Helsinki Finland Part Two: History, Hiroshima And A Heavenly Sunset Under Finnish Skies.

My day in Helsinki continued with a very scenic ferry ride through the harbor to the historic Fortress of Finland or Suomenlinna.Helsinki ferry to Soumenlinna or fortress of Finland (2 of 25)

 

It was a beautiful  mostly sunny day with puffy cumulus clouds floating in the blue sky.  A perfect day to be on the Baltic Sea. We passed large cruise ships and the ferry that brought us here from Stockholm.  The view was spectacular as we left the harbor with the Tuomiokirkko and Upenski cathedrals in the distance.It was a short ride to the Fortress, constructed when Sweden had control over Finland to guard the harbor and to establish Swedish power in the region. Here is a link to some more photographs from our ride to the fortress. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-finland-ferry-ride-august-6-2015Helsinki ferry to Soumenlinna or fortress of Finland (18 of 25)

We docked near the museum and made this our first stop. I learned a lot at the museum about not only the history of the fortress but also the lives and culture of the soldiers who were stationed here and also about the  folks who inhabit the island today.Helsinki Soumenlinna or fortress of Finland (6 of 24)

We were again pressed for time and made a quick exploration  of some of the buildings, tunnels and other fortifications.  Helsinki Soumenlinna or fortress of Finland (1 of 16)

We than walked along the cliffs, many having cannons on them when a unusual mist rolled in off the sea. We were heading to our ferry when we heard the loud horn from a large cruise ship passing in the mist. We boarded our ferry for our ride into town. Helsinki Soumenlinna or fortress of Finland (11 of 16)

When we got into town my sister wanted to take a quick look at the magnificent Upenski  cathedral sitting on a hill to the south of downtown. We walked to the church and, unfortunately it was not open so we made our way back to the trolley for the ride back to our hotel. Here is a link to a few more photographs of the cathedralhttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-finland-upenski-or-russian-cathedral-august-6-2015Helsinki Russian cathedral  (2 of 10)

We had changed our plans, upon learning the Tallin Estonia was only a two  hour ferry ride away, we decided to make the trip and see another country. We had our last dinner together as a group . I  was almost ready to call it a day, it was a long one, but decided to take a short walk. I was treated to a spectacular sunset. The colors of the clouds reflecting on a lake near the Opera house was just awe inspiring. Helsinki sunset (16 of 32)

I watched the colors change as the sun slowly set. It was amazing to watch and even more so sharing it was folks of a different culture. And this amazing night continued as I walked into a protest of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. Hundreds of glowing candles were sent adrift on the lake as the sun set. A truly amazing end to an long and wonderful day in Helsinki. Here are some more photographs of  sunset . http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-finland-sunset-august-6-2015Helsinki sunset (28 of 32)

“As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.” –Margaret Mead

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Scandinavia Day Twelve: A Morning In Helsinki Finland: Churches, Sports And The Arts.

I awoke early aboard the ferry on the Baltic  Sea hoping to watch the sun rise over the ocean but was disappointed to find rain falling falling from a cloudy sky. Helsinki ship and bus tour (8 of 23)

Breakfast wasn’t served until 7:30 a.m so I spent some time editing photographs and catching up on Facebook and a blog post.  After breakfast, I finished packing and noticed the many small islands and then the  vast  Fortress of Finland, Suomenlinna, guarding the entrance to Helsinki harbor.  This is a link to some more photographs of out arrival into Helsinki harbor and city bus tour. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-ship-and-morning-bus-tour-august-6-2015Helsinki ship and bus tour (11 of 23)

We departed the ship and took a  bus tour through the city streets and made  a number of stops at various city landmarks, the first being the majestic white Helsinki cathedral Tuomiokirkko. Helsinki Cathedral, park and church (20 of 30)

We visited this beautiful church and it’s  view atop Senate Square below.

Next we visited the  unique Temppeliaukion Kirkko or the “rock church” carved inside granite rocks. This beautiful Lutheran church had an impressive copper dome.Helsinki Cathedral, park and church (3 of 30)

We were treated to a wonderful performance by  local musicians on the  large organ and Steinway  piano.

 

Helsinki Cathedral, park and church (5 of 30)

We next visited another unique local landmark, Sibelius park  and it’s tubular monument to Finnish composer Jean Sibelius.  We drove through some residential districts and past local cemeteries and made our way to our hotel. Here is a link to some more photographs from  our visit to these unique Helsinki landmarks. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-tuomiokirkko-cathedral-rock-church-sibelius-park-august-6-2015Helsinki Cathedral, park and church (26 of 30)

After an early check-in we were on our own and my sister and our friends headed over to the Olympic stadium where the 1952 Olympics were held.

