Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Paisano European Tour 2010 - Day 22
Day 22 is September 28
Today is a our last full day in Norway and we're out to make it a good one. As you might have guessed, I was up coughing again at 12:30 and down stairs until about 4:30. I was up a bit after 8am, finished up my medicine and then we were off.
The adventure today was a trip to Hans and Ronja's school. It was nice to see the halls of a high school outside of the US. While we weren't able to get an "official" tour of the school, Hans did a good job of showing us the highlights. It was also nice to be able to wonder around a bit without going through all of the security issues as we have to here, especially in Colorado. Momma and I had a chance to sit in on a biology class that was kind of fun although we did miss most of the lecture since it was, (understandably) in Norske. I So should have studied both Norwegian and German for this trip. ;) Just before the class started, I got nice surprise and had a chance to meet up with Thomas again. Thomas is a schoolmate of Hans Olav's who was also in Colorado for the year that my boys were here.
After we finished up at school Morten took Momma & I to "The Castle". As we got there, a bus tour was just finishing up, so we went in for that last of that. I thought maybe that was the tour, but I should have trusted my friend Morten Much more. He, Of Course, Hooked Us Up. What we got instead of the normal "touristy" variety was a great personalized tour. Our tour was very interesting and full of great information. The furniture was beautiful and very intricately designed. There is great amounts of history here and much of the building is from the 1100's. Of course, there were many additions over the years and a very interesting mix of old and a little less old.
Some of my favorite things about the tour were the excellent historical stories which included the story of the "happy virgins" and the "mad" or sad virgins. The story says that the happy ones look pretty (and happy), because they were clean & fresh, (and therefore became part of the "chosen"). From looking at the statues, the unhappy ones were pretty ugly...). The guide said the statues actually represented a scene from a cupboard found in Florence, Italy.
At the castle, there is also a burial chamber off the chapel area that stores the wooden coffins of the "master of the castle" and his 3 wives, (no not at all at the same time). They had many, many kids and unfortunately, as the years wore on, the estate and castle, (and wealth), seemed to dwindle. On the grounds, outside the walls of the castle is oldest pyramid in Scandinavia. It's a rather unexpected sight but really very cool. Right here is a perfect place on the grounds for echo, echo, echos.... great stuff.
Our next stop was a quick trip to Hans & Ronja's condo and then we head off for a tour of the cannon/gun turret/fort on the coast. This gun was orginally installed on a small German battleship. That ship was partically destroyed so the German WWII war machine decided to install them in a 5 story battlement which was meant to defend this area of Norway from Allied Forces. The World War 2 history here is very interesting and when we are able to step back, you can see the very machine like precision of the German war effort. The facility was built by POW labor and is really a model of efficiency. Luckily, this gun was never fired in anger. Thankfully, this installation came on line later in the war. Had it been eariler, the outcome could have been different.
Again, Momma was a trooper and made her way through the building just like she'd been climbing around in things like this for years. In fact, she even demonstrated how the soldiers would have loaded the shells. She's so awesome. Of course, I also got a Huge chuckle out of the interaction between Hans and Ronja (and Morten, too). In one area, Ronja was trying to blow through the communication tube to no avail. Hanso, being the big brother, had to show off and made the whistle blow loud and clear. It Could be the fact that our son is full of hot air. ;) I Really like the photo I was able to grab before the tour. I think it shows two young adults that have grow to respect one another and will help each other through trials & tribulations through the rest of their lives. THAT's Great stuff!
After we finished up with the canon tour, we 5 head off to Line's Mom's house. Liv was a wonderful host(ess) and dinner was excellent. Momma and I got to hang out with Liv and Kyrre as well as Line, Kristen and Maja. Of course, Morten, Ronja & Hans were also there. The house and location were perfect for a great view of the water and a really awesome moon rise. We topped off the great dinner with fantastic desserts.
Tonight is our last night in Norway. It hard to believe we are at the end of our time here. Everyone here has not only shown us amazing generosity, but Momma and I have both felt like a true part of the family. For that we say Thank You, Thank You , Thank YOU.
Takk, hver og alle for innbydende oss inn i deres hjem og liv. Vi vil alltid sette pris på vår tid sammen