Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hello Oslo

Photo from the Fjord outside Oslo, Norway

No work-related trip to Europe would be complete without at least one fun side-excursion. For Alex's recent stay in Bremen, Germany, that excursion took the form of a jump up to Norway on July 21 and 22 to meet some relatives on his father, Al's, side.

Al's cousin, Ingebjoerg and her family (husband Finn, daughter Kristen, son-in-law Gier and grandchildren Helene and Mikkel) were kind enough to take these two days to show Alex all the sights Oslo has to offer (at least, as many could be fit into two days!). They were incredibly generous in donating their time to Alex, who was little more then a stranger to them. No tourist experience quite compares to seeing a city from the viewpoint of a local, and Ingebjoerg and her family made sure Alex had the royal treatment. By the end of the weekend, Alex felt like part of the family and had a new found appreciation for the beautiful scenery and culture that Oslo has to offer.

Highlight's from the weekend include a tour around the Fjords outside Oslo (above) and the Gustav Vigeland Sculpture Park (below). The sculpture park had an incredible array of human forms: from mothers and children playing to a tower of people all on top of each other.

Another treat was to see one of the three surviving Viking ships. Surprising little is known about this group of Scandinavian explorers who settled throughout Europe from the late eighth to the mid-eleventh century. Their known history (to be distinguished from widespread tales about their culture) can be summed up pretty much by: they came, they conquered, they left.

Scientist that he is, Alex was especially thrilled with a visit to the Nobel Institute. Given his chosen field, however, (planetary research isn't exactly a cure for cancer) it's a long-shot to hope he will be back there some day to collect a prize of his own =)

 Ingebjoerg, Kristen, Helene, Alex, Mikkel, Finn & Geir (photographer)

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