Sunday, November 27, 2011

Culture Corner: Norway

Here are some photos of the time I spent in Norway.  A very expensive but beautiful country, hopefully the imagery will shed more detail on the latter.

This is the Bakklandet section of Trondheim, the city where I spent a large portion of my time while in Norway.  Though these are certainly not residences, almost all Norwegian homes are of similar colors and simple architecture.  As Trondheim is a port city, these buildings are former goods storage,which have now been converted into a more alternative area of the city.
What was the demise of the Vikings - a culture none could prevent from razing villages, destroying and pilfering what they pleased?  Religion, of course!  (What was the demise of the US, a culture none could…Ha!) This is the Nidarsdomen in Trondheim, Norway's biggest and baddest cathedral, and while the outside is quite ornate, it doesn't compare to the interior - but they didn't allow photos.  You'll have to go see for yourself.
This is Trondheim as a whole.  A city of roughly 150,000, the cathedral steeple is just left of middle, the fjord/harbor to the upper right, and the surrounding hills on the left.  Sorry, I didn't have color film in my camera at the time, so you'll have to take my word that it is green, relaxing city.
After a week or so in Trondheim, myself, my host, and another friend took a road trip to the mountains of Rondane. This is us arriving at the national park and getting ready for what we intended to be several days away from civilization in the rather unique tree-less countryside beyond.  
But after starting our hike, the wind and rain increased to the point we could no longer bear.  This is where we were standing at the time, so we decided it would be a good place to pitch the tent.  I took this photo the following morning when the world was merely threatening to blow and spit.  (If you highlight the photo, it looks like we're camping on the moon, our tent a shuttle.)
 We attempted to go higher that day, but it began raining, again, so we headed towards a nice, warm cabin on the lake shore below.  As luck would have it, the rain was only temporary, and that afternoon we had relatively clear skies.  So, for what remained of the day, we hiked around the lake.  (Though you can't see it, the cabin is just out of the picture to the lower right.  The valley we had camped in the previous photo is in the upper right.)
 The following day the weather cleared enough to climb a mountain.  For the briefest of moments during our ascent, the fog cleared to give us this view of the peak.  All we saw from up there was fog, clouds, clouds of fog, and some foggy clouds.
 Our hike down.
For all those culturally insensitive Americans out there who don't know what a terrorist looks like, here is a partial glimpse one piloting a car towards the Norwegian fjords.  If you see him, be sure to alert the proper authorities.  (And while you're at it, could you please try get back my sewing needle, push-pin, and fingernail file that were confiscated by the US government before I boarded the plane in Helsinki?  I know it was foolish of me to think I could get away with bringing a thumb tack aboard an airplane, nevertheless, it has strong sentimental value...)
The gratuitous Norwegian stave church.
This is Geiranger Fjord, THE postcard place in Norway.  To give you an idea of scale, the boat in this photo is not of the ordinary rowing variety; it's a full size cruise ship.  Sadly, the haze above the fjord is not the spirit of effervescence tourists effuse.  No, it's diesel blue exhaust -  a new Crayola color - trapped by the colder air currents above.
This is the more environmentally friendly version of Geiranger fjord, that is, 90 degrees to the right…  See the waterfall?  Oooh!  Aah!  We later went for a swim in this water.  C-c-c-cold!

Sadly, after the days of touring the fjords by ferry and camping in various nice locations, I had to say goodbye to my friends.  But before leaving Norway, I spent two days in Oslo.  What to say about the city?  Well, it's both quaint and, as you see above, a bit strange.  I found this scene walking the backstreets.  Yes, along with the UFO in the middle, that is a giant stuffed witch hanging by the neck on the right.  Who says art is dead?  (Booo!! Bad joke, I know...)

No comments:

Post a Comment