Well let's hope that the sunny day yesterday was not the last we'll see for a while. Today it alternated between rain, drizzle, more rain, and a bit more drizzle. At least we'd done the park yesterday. We decided to drive around to the Bygdoy Peninsula which has most of the museums on it. It took longer than it should have cause ms tomtom has trouble coping with tunnels, and all of oslo's main roads seem to go underground! A very effective way of dealing with main arteries, but they do require familiarity to negotiate successfully! So eventually we parked up at the Vikingskiphuset. The kids were moaning a bit so we sheltered from the rain under a cafe marquee outside and ate lunch.
Reinvigorated we spent a good hour engrossed in the incredible ships excavated from the Oslo region. To think these elaborate ships were built in the 9th century is quite mind-blowing. Obviously before Christianity as they were used as burial ships with a tomb in the middle and they were buried with everything they would 'need' in the afterlife including food, furniture, jewellery, tools and even servants! There was a fabulous wagon with elaborate carvings all over it. I always find the day to day implements fascinating - a real insight into their lives. In this case, the lives of the rich though, as the poor didn't get buried on ships!
From the peninsula you can catch a ferry over to the city, so we duly walked down to the port. Thankfully the rain had slowed to a light drizzle. The boatride was great, is always nice to see a city from the water. Around the peninsula was a neighbourhood of beautiful large White wooden homes on the waters edge with lots of private jetty's and boats. I imagine that is a fairly expensive area to live. I adore the wooden houses, in White with grey slate roofs and balconies. Have told Jason they are my ideal looking home!
The ferry docked in the harbour area in front of the town hall where they present the Nobel Peace Prize each year, and we walked up to Det Kongelige Slott (the royal palace) at the top if Karl Johans Axis, the main street. At the front there was the obligatory guard in his shed standing to attention. People were taking photo's with him so first Emily, then both girls stood like soldiers next to him. He was very nice and smiled and spoke briefly to them. Shortly after this photo opp, he began doing one of the marching back and forth bits, stomping feet, swinging arms and clicking his gun very efficiently. When he finished, Jason noticed that his shoelace was undone. He decided to tell him as didn't want him to trip over while marching around. The poor guy! He looked so confused and perplexed, bless him. Kept staring down at it, looked like he was trying to decide whether to leave it (as it isn't very soldierly to bend over and fiddle with one's shoe) or just do it (as it looked raggedy, he might trip and/or get into trouble for being slovenly. We kept looking back at the poor sod all the way down the hill! Hilarious.
We walked around the city centre and down Karl Johans Axis, a wide tree lined promenade. Em gave some money to a woman begging which prompted a discussion about helping other people. Jason went of on a wild goose chase looking for gas while the kids and I hung out at the tourist office, as you do! Emily is loving all the Viking souvenirs, especially the hats with horns. Meg likes the trolls that are everywhere.
By the time hubby returned it was too late (and too expensive) to do the city sightseeing bus so we caught the ferry back to the peninsula and drove back to the tent. Really like Oslo. A good day.