ship museum.

More Oslo Pictures...

We got a little sick of how much everything cost. Things literally cost 3-4 times what they do here in the states. And it didn't help that the dollar is really weak at the moment. When we got to the Viking Ship museum, we contented ourselves with a visit to the gift shop from which you could see the main attraction. We opted out of paying the $40 entrance fee.

The majority of our next day was spent on the train. We decided we wanted to go see some of the famous Norwegian countryside and Fjords. Norway is has a very lush and green landscape. It is full of hills and mountains, all the way down to the ocean. Heavy rainfall and snowfall fill rivers that pool into countless lakes. As you get near the ocean, the canyons are filled with water, the sides filled with thick vegetation and steep cliffs striped with waterfalls. The canyons are called Fjords.

More Oslo Pictures...

Our train ride took us very high into the mountains and then down one of these canyons to the town of Flam, where we were supposed to take a boat down the Fjords. After having been told the boat was full, we had to backtrack to Oslo. We didn't mind too much. Tamie braved the cold and we took a 2-hour hike up to one of the beautiful waterfalls of the Fjord. Although we were disappointed not to get on the boat, we realized that we would never have seen the Fjord in such a way if we didn't do the hike.

The hike was so beautiful. We kept expecting to see fairies and elves behind the mossy rocks and tree stumps. We had to be careful not to disturb an unknown pixie hideout as we stepped on rocks to cross the many streams. As we were stealing kisses, we were wary of being spied upon by the hiding gnomes. But we had watch out for the trolls, too, because there are rumored to be a lot of them scattered about the Norwegian countryside.

It was fun, too, to see the kids when we got back. They were really excited to see us. Maybe we missed them. A little.

Comments (1)

Tamie looks like a model! I love the stylist hair cut. Way to go Ryan for being a "geek", I think any trip like that makes us all wish we were one. I love the pictures and stories. Thank you for sharing, we just love hearing and seeing all the fun things you do. You look like you are on a second honeymoon...or even your first because that fun-loving, fresh and independent romance is captured. So fun!

Posted September 24, 2007 at 12:34 PM by Blogger Cyndi