... in Oslo, Norway
Quote of the week
"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"
--Percy Bysshe Shelley
This week we have been to Norway for four days, to help our son Hannes settle in. He has got his first job, and it is in Oslo. We are all very happy. Maybe not the right time to go to Oslo in the middle of the winter, but I was happy to see some snow.
Oslo and surroundings
Hannes managed to find a room in a shared flat in a very good part of Oslo. Close to everything, including the bus that takes him to work. We took the opportunity to drive around one day and went up to the hills, or should one say mountains(?) lingering in the outskirts of Oslo. There is the famous Holmenkollen ski jump arena, and a perfect spot for cross country and alpine skiing. Not that we did any of the sort, but it was nice to walk around in the perfect snow conditions and imagine a day in the slopes. Fantastic view over Oslo and the fjord. The evenings were spent eating excellent food, Italian, Korean and South American.
On the way home we visited the fortress of Fredrikssten at the Norwegian/Swedish border. Our king Charles XII were killed there in 1718. In a way it is good to visit old fortresses during the winter, to get an idea of the terrible conditions people had to endure. Cold and windy.
Musings this week
It is not easy to lure Martin to watch a TV-series, he does prefer a movie (but seldom). However, he, as well as I, are intrigued by the drama/documentary series “Rise of Empires”. I have already seen the season about the Roman empire and the Ottoman empire. This second season of the Ottoman empire is about Mehmet II’s, almost life long, fight against Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula (1428/31 – 1476/77) of Wallachia (present day Romania). A somewhat violent story since most of it is about the war between the two, but interesting nevertheless. You also get a glimpse into the horrendous court intrigues of the time. I did not know so much about the schism between the two rulers. I especially like these kind of tv-series since they also include historians telling historical the facts about the events.
The name Dracula is today mostly connected to the vampire, but has nothing to do with this Dracula. Reports and popular stories referred to Vlad as Dracula, Dracuglia, or Drakula already in his life time. He signed his own name as “Dragulya” or “Drakulya”, originated with his father Vlad Dracul or “Vlad the Dragon” in medieval Romanian.
Another TV-series we have been watching is Knightfall about the Templars in 13th century France. It is not entirely based on facts, but made into a dramatic time and events.
Blog posts this week
Not so much happening here this week, only one post. I partly wrote about this book in my article about Estoril, so not so much new for you.
Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-45 by Neill Lochery
I am reading two very good books that I can recommend:
Magpie murders by Anthony Horowitz, so good I think it will turn out to be one of the best books I read this year. Although it is a who-dunnit-it story à la Agatha Christie, which usually don’t end up on the best lists. This is different though.
The other one is a sweet, humorous story about a Swedish girl coming to a small village in the US. She is a person of solitude, but manages to melt into the community with her love for books. It is called The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald.
Still reading The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Not as good as Crime and Punishment but still enjoying Dostoyevsky’s satirical view of the Russian society at the time.
Take care of yourselves. Let’s hope Shelley is right and we can look forward to spring.
Thanks for the good Netflix recommendations. I'll see if our US Netflix has them.
And congratulations to your son on his job! Three cheers!
If you want spring, come visit. We hardly have had a winter. Two days with a teeny tiny bit of snow that disappeared after an hour or two.
I have read five books by Dostoyewsky, The Idiot is not among them, still on my wishlist. I guess I will like it, even if not as good as Crime and Punishment, none of the others are as good, either, well, maybe the Brothers Karamazov.
We love series, my hubby prefers them to movies. And I do like to learn about history like that, I think that's how I first got interested in history in the first place. Not through school where we had a terrible teacher (my parents said he must have been a nazi and I do believe it):
And I guess we will hear more about Oslo now that you have a reason to go there often? Looking forward to hearing and seeing about it. I've never been to Norway,.