There are so many interesting things to see in Scandinavia that one could spend weeks or months exploring them. The main purpose of the trip was to spend a day with the Opera Software management team and board of directors. That was an extremely long day but hopefully productive for all participants. One thing is certain and that is that all of us share a common vision for the potential of the Internet and the role that the Opera browser technology can play on many different kinds of devices. There is much more about Opera Software and the Opera browser in other parts of patrickWeb.
Norway is a great country and the photo gallery doesn’t begin to capture the majesty and significance. The flight to Copenhagen was two hours late but we still made the connection to Bergen. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate and after a couple of hours in a holding pattern, we were diverted to Oslo. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Bergen is beautiful but November is known for bad weather. Things were cloudy and cold in Oslo too but we were able to take walking tours around the city and learn a lot about it. A "day pass" made it easy to get to the major parts of the city by bus as launching points for walking.
Oslo has a rich culture and many delightful shops, restaurants, and museums. One of highlights for us was the Viking Ship Museum. The Tune Ship was the first of the ships to be excavated — in 1867. Several more buried ships were found over the following twenty years. Plans began early in the century and by 1932 all the ships were in place. As soon as you walk in the door of the Viking Ship Museum you immediately face the Oseberg Ship. It is hard to imagine how such a magnificent vessel was built a thousand years ago but even more difficult to think about how the Vikings sailed the oceans and survived the weather and sustained themselves. The Vikings were a hardy crew for sure. Numerous thematic exhibitions at the museum help to envision life at the time.
The Resistance Museum is housed in a very old building at the Akershus Castle in Oslo. Next to the museum is the spot where Norwegian patriots were executed by the Germans during the second world war. It was easy to spend a couple of hours looking at the many pictures, exhibits, maps, and artifacts of the German occupation and the grass roots movement by Norwegians to protect their country. Underground radio stations were a key part of the "network" used to send messages. The equipment I saw reminded me of my ham radio days nearly fifty years ago. If the Norwegians of 1940-1945 had the Internet, their freedom may have come more quickly.
For two of the nights in Norway we stayed at the home of friends who live high above the City of Oslo in Holmenkollen. One of Norway’s National Days is called "Holmenkolldagen" named for the area where our friends live. Skiing is a national pastime in Norway. As early as 1866 ski jumping competitions were held in Christiania, near downtown Oslo. To insure consistent snow conditions, the competition moved to nearby Holmenkollen, where the first jumps at the "Holmenkollrennet" took place in January 1892 with well over 10,000 spectators present. As have more than one million people per year, we visited this amazing ski jump facility and the outstanding museum which shows the full history of skiing in Norway.
The world’s skiing elite meets at Holmenkollen every year, and the 50,000 spectators turn it into an annual celebration. Holmenkollen has held the World Championships in 1930, 1952, 1966 and 1982, and the Winter Olympic Games in 1952, when more than 100,000 people paid to watch the jumping and another 40,000 packed the viewpoint of the Gratishaug Hill. My knees can still feel the walk up to the top of the jump 180 feet high but the breathtaking view of Oslo and the fjord below it worthwhile. My wife and our friend braved the ski simulator while I watched. The weather was not clear but I managed to get some pictures into the photo gallery.
From Oslo, it was on to Stockholm for a couple of nights.
- Oslo Nov. 2004 – Photo gallery
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