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02/26/2003 Entry: "Norway and the Netherlands!"

Hi everyone!

We are currently in Spain, but I will save that update for another time. Instead I´ll begin with our 5 days in Norway, from Feb. 13th-18th with our friends Tina and Paul. We flew into Oslo, Norway at around 1pm on the 13th after 15+ hours of travel and thanks to the holistic wonder drug, No Jet Lag, we truly felt no jet lag! Granted we were a bit tired, but not bad.

The first day we took it pretty easy, just catching up with Tina (after 10 years, since the last time I saw her) and getting to know Paul. They have a lovely apartment together in the heart of Oslo, within walking distance from the downtown centre and lot´s of great coffee shops and restaurants etc. Tina made a special Norweigin meal, of reindeer casserole. It was quite good.

For the second day, we bundled up a headed out under the bright blue skies into the fairly frosty 2 degree celcius air (32ish F) of Norway. Surprisingly, it wasn´t as shockingly cold as we had anticipated. The warm rays of sunshine made a huge difference in our adjustment. However, I did notice that my skin started try to shed like a snake within the first few days. You always forget about those aspects of a different climate. So, back on track with the story, we headed down to the royal palace to check that out. We saw the changing of the royal guards and then headed downtown. Tina went off for an appointment and we headed to the sea wharf to explore that area. It was breathtakingly beautiful to look out over the geometic-shaped icy waters into the slightly foggy horizon, with pirate-like ships in the foreground. Stunning! Tina kept mentioning how beautiful Norway is during the summer and how we have to come back that time of year. I agree, however, I have a feeling that Norway is just as beautiful, in a very different way during the wintertime. We went to the National Art museum that afternoon and explored for a few hours, checking out the diverse variety of artistic styles. We also helped Tina pick out a really nice framed picture, from a gift certificate Paul had given her for Christmas.

On Sat. we took it Easy, with a capital E! It was so nice. We all slept in, had coffee in the cozy apartment, sitting on their comfortable couch. It was a much needed recovery/recooperation morning many, many mornings of early travel days and tours for the weeks prior. In the late-morning, early afernoon we took a long, leisurely walk to Visgold Park (I´m totally blanking on the name), but it´s infamous, with it´s hundreds of beatiful, if not slightly bizarre sculptures.

On Sunday had another long leisurely day, catching ¨Two Weeks Notice¨ movie in the afternoon (with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant) in the afternoon. On Monday we drove to the Olympic Ski jump, checked out the museum there and then headed further up the hill to an old ski lodge for a traditional Norweigin snack - it´s essentially a kind of sour cream-like soup in which you sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over the top, accompanied by different kind of meat and flat bread to dip into the soup. It was delicious and the view from the lodge was gorgeous, looking back over Oslo. It was a great way to end our time with Tina and Paul, who were the most gracious of hosts. Thanks again you two! We will definitely be back to Norway someday!!!

Onto Amsterdam on the 18th for a short 3 day trip there. According to the web-site for our hotel we were meant to be just outside of the red-light district, which also happens to be the city center, very close to all of the museums etc., but the description of the location seemed to be slightly off and we were in the red-light district. Oh well, we were barely ever actually there, so it ended up being alright. On the 19th we went to the Rijks Museum, which is absolutely enormous. We proceeded to spend the next 6 hours exploring, by the end we were absolutely exhausted. On the 20th we experienced the Heineken experience and then rushed over for a quick 1 3/4 tour of The Van Gogh Museum, which as the British would say was ¨Brillant!¨

That evening we met up with a couple, Xavier and Esther, who we met 4 weeks earlier on a bus in Laos. We exchanged e-mail and agreed to try to meet up with them if feasible in their hometown of Amsterdam. We´re so glad it worked out, it really nice to exchange stories and catch up with them.

On the 21st we flew to Barcelona. On that update as a mentioned before will come in a few weeks.

10 days til our NY visit with friends and 18 days before we´re back in CO. It´s hard to believe it´s nearing the end, but we are truly looking forward to being home with you all again.

See you soon!

Note: Click on any image to see the larger version.

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Looking up one of the canals in Amsterdam

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Some of the cool houses in Amsterdam

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The Rijks Museum

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Relfection in the Canal

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Reflection in Canal

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Amy & Brian at the Heineken Experience

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A shot of one of the cools parks in Amsterdam

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Van Gogh´s Self portrate

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Old Ski Lodge in Oslo

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Ski Jumper (didn´t we get a great photo as he jumpped over top of us :) )

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Amy and Tina in the Jump House

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Looking down the ski jump (who wants to go first)

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Tina, Paul, Amy & Brian at dinner in the oldest pub in Oslo

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The gate at a cool park in Oslo (I forget the name)

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Statue at the same park

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Amy in front of Brian (I mean the angry baby statue - not brian)

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A&B at the national museum in Oslo

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One of the harbours in Oslo

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Ships in the Harbour

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Ship in the harbour (like the erasure song)

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A&B in front of the palace in Olso

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Tina in her kitchen

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Tina & Paul´s apartment (for Brandee especially)

Replies: 4 Comments

Wow, again, you are very good photographers! I spent two days in each of the Rijks and Van Goghs museums, so enriching, a lifetime experience. I hope you rode in a lover's canal boat ride?! I see that you did not go to Anne Frank's must go back! And Amy, did you see the free tour of the Diamond Factory across the street from the Rijks Museum? I did not have time to do that either. So many reasons to return.
Uncle Dave and I could have advised you on the right hotel in Amsterdam! Aunt JoAnn

Posted by JoAnn Funk @ 03/09/2003 04:48 PM MST

Thanks for the great pictures! It is so fun to see you and enjoy your adventures. Your description of your travels is great. Thanks

Posted by June @ 03/07/2003 04:35 PM MST

Great two are such excellent photographers!
Amy and Tina look even more beautiful than they did in High School.
Two more weeks and we will welcome you home...can't wait!

Posted by Mom @ 03/02/2003 06:49 PM MST

A little bit of a climate change for you guys, but more beautiful pictures from Norway and Holland. Finally, a city I can relate to from personal experience - Amsterdam! Looks like you had a good time there and saw many of the famous sites. You are getting closer and closer with each of these last few legs of your journey!

See you both soon,


Posted by aswitzer @ 03/02/2003 02:38 PM MST

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