Thursday, February 12, 2015

More about My Trip to Oslo, Norway...

I have to admit, at first I wasn't impressed by Norway. It has, however, grown on me. I suppose it was a bit of a culture shock at first. Now, I figured everything out and I kind of like Norway.

Unfortunately, my sightseeing was extremely limited. As I mentioned in my first Norway post, everything was closed on Sunday. On Monday, I had late meetings, running until well after 11pm (Norway time). Tuesday I was drained. Meetings ran until 7pm (Norway time) and with the 6 hour time difference and the late night before, the jet lag really hit me hard on Tuesday. I was basically a zombie by mid-morning.

On Wednesday, my co-workers and I went out for dinner to a tapas restaurant. I'd never had tapas before, but I loved it! For any readers who aren't sure what tapas is, I will explain. When you eat tapas, your group shares a wide variety of Spanish appetizers as a meal. It is a very social way to eat dinner, but if you are a germaphobe, don't try it! Tapas coupled with some red wine and very nice co-workers made for a lovely evening out. The restaurant was on the harbor, which apparently is a comfortable walk from my hotel (who knew?). When I went exploring on Sunday, I must have walked the wrong direction when I found nothing. But, the opposite way (and very close by) is the harbor area with lovely restaurants and tons of shops. Not far from there is the palace, home to the King and Queen of Norway.

Tonight, we went out to dinner again to a French bistro. It was very nice. The food way very good and the atmosphere was great. It was quite and allowed for good conversation. The restaurant was small and very nicely decorated. Most interestingly, there was a strange man in the restaurant. He was old and unkempt with wild hair. He ate alone, yet the table was full of empty dishes and a couple bottles of wine. He just sat in the corner of the restaurant people watching and the restaurant staff seemed to mostly ignore him. I am not sure why I found him so interesting, but I did. There was something ghostly about him.

At one point (when I was so rudely staring at him), our eyes met and his gaze sent shivers down my spine. Embarrassed, I looked away and got back into conversation with my coworkers. The next time I looked up, he was gone and the table was cleared. It was as if he'd never been there. I am not sure why he was so interesting or why he kind-a scared me... or maybe I do. There was something about the restaurant's atmosphere and the dense fog outside that created a strange feeling. In response, I gave that poor, disheveled man a back-story.  In my story, he is a ghost - a jilted lover whose love never showed up some 50-60 years ago. He comes to that same bistro every night and eats alone waiting for her to arrive...but she never comes.

Anyway, I am sure no one wants to hear about my mental wanderings! For now, I am tired and I have to get to the airport early tomorrow for my flight home to the U.S. There are still more stories to tell, including all the interesting things I learned here and some pictures to share. I will post again tomorrow with those details/pics of my Norway trip.

Next Euro trip - Italy in April!


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