August 15, 2008

Mom to the rescue?

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 12:53 am

Well, I CAN e-mail photos and if she has time, my mom/marketing manager/administrative assitant will post a few. I’m in England now and having a harder time finding internet access, but if that works, will e-mail her more when I can for posting!

I’m in the Dales at Ilkley, with the moor towering over the stone houses and manors of the town – man, I love it here. People are much more friendly than in Norway — or perhaps I just have a weakness for being called “love,” and everyone says “good morning” and “lovely day, right?”. My room’s over a pub and I had a cider downstairs last night with an old fellow who I chatted away with about (of course) the weather, the train system in the UK vs. the US, Scotland’s rumblings for independence, and travel in general. Fun!

Pedometer: 70 miles, but I start the “real” walking tomorrow. It’s beautiful today, though not supposed to last. That’s okay, I’ll take even a day of blue sky and sun at this point!

Okay, gotta get out of the library and up on that moor. Having a harder time finding i-net access here, so the posts may be farther apart, but I’ll try. Cheerio!


Filed under: Tech Difficulties — sensel @ 12:48 am

Okay, I’m admitting defeat. I’ve got the camera down, at least, after some playing, so I’ll have some good pics after the fact. But I’ve realized that 1) there’s a bit of miscommunication between my camera and the little Linux photo manager on this Eee, so I keep having to hard shut down and only about every third photo saves correctly to the Eee. I should have tested that more thoroughly before I left, oh well. And 2) there’s another conflict between Firefox and the WordPress photo upload page that keeps hanging the site; it wasn’t just file size before. So rather than dink around with this, which I don’t want to do, and risk screwing up the Eee so I lose e-mail contact, I throw in the towel (unless I end up somewhere convenient to upload them on someone else’s machine from one of my flash drives). Sorry. :-/ I’ll try to hone my verbal descriptions so photos would be superfluous, ha ha!

August 13, 2008

Talking back

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 4:49 am

A few random answers (thanks for the comments/questions!)

Ray: If there is a Flim to go with the Flam, I haven’t seen it, but I’ll check the map (or perhaps the street performers here in Oslo, who are probably fully acquainted with both.) 😉

Mom: Allen is mostly keeping up with my mileage, although we’re not always covering the SAME mileage; we’ve been spending part of most days going our own ways. Keeping up until today, anyway, when I spent just about all day walking in the rain and he spent most of it reading (he bought a new Dan Brown book, as that Slash book doesn’t hold his interest more than 5 minutes — it’s the same one he had at Xmas.)

Kirsten: I DID eat that brown cheese (gertost or something like that?)! Tastes a little like Velveeta to me. And thanks for the tip on the aquarium, I did go there. They had basket stars, my favorite.

Several: It’s been comfortably cool every day, with showers most days and out-and-out rain on several. But we did have partly sunny yesterday, which was nice. I expected this weather in England later this fall, but not here and not yet!

Rae: The wrap I had was made of tortilla, basically; I think the lefse might be saved for dessert? Allen & I did try some freshly cooked in the demonstration at the folk museum, though — tasty.

Bergen rocks

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 4:42 am

Bergen was a treat! We got lucky with a wee bit of sunshine, and we wandered through the Bryggen, which is like the York Shambles in England only made out of wood, all dark alleys and crooked buildings and overhanging second stories dating back several hundred years to Bergen’s glory as a key German merchants’ trading port. Then we toured the tower, which was basically a small castle dating from the 1300s that had its roof and most of its top floor blown off in 1944 when a German munitions boat blew up in the harbor. Saw an old church or two, rode the funicular up the mountain – think trolleys on the steepest slope this side of the ski lift – and enjoyed the great view from the top with a great salmon-and-egg-salad sandwich. Throw in a buzz through the aquarium for me and a buying spree at the mall for Allen, and it was a great day!

If I were doing this again, I’d skip Oslo, or at least spend less time there, and come straight here. Bergen is WAY better. With maybe two more days here, I could take the bus to the abbey ruins and the botanical garden. But we had a brutal red-eye train ride instead. (Lesson learned; I probably won’t do that again. Like trying to sleep on a plane x 2, despite the ear plugs and eye mask they kindly provide.) More rain back here in Oslo on Weds; you’d never know it was August (or maybe this is as good as it gets here?) Wouldn’t mind more of the fjords, but I’m indeed ready to leave Oslo.

Back in a few e-moments to post photos (I think).

August 12, 2008

Okay, here’s the plan…

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 12:01 am

I will outsmart my Firefox font problem by writing all my blog posts in the word processor first, like I know most “real” bloggers do anyway. I will make some stab at outsmarting my camera (or at least being within a few degrees of its IQ) by.. well, I’ll spare you the gory details since I don’t want to retype my whining about that, just as well that post got deleted, but we’re now in Bergen, which looks really great, so I’ll hope to solve all camera problems and upload some photos from here soon. (I started to upload one or two big ones last night and froze up my blog site, so clearly that is a bad plan. For photos from the very start of our trip, you’ll just have to see them in person later. Sorry. Just go online and look up Flam or fjords and look at their photos for a sense of what we say there!)

