Wednesday, August 22, 2007


After arriving in Copenhagen from Amsterdam on Sunday morning the 12th of August (Gordon's 35th birthday) we wandered about the city.
We beat most of the tourists and got to enjoy the empty streets of Copenhagen in the early morning.

The above picture was taken with my nephew Zakary Allen in mind, he loves firetrucks!

The traditional windmills of Scandinavia- big, red, and everywhere.

We climbed up a tower of the city to get a nice view of the city that you can see pictured below, we had to walk up a steep winding brick ramp that seemed to go on and on to get to the top.

The Danish and most of Europe seem to love Bachi Ball, here are some older men playing in a park.

Me harassing a guard at the Copenhagen National Palace.

This picture was taken after the traumatic yogurt seal testing incident in Malmo, Sweden. We couldnt stop laughing at the occasion while waiting for the train to go to Oslo. Gordon observed that some of the yogurt containers were sticky in the cooler and also that some were past their recommended date of consumption. So, I decided to test the seal in one of them and squeezed a little too hard and POW!- I was covered in yogurt, along with the cooler door!

We arrived Monday morning in Oslo, Norway on a night train. We visited the Kon-Tiki and Viking Ship Museums while traveling via ferry. We camped about 30 minutes by metro outside of Oslo on Lake Sognsvann. A person can camp for free in Norway with some restrictions such as not within fenced in areas, farming fields, or within 100 meters of a building.
A beauitful view of Oslo, Norway.

The valiant and explorative Kon-Tiki raft that crossed the Atlantic Ocean with Thor Hyerdahl and five other crew members in 1947. The expedition lasted 101 days and they traveled 8000 km on currents alone in the balsa raft.

Our tent from behind the massive ant hill we surprisingly woke up next to after setting up our tent at dusk.

A nice view of the lake while eating breakfast.
It was very nice, although it rained which cannot be so much fun when camping. On Tuesday there was a search and rescue team seeking out a resported missing swimmer but they never pulled anyone out of the water so we are assuming that they found the person elsewhere, anyhow it made for some anxiety and excitement. We met some nice Norwegian people while wandering about the Sognsvann Lake and it was just beautiful, green everywhere and lots of trees with water coming from several streams into the lake. It made us think of Oregon.
Gordon and a little girl took a nap together while watching the Flinstones during our 6 hour cross country train trip to Bergen, Norway.

The old town of Bergen, Norway- a view from our fjord cruise boat deck.

It was cold and rainy, but it didnt bother us Oregonians too much- just bundled up and strapped on the rain gear!

A stuffed polar bear inside of a tourist shop, he looks so sad!
Bergen- famous for its rain. It rained even more there than I have ever seen it do in Oregon- surprisingly. Bergen is at 60 degrees latitude, the farthest north I have ever been! However, Gordon has been to about 63 degrees north up in Alaska. So far the most southern we have ever been is Sao Paulo, Brazil at 23 degrees south. Up there they have very short summers, less than one month and it defintely felt like Autumn. Norway is booming with very nice technical outdoor equipment and we were tempted to invest in some very nice jackets and such but the price of it all helped us control our spending. Norway was very expensive. Oslo is the third most expensive city to visit in the world, after London and New York- according to a survey held in 2006.

We traveled back to Oslo on a night train, arriving early Friday morning. We were seeking out Gordon's family history and Lisa, Gordon's eldest sister, helped us with a few geographical locations and names. So, after spending several hours figuring out the bus schedules and routes we arrived at one of the three Ringstad farms in the region. We "the tourists" walked into a mechanical shop and starting asking questions. We quickly found ourselves welcomed, was offered a place to say for the night and began researching on the internet. Gordons family was Lutheran and so a lot of history can be found in the church records- dates of births, deaths, locations of residences, dates of migration, etc. We found out that we met Gordon's 17th cousins once removed (or something). We had a great time rekindling family history. From Ringstad we went back into Oslo and toured about with one of the cousins and saw more of Oslo, including the Vigeland Park and the Oslo sky jump that the professional flying skiiers use. We took an afternoon train to Goteburg, Sweeden to visit our friend Adam whom we met in the Galapagos Islands in April 2006 while diving at Gordon Rocks. We stayed with him for two nights and walked about the city eating delicious food and sharing lots of stories. Adam organizes and leads extreme expeditions all over the world (including the polar regions) for a living and is a cave dweller i.e. Batman and protector of Gotham (Goteburg) in his off time. We visited the Universeum and Military Museum. We boarded a submarine!
To leave Sweeden we took a train from Goteborg to Malmo and then the train boarded a ferry (the only place int he world where trains can board a ferry) and crossed the Baltic Sea- landing in Germany and continuing on to Berlin.

The tastiest and biggest shrimp salad I have ever eaten!... and with the best view from the 23rd floor over Goteburg.

We visited the Goteborg's Maritiman Museum. Above is Adam, Gordon, and I going down into the submarine that was built in 1962 and decomissioned in 1983. It weighs 900 tons and is 70 meters in length.

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