Nordic Letters 1

Recently returned from a two-week incursion to Norway and Iceland, I feel like blogging on this topic in order to capture my impressions into words, but it feels really difficult, so I wish I were some kind of feminine 21st century Montesquieu :), the notorious 18th century French social commentator and political thinker. While in college, I read one of his most popular works, Lettres persanes (Persian Letters)- an epistolary novel telling the travelling experiences of two Persian noblemen in France. I liked it and I think I could use his clever insight on society and politics as well as his literary skill. But since I am no Montesquieu, I think I should stick to writing about landscapes.

Norway – I only stayed in Oslo, so I cannot say anything about the beauties of the whole country. This lovely capital is growing, there is a lot of constructing going on all around it, close to the sea or moving inland. I was so impressed by the… – I think I should not start with this, definitely not :P,  but can’t help it… the cleanliness of the streets…,  I would be so less of a Romanian if I did not mention it…, aren’t we all, still involuntarily fascinated 😉 by this? I mean, there I was, waiting for the bus, and yes, next to the sidewalk kerb there were the soil beds and the grass and the little pebbles and so on, but, hey, where was the dust?, the all-mighty dust that proudly chaperons our buses, invading you head to toe as the bus passes by… no dust in sight there. (Sighing)

I especially loved the Opera House, it is so built that you can actually sit on its white marble roofs, gently descending onto the waters of the gulf. I sat there for hours, feeding sea-gulls and watching geese, boats, people and the tall buildings on the other shore, in the most agreeable sunny weather. I strolled in the famous Vigeland Sculpture Park with its unique 212 granite and bronze sculptures, all designed by Gustav Vigeland in 1940, powerfully depicting human life from birth to death. Then I just loved walking around the city, from the shore to the huge ski jump of Holmenkollen, one of the largest in Europe, then back downtown, mainly window-shopping 🙂 or picking trifles in the souvenir shops, totally lovable! I won’t say a word about the awfully delicious ice-cream of so many amazing flavors (mine was mint with biiiig chocolate chunks) 😀 you can have while wandering on Karl Johan, the city’s most fashionable street going all the way up to the royal palace where it starts being edged by lilac bushes, in perfect bloom in mid-May, and numberless tulips and daffodils… 

I enjoyed my little tours into museums: I took pictures of all types of dwellings in the Museum of the People, wonderfully located outside the city in great green surroundings, then in the neighboring Museum of the Viking Ships which is a real must with its awesome, huge and sturdy, viking ships, then down the street to Bygdøy, close to the beach, where there was the Fram Museum, exhibiting the ship by the same name that took the famous explorers Amundsen and Scott to the North Pole for the first time. Next to it one can admire Kon-Tiki, in the museum bearing the same name, namely the papyrus raft used by the Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl in his 1947 expedition across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian Islands, it is really unique! I so much liked Heyerdahl’s motto: Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people. Wow!

Unfortunately I didn’t make it to Ibsen’s Memorial House, I have only passed by it, or the Munch gallery or so much more…, but this means I will have to return to Oslo some day. It suits me well. 🙂


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