<Whine over.> I’ll just try to describe poetically:

Flam was half old-time train station, half wilderness marina, half tourist trap. Sunday gave us showers (from the sky, not the bathroom, we’ve had those all along, though we’re not always sure how to turn them on) and Monday basically rained all day, so we didn’t spend as much time outside as I would have liked. The fjord is stunning, even shrouded in mist. It’s hard for me not to look at these massifs and think that the land itself is God. Our boat ride today was chilly and damp, but I sat out back in my raincoat for most of it to soak in the impassive and patient glory, and I wish I had counted the waterfalls, because we must have passed, oh…40? Tiny white threads from peak tops to sea, huge gushers billowing spray, ribbons that frayed and branched and rejoined, peekaboo falls tucked in crevasses… I had a hike to a nearby biggish waterfall this morning that was steep and muddy but I really enjoyed it. Ate wild raspberries on the way and saw three nearly new-born lambs. Those delights notwithstanding, I can see why the vikings had to go raiding to make ends meet; this is a harsh and stingy corner of earth, and even with the few patches of nonvertical land in fields, it’s hard to see how 2+ months of summer could possibly had yielded a living for anyone back in the day, even if they ate plenty of fish. (Hard to fish when the sea is frozen, I’m guessing.)

Okay, I could go on for pages but I won’t. Up to 37 miles on the pedometer. Going to bed, but will explore Bergen tomorrow and try to report on what looks like a fab town when I can!

August 11, 2008

Digital moron

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 12:52 pm


<We’re sorry, but the user of this blog is having technical difficulties. Please tune in again later, when perhaps she will stop deleting things, hitting the wrong key, and losing wars of wit with her camera. Your patronage is appreciated.>

Sticker shock

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 12:25 pm

Boy, I just can’t get over prices here. The best illustration I’ve found so far: I’ve repeatedly paid $7 for a (small!) cup of tea, and Big Macs (which I have NOT paid for) cost $14. The rest of my destinations are going to look relatively cheap!

August 10, 2008

Favorites so far

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 9:17 am

Had a fun train ride today through the mountains and to a small town called Flam on the tip of the Sjognnefjord (probably spelled wrong). At first I thought Norway had nothing on WA for natural beauty – lots of small grain fields with “hedgerows” of evergreens – but then we came down a very steep railway into Flam, through lots of tunnels and waterfalls – very dramatic. Cute little town, too. Favorites so far:

– verdant sod roofs on houses

– viking ships at the viking ship museum. Beautiful lines. Odd to think that something so artistic became such a symbol of bloodletting and terror in the UK and Europe.

– salmon wasabi wrap “fast food”

– shopping for lunch food – mystery food! Ate what I thought was yogurt for breakfast, turned out to be rice pudding, I think. Tasty, but that first bite was a surprise! Was tempted to buy more grab-bag food, but didn’t want to make Allen go hungry if it turned out to be something blechy.

I’m very happy to be back in mountains and green, though I’m sure Allen would rather still be in the city! We’ve had clouds every day, rain most of today, but we were in the train so it was okay.  Hope it’ll be drier tomorrow, hope to go for a hike before hitting the boat.

I think I’ve got my camera worked out, will try (again) to post a photo or two when I’m back on wifi (internet cafe now, no way to plug in the photos). Cheers!

August 9, 2008

Trials and errors

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 7:52 am

We’ve been having fun and my feet are tired — logged 11.5 mi on the pedometer yesterday. Had my first trial today though – managed to lose my debit card, apparently. (I would think it had been stolen but I can’t figure out why our hostel roommates would have taken that and NOT the cash that was with it in the one and only opportunity I can imagine they might have had, and it’s been literally on my body otherwise, so I’m guessing it was me, not them. Hadn’t even used the dang thing here! Anyway, no bad charges and it’s cancelled — which guarantees I’ll find it tomorrow, probably — and plan B (Thanks mom!) works, so we’re still in business and I can rack that up on my “things I’ve experienced” list.

Along with Norwegian rain, Norwegian ferries, and being crushed in “tour bus” groups. The viking ships in the museum across the water are pretty cool, though.

I’ll put up photos if/when my camera starts liking me better. I was trying to change the resolution so they wouldn’t be 2 mb files to upload, and all my photos started turning blue, and having weird bars in them, and… guess I shoulda brought the manual. Need to spend some time taking photos of my feet or something to figure it out better.

Gonna try to hit the piano bar tonight, since Allen’s too young for the blues club… and on the train tomorrow. Looking fwd to that. :-)

August 7, 2008

Iceburgs and Oslo

Filed under: Norway — sensel @ 9:24 am

Okay, here’s a real post before I disappear into the no-sleep-for-36-hours haze that has already consumed my nephew. (Kids, no stamina.) Saw icebergs from the airplane! Oslo is like a weird cross between NYC and Dublin with a little Carribbean thrown in in the yellow and orange plastered buildings. Much more ethnically diverse than I expected, and tiny, really, for a national capital. Our hostel has about as much charm as a cell block, but the price is right, because the hamburger I bought Allen for dinner cost almost $30 without fries. The food has hotel prices and our hotel has food prices. :-) Allen had a beer at 7:30 a.m. this morning because he could, and he keeps talking about picking up girls while ignoring the best opportunity of all; there are gazillions of cute girls here at the hostel, while he’s upstairs passed out. Maybe tomorrow! I hope to see the WW2 resistance museum and maybe the viking ship tomorrow, if I can drag Allen at any pace faster than a crawl; you’d never believe his legs are twice as long as mine, or maybe he trails me on the sidewalk b/c he wants to look single and available, ha ha! Anyway, I’m bushed but thanks again for all the comments; it’s great to read them after wandering around most of the evening by myself! Forgot my pedometer today or I’d have miles to rack up already. Tomorrow. ‘Til then!

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