Saturday, April 13, 2013

Scandinavia: Oslo, Copenhagen, and Stockholm

 We began our Easter trip staying with some of Nicole's family that have lived in Oslo for over 20 years.  It was really nice being able to travel and not be in a hotel for once. Duncan, Carol, and their daughter Natalie were great hosts and we all became fast friends. We are already looking forward to visiting with them again (if it is us going back up there it will definitely be in the summer!)  We did a little bit of everything while we were there; museums, parks, sledding with Natalie, Easter dinner with family and friends.....we basically had a blast!
Clarifier: Apparently there are only three countries that make up Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) but Scandinavia is also considered part of the Nordics (which include Finland and Iceland). It took us awhile to get this straight.  After staying in Oslo for five days, our next stop was Copenhagen.  We met up with our friends Matt and Janet from Minneapolis. Janet is doing an international MBA program so I imagine this won't be our last trip together. Copenhagen was much quieter than anticipated.  Most shops closed around five and most restaurants closed around 10.  Even coming from Switzerland this surprised us.  I mean, other than maybe my friend Bunyan and apparently Scandinavia, who eats dinner before 6 PM? We did have fun though...visiting museums, walking around the city, and renting bikes. We decided however, that if we want to visit a bike city again we will just go back to Amsterdam.  Of the three cities, I think Stockholm was my favorite.  We only spent two nights there but were able to coldly walk a very large portion of the city. It was very scenic and had a little more life to it. Surprisingly, one of my favorite portions of the entire trip was a photography museum. They had a great exhibit done by Ruud Van Empel...if you have never seen his work, check it out.  He uses hundreds of pictures to make up one piece. I put an example below, even the girl is actually made up.  His work is pretty impressive to see in real life.
World #7

I'm so angry right now!

The opera house was made to resemble an iceberg sticking out of the water...pretty cool to see.


Look familiar?  Maybe you would recognize it with King of Pop holding Blanket over the balcony.



Nicole wishes she could dress like this in any weather below 30 degrees!
This is how Natalie rolls to school....waterproof from head to toe!
Bike parking lot....I forgot to take a picture of the double decker bike lots.
Apparently she has a little captain in her.
The Little Mermaid....a long walk for a small statue.

Nicole just loves the face cut outs.


The largest beer collection in the world.

Just walking my dog wearing a flannel "onesie" worries.

One of my new favorite statues...I feel like he is saying "Behold!"
Nicole trying desperately to soak up as much of the sun as possible.
Thank you Stockholm...I finally got to prove to Nicole that Reindeer are in fact a real animal.