December 2015

LAUNCHED: 21 December 2015.       LAST UPDATED:

Accessed at least many times since 1 June 2015.

OVERVIEW: This was a short trip to Oslo via Dublin to go with Joe O'Farrell to the annual Amundsen Memorial Lecture and Dinner at the Fram Museum and to check things out for a possible SouthPole-sium in Oslo in 2017.

Wednesday 2 December 2015. Off to Nashua with a stop at McDonalds along the way. Boston Express to Logan with no difficulty. Checked in and, with plenty of time, went to Legal Seafoods and had a crab roll. Not a bad flight.

Thursday 3 December 2015. Arrived early in Dublin; good tailwind so only 5 hours. Joe showed up soon after. Went to Terminal 1 and had a good breakfast. Took Norwegian Airlines to Oslo. Napped along the way. From the airport to downtown took the local train which was half the price and only 3 minutes longer. Left my briefcase on the train but managed to retrieve it just before it took off. Wow! Too much stress. Took a cab to the apartment and met up with the agent. Apartment is very nice and modern. Got organized. Went out to find some ice and finally did though not at the shop next door or the one up the street. Ice in the winter in Oslo is a rare commodity apparently. But we received some gratis from Andys Sports Bar not far away. Had a drink at the apartment (with lots of ice), then decided to go back to Andys for dinner to show our appreciation. Actually not bad. Joe: a burger. Me: fish & chips. Later did some food shopping for our stay. Tried without success to get the TV working.

Our apartment block not far from the central station.

The living room of our apartment.

Joe enjoys his wine.

Friday 4 December 2015. Gray and rainy. Didnt get light until 9 or so. Had breakfast and brewed up some coffee.
Began to brighten and by the time we leave about 1pm theres a lot of blue. Walked to the central station and checked out logistics for Tuesday morning when we need to make an early start to the airport. Went to the bus station outside and bought tickets for Bygdy. Ducked into the renovated old station, now shops and restaurants. Very nice. Got kroner at an ATM. Checked out the tourist office. Walked over to the new Opera House which is very impressive. Had a drink inside. To the bus station in front of the train station and took the bus to Bygdy, about half an hour. We were early but got into the museum and had a look around. We found that Beau Riffenburgh was already there and said hello. In the end by 5:30 about 60-70 people were milling about. Wine and cold appetizers.
Perhaps around 9 or so we took a cab to the Radisson Blume, Joe, Zaz and Beau. Had a drink in the lobby and conversation. Joe and I then walked on to our flat.

The Opera House.

The Opera House.
The big appeal, in many ways, is the ramp that wraps around this otherwise straight-forward building.

The Fram Museum.

Amundsen's Polar Party looking south.

Amundsen's Polar Party looking south (from behind).

The Norwegian Maritime Museum across the way from the Fram Museum.

Joe O'Farrell, Beau Riffenburg and Geir Klver, museum director, at the reception on Friday night.

Saturday 5 December 2015. Gray and rain, heavy at times. Joe does a good fryup. Events at the Fram Museum began at 1pm. We headed there by bus. Had lunch with Zaz at the Maritime Museum. The talks included Doreen Larsen on the RCMP boat St Roch; Beau on the Nimrod expedition; Per Skarung on the significance of petroleum on Amundsen's and Scott's expeditions (very interesting) and Susan Barr on the Shirase expedition with some fascinating images of Shirase sites in Japan and Australia.
At 6pm there was an opening for the Shackleton exhibition in the new building housing the Gja.
This was in time followed by a grand dinner on the deck of the Fram attended by 90, mostly Norwegians including many descendants. Across from Joe and I sat three Amundsens, and beside Joe, a descendant of Oscar Wisting. The menu was the same as the one for the dinner honoring Amundsen and his men on their return from the South Pole in 1912. Nine courses, interspersed by speeches and toasts, the same ones given back in 1912. The first course appeared around 7pm; the last, around 1am! A grand night.

I enjoyed Joe's full Irish fryup, mostly brought from Dublin.

The bow of the Fram.

The Saturday night dinner for 90 on the deck of the Fram.
Nine courses starting at 7pm; ending at 1am.
The same menu as served in 1912.

Portrait of Roald Amundsen down below in the Fram.

Sunday 6 December 2015. Slept late. Later in the morning we walked to the central station, then bus to city hall plaza where we got a ferry to Nesoddtangen, where Geir met us at the dock. Walked up the hill to his modern house and he prepared us a nice breakfast/lunch. His wife and daughter then arrived. We had a lot of good conversation about the prospect of a SouthPole-sium in Oslo in May of 2017. Ferry back to city hall plaza, then bus to central station and walked back to the apartment. Joe finally got the TV to work. Cable was loose. Hours out of our lives trying to figure that one out!

Astrup Fearnley Museum from the ferry to Nesoddtangen.

Monday 7 December 2015. A lovely blue and crisp day, the only one of our stay. Walked to the central station then bus to the City Hall. We had time so thought wed go into the city hall but it was closed in preparation for the Nobel Peace Prize three nights later. Boarded the tour bus for a 2+ hour tour of Oslo, including the Holmenkollen Ski Jump, the Ski Museum and the Vigeland sculptures. Saw some lovely houses and buidings, old and new. Oslo is an attractive city. Once back in city hall plaza we walked to two hotels to check them out for the SouthPole-sium. Both next to each other. Back to city hall plaza and bus out to Bygdy. Went again to the Fram Museum. Maritime Museum was closed. Bus back to the central station, then walked to the apartment. Torill Flyen arrived about 5:30, had a quick look at our digs, then we sped off in her car to her aunt Karis house for a splendid dinnera fish and seafood stew. Lovely apartment. Also there were Else and Torills mother, Lill, and brother Bjrn, all descendants of the legendary C. A. Larsen. Took the bus back to the central station and walked back to the apartment.

The Vigelund sculptures in Frogner Park.

The Vigelund sculptures in Frogner Park.

Kari's sumptuous repast.

Lill, Torill, Joe, Else, Bjrn and Kari.

Tuesday 8 December 2015. Up at 5:45am. Pitch black. Skipped breakfast and got to business doing the dishes and cleaning up the apartment. Off on foot to the central station at around 7:30. Took the local train to the Oslo Airport and checked in with plenty of time to spare. Uneventful flight. Arrived in Dublin and picked up Joes car and off to Enniskerry. Took a nap for a couple of hours after arrival. Got up and had a drink with Joe and Barb then enjoyed a lovely dinner, a fish casserole of sorts. Went to bed not long after 10pm and slept well.

Wednesday 9 December 2015. Up around 8am and a nice breakfast. Packed and got organized and around 12:30 Joe and I set off to the Dublin Airport with a stop at the ATM. Uneventful flight home except Aer Lingus gave my $27 dinner to someone else! They tried to make it up by plying me with bottles of wine.
Arrived on time and soon after met up with Geir, Fram Museum Director, who was coming to the US to pick up an artifact for the Gja. But that's another story, for another time!

NOTE: These and other photos from this trip are at:

https://rs41.smugmug.com/Travel/Oslo-2015/ v.2