Friday, October 19, 2012


The kids started the day having a lot of fun, can't you tell?
 They really were having fun, I promise.
Mr. Pat got some rare action shots of me. 

 We were headed to Holmenkollen to see the ski jump and ski museum.  We started driving to our local train station and at this point we were waiting for the T bane (subway) to Frognerseteren.
 The subway system here is great, very timely and user and friendly.
 Thankfully we brought pretzels, Mr. Pat called them the peace makers.
 As long as everyone had pretzels they were relatively content to sit in their seats.  

Trying to keep these kids contained on the subway was fun.
 This sweet girl got to miss school today to come with us, she was very excited.
 Mr. Pat was so patient with the kids, explaining how many stops we had to wait for.  
Ben was very interested in the map.
 We could have gotten off here and walked uphill for about 10 minutes.  We decided instead to go up the mountain and walk downhill to get to the ski jump.
 The 30 minute ride up the subway was really neat.  The architecture here is so interesting and the views, though not great today, would be fun too.  The houses with grass on the roof are always fun.  I thought this more modern house with a grass roof was interesting.
 Garrett was done by the end of the line.
And we were at the end of the line.
 When we got off the subway we realized we were the only people left.  We came across this sign.   

We had the double stroller and some good walking shoes and we headed off into the mist.
We were ready for some fun!
There was lots of exploring.
 Mr. Pat is a bird watcher and he has been able to help us identify some of the birds we have seen here in Norway.  This bird looks a lot like a chickadee that we would have in Maine, but it is actually a Greater Tit.  They are sweet little birds and we saw several on the trail.
 I don't think we stayed on the easiest trail to get to Holmenkollen, there was an early right that I think we were supposed to take.  We were not in a hurry so we were okay with meandering our way down the mountain.  We did walk by this neat statue.
 Occasionally we would see signs like this so we knew we were headed in the right direction.
 At one point we came across this little lake.  Ben was in little boy heaven because he was allowed to throw rocks.  
 He threw a lot of rocks that day.
 This was a noisy little stream.
 Jon was having fun just watching the water.
 Mr. Pat took several turns with the stroller today.  Garrett didn't get out of the stroller much so we just steered the stroller around for him to see.
 In Norway they rarely put up barriers of any kind.  We were shocked to see quite a few fences like this.  We had to look over the side to see what was so dangerous that we needed protecting from it.  It was a drop off, but nothing too serious.  We did realize later that this is also a ski trail and it was probably for that.  
 We did a lot of walking and it got to be a lot for little legs.
 There was a lot of shoulder riding.
 This church was really neat, everything looks cool when it looms in the mist.
 With all the downhill we got to do there were a few spots of uphill, that stroller gets a little heavy.
Mr. Pat was a champ helping with the kids, we could not have done this day without him.  Can you see the ski jump in the background?  We could barely see the ski jump, we were just following signs.  We kept joking that the ski jump was probably right in front of us and it was.  
 Ben is playing rock, paper, scissors with the troll.  Addie was very curious if trolls are real or not.
 Our Arctic explorers.
We ate lunch at the cafe and they had phenomenal chicken paninis! 

 The gift shop here also had some beautiful sweaters.  I haven't done a lot of tourist shopping here, but I was impressed by their gift shop.
 The ski museum was a lot of fun.  This gun that you could shoot was the highlight for the kids.
 There were some great models of what Holmenkollen has looked like over the many years it has been in use, and examples of ski gear used over the centuries. 
Ben LOVED shooting the gun, but that is no surprise.

The view on the elevator.
Guess what, there was no line for the elevator to the top of the ski jump.  We were the only ones up there, but that is no surprise since you couldn't see a thing.

 The kids had fun playing on the medal stand, I love Addie's dramatic little self.  

I still can't believe that people willingly ski down this ramp and fly into the air.

I am so glad we made the trip up here.  I have a whole new appreciation for what these skiers do, how dense the clouds can be here, and how quickly they can move in and out. 
Ben had no fear of heights.  This glass leaned out so you could look straight down.  I looked over and Ben was laying on the glass.
The elevator ride back down was fun.
The clouds had already moved out by the time we got to the bottom.  It was startling the different views as we walked down to the subway station.

 This was right around nap time, Garrett was screaming, Addie wouldn't walk and Ben was pretty quiet.
 Mr. Pat thought about going back up the ski jump to see if he could get a better view, but settled for a picture at the bottom.
 Here we are at the Homenkollen station making sure we knew how to get to Frogner or Vigeland Park.  Thankfully it was just a few stops to get us to Majorstuen and the park.
 We only had a few minutes to wait for the train, Jon used that time to check in with work.  
 When we stepped off the subway it was sprinkling nicely.  By the time we walked the 2 blocks to the park it was raining.  We walked through the park for a few minutes and decided we had seen enough statues of naked people.  The roses were beautiful still and the fall colors were still pretty even in the gloomy rain.
 This really is a beautiful park.
We decided to take the tram to a little cafe I have been reading about.  Cafe Fedora  has a new location that just opened in Frogner.  The cafe is run by an American couple and it is a local hang out for a lot of Americans.  The staff were great, very friendly and helpful.  I heard about the cafe on this expat blog.  I got to meet the writer of the blog and felt a little bit like a stalker, good times.  We had a great dinner.

Ben was not impressed by the park, he fell sound asleep in the stroller.  The poor little guy didn't get to sleep long, double strollers don't fit on the tram so we had to pull Ben out of the stroller to fit it on the tram.  

  The fun wasn't over until we got back on the tram, rode that to Oslo S, hopped on the train back out to our neck of the woods and drove home.  We were all worn out, but we had a fantastic day!
Mr. Pat said he had a new appreciation for what we do everyday as a family of 5.  He was a champ carrying kids, pushing strollers, carrying strollers, and helping navigate around the city.
Don't worry, if you come visit us we won't put you to work.  We are learning so much about our new home and can't wait to share what we have learned with our future visitors.

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