Monday, February 28, 2011

Vinter Mania

I wrote a post last week.  Then I decided to nit-pickedly edit the placement of a picture, accidentally deleting all of the text in the process.  Blogger autosaved one second later, and nothing was left.

So here we go with a new and improved post, about the king of all Norwegian cultural traditions:  skiing.

The Nordic World Ski Championships (a.k.a. Ski VM) are going on in Oslo right now, just outside of the city at an area with a ski jump and trails called Holmenkollen.

The ski jump is a huge, white behemoth that looms in the Oslo skyline, and we took a tour of it a couple of weeks ago.  It's pretty crazy to be at the top of this beast, looking down on Oslo and the fjord.

Can you imagine how it would feel sitting at the top, knowing you have to fly down this thing and look good doing it (let alone live to see your score)??

Oslofjord from the top.

Lucky to be up there on such a beautiful day.

Along with all the ski jazz, there's a lot of hoopla going on along the main street in Oslo, which is just a short walk from our apartment...

One of Norway's biggest claims to fame is the artist Edvard Munch (remember art history class?)  So they had a few Munch-inspired ice sculptures created to line the street.  They're pretty awesome.  And I've included a pic of the paintings as well, so you can compare...

Skrik (The Scream)

Aften på Karl Johan (Evening on Karl Johan) 
The sculptures are in the same area where the painting takes place.

Pikene på Broen (Girls on the Jetty)

There's your fancy art lesson for the day.  

Now moving on to more important Norwegian cultural matters, such as...


Little piece of heaven in my bemittened hand.  My eating whilst mittened skillz are pretty impressive these days.  

Did not partake of the moose, but I appreciate the signage.

Flags purchased.

No spring?  No problem.  Just freeze some live tulips in blocks of ice, and line the palace park walkways with them.  Instant spring for the tourists!  I think these are really beautiful.

One last notable event from the week was a fun night out with our fabulous fellow expats, who we absolutely love to hang with.  

Since it was 15F/-9C outside, our awesome Dutch friends, Robert and Esther, thought it would be a great idea to go to the Ice Bar.  If you aren't familiar with the Ice Bar, it's a bar.  Made of ice.  Where you wear ridiculous capes and mittens, and drink cocktails from ice cube glasses.  

It actually felt warmer inside of the ice bar than it did outside.  And it was pretty hilarious to see everyone walking around in capes, holding ice cube glasses.  Good times!

Too cold.

Robert and the ladies.

And the Moment of Zen for the week?

Oh, yes.  It's true.  Oslo's first Ben & Jerry's.  There isn't any Half Baked here, but there's Cookie Dough and Chocolate Fudge Brownie, separately.  The price of $5/30 NOK per scoop is actually a good thing, to keep me from making a daily trip...