 

Helsinki Olympic Stadium and Opera House (12 of 26)

We rode the elevator to the top of the observation tower where we had a spectacular view of Helsinki.  Looking down onto the stadium you could almost here the roar of the crowd of those long ago events. Helsinki Olympic Stadium and Opera House (8 of 26)

We then made our way to the Opera House hoping to get tickets for a show but were told the season didn’t open for a few weeks but we had a nice tour of the lobby. Here is a link to some more photos from our visit to the stadium and opera house.http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-olympic-stadium-and-opera-house-agust-6-2015

Helsinki Olympic Stadium and Opera House (18 of 26)

We walked to the trolley and rode to the downtown area near the harbor. We stopped for a cup of coffee and bite to eat and enjoyed taking in the sights, sounds and smells of downtown Helsinki. Helsinki trip to harbor (7 of 35)

We then walked to the harbor, bustling with tourists and locals shopping at the local produce markets. The fresh produce, as I found in all of Scandinavia was wholesome and seemed larger than the fruits and vegetables we produce here in the States. Helsinki trip to harbor (23 of 35)

We decided to visit the famous Fortress of Finland so we purchased our tickets and waited, under the brilliant sun, for our boat. It was a busy day and looks like there will have to be a Helsinki Part  Two. Here is the link to some more photographs form our ride and walk to the harbor. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/helsinki-finland-trip-to-harbor-august-6-2015Helsinki trip to harbor (35 of 35)

 

“Imagine having a city full of things that no other city had.”
Bill Bryson

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Stockholm To Helsinki. A Rainy Morning Walk In Stockholm And Then Crossing the Baltic Sea

I was up early my last day in Stockholm, hoping to spend my last morning in Djurgarden  Island. I wanted to walk through the famous wooded parks and visit some of the many museums.  Unfortunately heavy rain changed my plans. I did get to see a lot of the island including the Rosendal Palace and gardens but had to end my trip walking back in the pouring There are more details of my morning walk in my blog post from August 5 2015 and here is a link to the page http://wp.me/p5GeDV-4aa

 

I was lucky to have my camera cover and Gortex waterproof jacket but my shorts and shoes were soaked.  i threw my socks away , a member of our group told me to use a blow dryer on my sneakers and shorts, and I was able to get them dry enough to pack. I finished packing, had some breakfast and waited for our bus rife to the ferry which we boarded for our trip across the Baltic Sea to Helsinki Finland. This is a link to some more photographs from our trip to  the ferry. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-to-helsinki-ferry-boarding-august-5-2015Stockholm to Helsinki Ferry boarding (5 of 18)

I was very excited about my trip, I loving traveling on the ocean. I checked out my cozy cabin then went right to the top deck to enjoy the view. Stockholm to Helsinki Ferry boarding (10 of 18)

We left Stockholm passing the many places we now knew from our visits and proceeded for a few hours through the narrow waterways, with many islands that separated Stockholm from the Baltic Sea. Stockholm to Helsinki deck photos (4 of 27)

The shores of the surrounding land and islands were covered in woodlands with many scattered houses, cottages and cabins. Stockholm to Helsinki deck photos (21 of 27)

We weren’t the only ship sailing these waters and we passed many  boats and ships of all sizes as we made our way north and east.

Stockholm to Helsinki deck photos (19 of 27)

We dined at 6:30 and were treated to a smorgasbord of  all sorts of Scandinavian dishes.  I explored the ship a bit, since  it clouded up and got cooler outside.  Stockholm to Helsinki ship photos (14 of 17)

This was a ferry, and not a cruise ship, but it still had a lot of ways to entertain the passengers  including two night clubs with live performances, slot machines, cafes and a sauna and gym. This is a link to some more photographs of the shiphttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-to-helsinki-ferry-ship-photos-august-5-2015Stockholm to Helsinki ship photos (2 of 17)

At  sunset I went  back out on the deck and was disappointed to find there were still a lot of clouds in the sky and that I wouldn’t get to  see the sunset. it was still nice to watch the clouds change colors  as the sunset.Stockholm to Helsinki deck photos (26 of 27)

 

We were on open sea now so not much to see, although I loved the smell of the ocean  and the swelling of the waves. I wanted to stay out, but it was late and I wanted to watch the sunrise which I knew would be very early at these latitudes. i went to my cabin and had a wonderful night sleep as I was gently rocked by the waves of the Baltic Sea. It was a great trip so far and I was excited about our arrival in Helsinki in the morning. Here is a link to some more photographs taken from the deck. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-to-helsinki-deck-photos-august-5-2015Stockholm to Helsinki deck photos (6 of 8)

“hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly, into the mystic…”
Van Morrison

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Stockholm Sweden: Part Two. More Water And A Visit To Royalty.

