I love my Student ID!

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Twigs carved by the children and colored into Santa Claus

Today started out with a plan.  The plan was to see the sculpture garden, that I had a hard time figuring out how to get to using the public transport.  Definitely a language barrier there, and tho I “think” I found it on the map, I’m still not certain that it wasn’t something else with the name Froggenklein.  So after many failed attempts at mapping it, I set out blindly to the city center once more.   I figured I’d take a bus to the end of the line, and see what was there.. something that would hopefully give me some scenery to look at.. the 31 bus ended in what looked like a harbor.. good enough for me.

So I reach the city center, and find the correct platform from which I can board the bus.. as it approaches, it looks PACKED.. I’m talking wall to wall people, and tons of people at the platform waiting to get on.. I squish in and practically sit on someones lap as the guy behind me squishes me even further in than what I originally thought I could fit.  We’re like smashed sardines.. seriously.. it’s been a while since I have been that up close and personal.. so much for the blog that said to refrain from personal contact with Norwegians.  Apparently it isn’t welcomed, outside of a firm handshake of respect.  So people are chatting away with each other.. everyone looking pretty excited.  At this point I’m feeling the loneliness kick in, and wishing I had someone with me to share the moment.  It seemed like I was the only person by myself.  A moment later, two more people crammed onto the bus, sucking in their stomachs so that the door could close around them.. they stepped on the guy that was basically stood on top of me.. “sorry” he said.. and the guy responded “are you American?”

“yes” he said “we are from New York”
“Me too.. I’m from Alabama” At this point I decided to chip in too..

“that makes four of us, I live in Mississippi” We talked back and forth about how cheap it was to fly here.  The guy from Bama was staying with family, so he won “the cheapest vacation” discussion.. the two from New York said they had scored a roundtrip flight from NY to Norway for $300 – that’s even cheaper than what I came over here for.. I asked them if they knew where they were going, and they told me about an extravaganza going on at a museum on the line.. I assumed that was why this particular bus was so packed, and decided that that was where I was going today.  When I reached the admissions, I showed my student ID, taking my admission price from 120K down to 40K.  $5 to get into the museum for students.. they love their students.  Word to the frugal traveler coming behind me… MAKE SURE YOU BRING A STUDENT ID! I am SO glad that I did!  It turned out that not only was it an amazing outdoor museum of the houses used in Norway from the year 700 DSC_0339.jpgall the way thru until the present, but there was also a Christmas Faire going on where props were used to make it feel like the era in whichever section of the museum we were in.  Folkemuseum – Jordemarked.  Amazing experience.  I’ve been using that word a lot lately.. maybe I need to look for some synonyms!

The first section I walked thru had a teepee, and a mud hut next to each other.  I took a pic of the mud hut and posted it to facebook, asking if they liked my new airbnb… the funny part is that some people thought I was seriously staying inside the mud hut.. I kinda like that they would believe I would do that.. they know I’m just that adventurous, because I would.  I think it would make a great airbnb personally.. but maybe not in Norway in the Winter.  The teepee was too cute.. the smoke bellowing out of the top of it.  As I walked around, a man stepped out of the way of the entrance and told me that I had to try the coffee.  Inside, there was a fire burning with a pot of kaffe over it.  He told me that there was meat and cheese in the coffee.  It was black so I was hesitant to try it.. I like mine with a lot of milk and a little sugar.  I am caffeine sensitive, and didn’t wanna spark anxiety. I asked to take their picture, and then moved on.

The next section were wooden structures, built out of burnt looking wood.  I still haven’t figured out why the wood was all black and burnt, and need to google that, but I did look up the reason that there is grass growing on the roofs.. even on the modern houses up in the mountains that are presently in use.

Building on a rocky mountain foundation, there is movement from the gravity, and with the landscape change over time.  The sod on top of the roofs weighs about 250kg per cubic square meter.  The weight of the sod keeps the walls straight, and makes for a solid structure.

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Twigs carved by the children and colored into Santa Claus

It also provides insulation.  Pretty cool!  In this section there were fires built with more coffee hanging over it.  Around the fires were haystacks with animal skins stretched over them for seating.  IMG_7017A man was serving the coffee to those taking a seat.  Two children in full ski onsies were eating toffee apples.  The children in Norway were so polite and well  behaved.  IMG_7095.JPGI don’t remember seeing any of them on any electronic devices the entire time I stayed in Oslo.  Some children played lifesize Jenga with wooden blocks, while other were carving tree twigs into points, and then coloring father Christmases onto the stubs.  I sat at on a haystack, the animal skin surprising me at just how warm it was.  The man handed me a coffee, poured thru the spout of the kettle that had evergreen in the spout as a filter. _DSC0379 The coffee was dark, and bitter.. a very distinctive taste.  It reminded me of the hot chocolate the night before, as neither drink tasted like what my memory of those drinks would’ve expected.  It was good tho!  I definitely didn’t need a lot.  As it hit my stomach I realized I was hungry, and got up, thanking the man for his hospitality, placing a tip in the box, and moved on to the next section.IMG_7166

This section had actual brick houses.  In the market square there were stalls with different foods.  I chose the bolle.  I’d seen sign for it from the moment i’d arrived in Norway 3 for 40K or 25K the further I seemed to be from the city center. I didn’t know what it was, but I can best describe this one as a cinnamon bun type thing, but I think in general they are different forms of bread rolls.  I know I know… I’m gaining a ton of weight on this journey because there is simply too many new foods to try.  As expected it was delicious.  It hit the spot while giving me time to stop and enjoy the Norwegian Brass band.

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It was about 1:30p by this time, and I wanted to catch daylight pictures of the coast, so I left the museum, hopping on another bus to the end of the line.

There were a couple of museums there also, and I decided to go into the Maritime Museum.  Again, 40K for admission.  This museum was relatively small, showing the history of the boats in Norway.  Viking boats, and cruiseliners filled the displays.DSC_0455.jpg  I found it interesting to see the cargo that these huge monsters of ships held within them.  After looking around for a little while, it was time to take some picture of the coast .. not as exciting as I thought it would be.. it was overcast, so I didn’t get a sunset evening. DSC_0465-3.jpg Ironically I bumped into a man that had been on my flight the day before.  He had a backpack, and we had talked about cabin size luggage.  This trip was my first without Trek, whom I think I am going to rename to Takk.. it’s Norwegian for “thank you” and this is certainly a trip that I am thankful for.  \

Having a cabin sized bag with everything in it will save me $20 per flight, which is why I was considering mailing Takk back to America.  Traveling to Norway with a rolly wheeled cabin sized suitcase wasn’t the most convenient way I could’ve done the trip.  It’s frustrating to roll over cobblestones.  It gets heavy carrying it up 4 floors of stairs, and my apartment building didn’t have an elevator.  Even inside the airport there are stairs, and pulling the handle in and out over and over to go up and down, or waiting at the gate, and then moving it into the boarding area.. again when walking up the stairs of the plane… I def missed Takk.  I saw a few backpacks going on as carryon, Takk isn’t too far outside of RyanAir’s 55cmx40cmx20cm – I think we will manage to make it work, and I’d prefer having a backpack on than carrying that suitcase.  I am thankful that my sister had one that I could try out, before I bought one for myself.

The sky grew darker, and I boarded the bus back to the city center.  Hunger began to strike again and I decided to take the bus back to the apartment.  Across the street there was an indian restaurant – my favorite.. Dinner and a night of photo editing, coupled with some facetime with my bestie, Amber.. a perfect night!PIJF0579.png

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