Monday, May 18, 2015

Fifth Trip: Drive South to the Arctic Circle

We headed South to the Arctic Circle. Yes, South. Bodø is located at 67 degrees 16 minutes and 48 seconds latitude North and the Arctic Circle is at 66 degrees 33 minutes 45.7 seconds. Did you know that its position varies? It moves by something like 49 feet per year.

Within about thirty minutes outside the city we were following the fljord. The blue of the water, the sky and the puffy clouds here and there were making this gorgeous scenery that we had to stop and capture.
It was windy but managed to stand for this shot.
Giving that the road was nice, barely any traffic, but quite winding and on the edge of the water, there wasn't many places we could stop to take pictures. The further South we were going, the higher we were climbing, and there the more snow we were seeing.
Look at those blues, beautiful!
It actually got to a point that only the road was clear of snow, everything else around us was white.  It was beautiful, and somewhat bizarre. The further South we went, the whiter it got. It looked like there was a lot of snow, not only what we were seeing on the surface. It looked deep.

After being in the car for 2.5 hours, we did get to the Arctic Circle.  There wasn't many people around, but they sure were replaced by snow!

He isn't a short man, 6' 2"
That wall of snow was on the way from the parking lot to the Center, which is in fact a big souvenir shop, they had cut through the snow to clear the path.  It wasn't pushed snow... it was very impressive!

The monument is behind where He stands, and I'm on top of the snow wall.  In the Summer months, supposedly you can walk up to it, on grass.  There were a few monuments marking the spot.

At the center, they sold postcards AND had a special cancellation stamp, which Stinkypaw had read about and wanted. They even offered to mail the cards for Christmas. They had a special box for that, for cards to be sent out for Christmas. There was also a little cafeteria. Their special of the day was Reindeer, potatoes and coffee. While our food was being prepared Stinkypaw wrote myself a special souvenir card, because after all how often can one say that they've crossed the Arctic Circle and that they had to drive South to do so! ah!

The Center as shown in the postcard
Cancellation from the Arctic Circle

On the way back we actually saw a reindeer along the road, so it was the perfect way to close that visit to the Arctic Circle!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Happy National Day Norway!

Today is Norway's National Day!  Flags everywhere, people walking around in their traditional costumes, which are beautiful by the way, everything is showing how proud the people are of being Norwegian.  It is nice to see.  The TV only shows footage of Norwegians around the world celebrating their day, from the Royal Palace in Oslo where the crowd is parading in front of the Palace where the Royal Family stands and waves to everyone.

For the occasion, I've raised my little Norway flag!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Fourth Trip: Oslo on Labor Day!

Being in Europe, we got to celebrate Labor Day there on a different day than in Canada.  He was off work and did manage to get someone from Montréal to cover his work while we went to Oslo to meet up with some friends now living in Zurich.  They suggested meeting in Oslo, and since Stinkypaw wanted to visit the capital, it was all arranged that the two couples would spent the long weekend there and I tagged along, of course!

Enjoying the nice big bed at the Thon Hotel Rosenkrantz
The next morning, I got to meet the friends, such a lovely couple...

In the Hotel Lobby
I have a feeling the friend was a little embarrassed to meet me, and to be taking a picture with me, but his wife liked me!

We walked around Oslo for a while, couldn't do much shopping since everything was closed so we made our way to Holmenkollen, the ski jump.  We had to take a metro to get there, it was a good 45 minutes ride (longer than expected) and I will say this, I got many looks and smirks sitting on the train...

Us three ladies...
Since the ride there was so long and there was this huge line up to visit the ski jump, it was decided to go back down and make our way to the Vigeland Sculpture Park.  When we got there, I got so excited, there were tulips popping up everywhere!  We had none of that where we lived, only some buds coming out and some dandelions, but no flowers yet...  I just had to go and see them up close!

Time to smell the flowers
That park was beautiful, not only because of the sculptures, there were quite the sight, but the grounds were so nice and well maintained, it was a gorgeous park, perfect for an afternoon stroll.

I don't know if there is any other park in the world with so many naked statues, all sizes and ages... it was quite the sight, really!

On our way out, I just had to photobomb the friend trying to do a nice selfie by the fountain!

It was a lovely day of walking and getting warmed up by the sun felt great!

This is the type of breaking we had, included with our room at the hotel...

Brasserie Paleo, Oslo
That brown cheese called Gjetost was deeeelicious!  And their jam as well!  Plus they had fresh pressed orange juice daily!