Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Reflections From Roma #09

Reflections From Roma #09
11 settembre 2018

Photo Update Alert:


(Continued from Reflections From Roma #08)

[Publisher's Note ZOTA™: ZOmbie Tourist Apocalypse]

Day 5 - Bergen is known for wet and changeable weather, although we had skated on the rain so far. After a last walkabout in Bergen and a sushi lunch, we decided to catch an early bus - in the rain - to the airport for the one-hour flight to Trondheim. The scenery was interesting and the trip was short but brief.

Day 6 - Trondheim is a very old (997), very lovely city and was once an important shipping port. After my customary fish breakfast (Anne is not really up for that), we made our way to the major tourist attraction in town: The Nidaros Cathedral. Built between 1070 and 1300 over the burial site of King Olaf II (although subject to numerous fires and rebuilding over the centuries), it is the northernmost medieval cathedral in the world and a wonderful place to poke around. We especially liked the fact that someone took the trouble to save numerous ancient gravestones and give them a place of dignity and repose in the church crypt.

The cathedral also features two excellent pipe organs and a killer gift shoppe.

We then made our way to the local fish market where A.J. had salmon patties and I the Bacalao, a stew made with salt cod, bell pepper, garlic, onion, tomatoes, celery, and potatoes. Good stuff. After lunch, more touristing, including an enjoyable visit to the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design. The tapestries by Hannah Ryggen were a particular fave. Finally, a scintillating dinner of surprisingly decent pizza served by a handsome Croatian waiter at an Italian restaurant.

Day 7 - After breakfast and the now customary last walkabout, we caught the train to Oslo, a journey of some seven hours. The scenery was simply magnificent and we arrived at Oslo Central Station relaxed and ready to once again do battle with the ZOTA™, which, it being a weekend, was in full force. Fortunately, we had reservations at our previous hotel, so I was also reunited with my camera when we arrived. Now that’s excellent customer service.

Day 8 - More walkin’ around, this time to the waterfront, lunch (salmon for Anne, reindeer patties for meg), and on to Oslo Cathedral (consecrated 1697). It’s not nearly as grand as Nidaros, but is sufficiently intriguing, especially the stained glass windows and a somewhat psychedelic ceiling by Norwegian painter Hugo Lous Mohr. (I actually did get a photo of this.) 

Since we were heading back to Roma the next day, we decided to get ahead of the curve and scout the train to the airport. This we did, and purchased our tickets in advance. After a bit of a rest at the hotel, we headed off to the waterfront (again) and dropped in on an international festival, complete with South Asian rap music and non-Norwegian (Thai, Filipino, Afghan, Mexican, BBQ) food stands. It was a very nice and familial scene.

Day 9 - Our flight to Rome didn’t depart until late afternoon, so we had time for one more Norwegian tourist adventure. Akershus Fortress is a medieval castle that has served as a royal residence, military base, prison, and government offices. Positioned overlooking the harbour, Akershus is also a popular recreational area for Oslo’s citizens.

Of particular interest to us was the Norges Hjemmefrontmuseet (Norwegian Resistance Museum), opened in 1970 and dedicated to the resistance against the Nazi occupation of 1940-45. It’s a small, but well-designed museum featuring a chronological gallery of photographs, documents, and equipment (e.g., hand-made radios and machine guns).

[Real Life Sidebar -1433 members of the resistance movement, of whom 255 were women, were killed by the Nazis during WW II. This museum is a sobering reminder of what can happen when fascism comes to your land, and that actual Resistance is not a casual matter.]

Then… back to the hotel to pick up luggage and catch the train to the airport in plenty of time for the not altogether heinous flight back to Roma. This was the first time either of us had been to Scandinavia and we had a lovely time. I’d like to explore the place again, given an opportunity… and next time I’ll make sure not to misplace my camera.



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