Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Around Oslo : Museums, Akenhus Fort, Shopping

21st Sept 2009 Sunny

Came to Oslo finally and we checked back into the guesthouse we use to stay when we first arrived.

Decided we should at least walk around in Norway before we move down south to Denmark.

Took advantage of the Oslo Pass (around NOK240) where we gain access to few museums.

First went to the Viking Museums





Passed by a supermarket nearby and decided to buy take away lunch.


SPAR is very common here. The cashier has no access to the money because notes and coins get slot in like a vendor machine

Quickly head towards The Fram (Forward Museum)


Fram ("Forward") is a ship that was used in expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic regions by the Norwegian explorers Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup, Oscar Wisting, and Roald Amundsen between 1893 and 1912.




After that, we walked across the parking area to the Kon-Tiki Museum


Kon-Tiki is the raft used by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands. It was named after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, for whom "Kon-Tiki" was said to be an old name. Kon-Tiki is also the name of the popular book that Heyerdahl wrote about his adventures.


Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled Polynesia in pre-Columbian times. His aim in mounting the Kon-Tiki expedition was to show, by using only the materials and technologies available to those people at the time, that there were no technical reasons to prevent them from having done so.

Then was the Norsk Folkemuseum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.


More relics building are seen here. Most of these were relocated from all part of Norway in effort to preserve the old world architectural heritage.










There's a Stave Church and this time it is free to look around side. It looks very small from outside but inside it is quite spacious, can probably sit 50 people or more.



Traditional sauna, a bit hard to see here.

Arove out then went hang around in Vigeland Sculpture Park



Vigeland Sculpture Park - Treasure hunting, kih kih



Poked around the Akershus Festning (Fort) just like what Lonely Planet says.










Then went to buy souvinirs at Karl Johans Gate, again found that souvinirs shop in everywhere is usually run by foreigners who might be just like you and I, asians, indians...





Bought some food at the supermarket then went straight home to make dinner.

We had good pre-packed shrimp salad, pan fried salmon and marinated chicken wing.



Took us a long time to figure out how come we don't see the salmon at the open cold display area when Norwegian Salmon is well known around the world. Apparently all the while you can only find them at the Frozen section, where the Ice cream are placed. Ha!

That concludes our beautiful and expensive Norway trip. Tomorrow we will head down to Copenhagen, let see what awaits us there.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Farmstay : Strind Gard, Lom

20th September Rainy

Yet we arrived to our bed late again after what happened in Bergen! This time it was worse as we only manage to reach the dark front gate at about 11.30pm!

Perhaps we should thank the GPS leading us to this rather isolated place at this ungodly hours? Perhaps we should actually leave the GPS under the wheels and be crushed over in a satisfying cracking sound, when that it actually leads us high up the mountain on with the bright waxy moon on the background, instead of showing us the original route was the correct road to take???

ARG!!!!! I am going nuts with this "gadget".

We left the Briksdalbreen at about 6pm was anticipating to arrive in Lom at 9pm or so. Things start to go very wrong when the GPS pointed us to an offroad going up hill. I talked with confident telling my mom and aunt saying this is exactly the route to take. DUH! Should've consulted the Michellin Map as well!!!

And so we drive and drive, with tar road turning more and more narrow, deep revine looking from the left, eventually the road disappeared into pebble road! Drove over some very narrow bridge with rather deep ditch underneath as well, and there were wild hare hopping alongside. My aunt said she saw some very majestic snow mountain not too far away under the moonlight. It was even better than those we saw in Aurland.

I tried not to look everywhere coz I was very very very very terrified really. I felt my leg trembling and tried not to let my mom know as she was already making remarks like "Oh dear, what if the wolves attacked us!" LoL

My dad just insist that we continue drive ahead. Luckily the tar road started appearing again. It just feel very weird you know on this isolated part of the world. When you think you are almost alone on this moon-like surface, and suddenly you saw some dimly lit light from camp not so far away. The wind blew so strong here that it must be very very cold for those hardcore outdoor addict to stay overnight here.

Finally we reach Lom and quickly found the farm stay place. As we drove into the parking, the porch suddenly lit up and the owner came hurried down to say Hi to us. Mr. Trond Dalsegg whose in his early 60's looking smile to us warmly saying he had thought we are not arriving since it was so late of the night.

We were quickly shown to our apartment, which is situated at the main building underneath where the owner stay. Looks very cozy and comfortable, very clean too for NOK700/night. As we were all cold so we turned up the heater around the house to full force, that caused the fused box to drop down. For that we have to cook and eat our maggie mee in dark, no one really in the mood to shower. We all tugged in quickly after dinner (supper?) that night.

But the next morning was really a blessing! The murmur of the waterfall next door, the clanging sound of the bells hanged on the sheeps, the view of tall green mountain right in front of us. As we open all the windows, crisp clean breeze filling the whole house, it really feels great to be around here. No one is rushing to go anywhere, as the road right outside the farm remain quiet half the time.






Sulpture or Kitchen Ware?



We quickly showered and have breakfast so that we can go walk around the farm.



But this farm, as told by Trond, has only Sheep. Doesn't even have chicken at all... but he say opposite farm has horses and pigs as well.





Took loads of pictures around this petite yet nicely kept farm. There are few other cabins got rental as well surrounding the main building. Took a peek inside one of them and found it is equipped with modern appliances looking very comfy too.





There's a tool shed that seemed very old, with heavy equipments. Must've existed since ages ago.



Came to the small running waterfall here, I can imagine the water must be freezing as was told the water comes from melted ice from the top of the mountain.


Anne, the lady of the farm says she take a quick dipped in the waterfall every morning before she starts her work. My mom shaking her head cannot believe this. Anne is also in late 60's told my mom it feels great after quick cold treatment and she can quickly warm up with wool clothes made from sheep in their farm.



Since Anne enjoyed outdoor, it is not surprising she and the husband goes on trekking to look for their sheep during end of autumn. It can take up to 5 days just to look for their sheep, which by that time newborn baby sheep will be seen tagging along as well.




When winter comes, then they will go out skiing nonstop, just outside the house the snow would built up to be 1 meter deep or even higher. There will also be time when the moon is full, that snow is reflecting bright light so much so the night is no longer dark, Anne and her family will then do a midnight cross country skiing trip with her family members for few days. My mom again shake in disbelieve, I sort of think she would faint if we make her stand outside with snow for 10min.




It was great talking to Anne, she showed us many photos she took around the farm and outing. She makes me feel that she genuinely love this place she is staying. The house upstair that they are in, are filled with so many relics past down from their ancestors. Looms, spindles, cooking stove, and few large framed pictures detailing their ancestral line.

We really enjoyed our stay at the Strind Gard, and we must come back again for few days the next time when we are in Norway again.

Strind Gard
Anne Jorunn og Trond Dalsegg
2686 LOM
Telefon: +47 61 21 12 37