For any new readers, I am recollecting my recent visit to Scandinavia, and left off when we boarded a ferry from near City Hall in Stockholm for a pleasant one hour boat ride to famous Drottningholm Palace.

We left the old building and churches of old town Stockholm and passed the stately City Hall Building. Stockholm Sweden boat ride to Drottningholm palace (17 of 26)

I was surprised, as we left the old town how wooded the water side was. There were some cottages and Summer homes and I was even more surprised to see a number of beaches with a lot of swimmers and sunbathers.  We also saw fisherman and pleasure boaters on the clear blue waters.  This is a link to some more photographs from our boat ride to the Palace. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-boat-ride-to-drottningholm-palace-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden boat ride to Drottningholm palace (6 of 26)

We rounded a curve in the water and saw the magnificent  Drottningholm Palace. I wondered how many awe stuck envoys from foreign countries were just as awed seeing it for the first time before the modern age of airplanes and automobiles. Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace grounds (3 of 32)

We entered the Palace but only had about an hour before it closed for the day.  Still,  we made the best of our short visit and saw as much as we could.

We first walked through the vast lawns and gardens surrounding the palace. It really was like  being in a fairy tale. This is a link to more photos of the vast gardens. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-drottningholm-palace-grounds-august-3-2015

Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace grounds (14 of 32)

We then walked to the theater for an English tour. We learned, financial difficulties at the time, although a splendid looking building it was mainly plaster and paint  designed to look lavish. Still many  of Europe’s royalty was entertained here and one couldn’t help  feeling in the auditorium how it must have felt to be there on a frigid Winter night to see performance of the finest plays in Europe. This is a link to some more photographs of the theater. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-drottningholm-palace-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace theater (22 of 27)

There was a tour of the Palace scheduled in 15 minutes and my sister and I made a dash to take a quick peek at the Chinese pavilion and gardens. There was so much to see, and we only got a quick look, but the  sight of buildings and trees was worth the effort. Here is a link to some more photographs of the Chinese gardens. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-drottningholm-palace-chinese-gardens-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace Chinese gardens (5 of 22)

We made it back shortly after the tour started and again learned, that due to the lack of funds in the royal treasury, a lot of the splendor of the Palace was plaster, wood and paint. It sure fooled me.  The photos, and this is a link to more of them, show how splendid the Palace looked even though it was only wood and plaster. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-drottningholm-palace-august-4-2015-1Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace Royal halls (6 of 20)

We then were given a tour of the private Royal chambers and bedrooms. We learned so much history including how one Queen would only have audiences in her bedroom chamber’s , which was considered highly inappropriate at the time. And the furnishings and painting were  all.  spectacular.Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace Royal rooms (14 of 41)

 

We were the last tour of the day and the ceremonial guards stood at their posts as the real guards closed the gates.

We then had a pastry and some coffee and made our way back into Stockholm by bus and metro.  The public transportation system is  Stockholm, like in all Scandinavia, is both clean and efficient. While on the metro, and trying to find a restaurant suggested by our morning tour guide, , a local dentists, laughing at my mispronunciation of the local streets,  befriended us. She was so kind to help send lead us in the right direction when we go off at the Central Station. We decide to try her suggestion for a place to eat and we had a nice meal in  the Hungarian restaurant she recommended. The food was good and we all loved the fresh unpasteurized beer,  Here is a link to some more photographs of our trip  back to the hotel. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-drottningholm-palace-trip-home-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden Drottningholm Palace Royal trip home (6 of 18)

Once again, it was late by the time we walked back to our hotel and I went right to sleep. We had the morning to ourselves and I wanted to get up early to explore the woodlands of Djurgarden island.

 

“The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation’s effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius…”
Victor Hugo,

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Scandinavia Day Ten. Stockholm, Sweden: “The City That Floats On Water”

I was up early on my first full  day in Stockholm, but not early enough to beat the early rising Nordic sun. It was already shinning when I headed out for a mornStockholm Sweden morning walk  (10 of 39)ing walk.

 

I made my way down to the water, which isn’t hard in this city made up of fourteen islands. I walked along the waterfront  where many small boats were docked and made my way past  the City Hall building and along the water front to the bridge leading to Gamla Stan or “old town” where we had dinner the night before.  The brilliant sun made for some nice photos. Stockholm Sweden morning walk  (12 of 39)

I headed back past the opera house and made my way through the side streets to my hotel. I love seeing a city in the morning and here found garbage trucks, fisherman and many bicyclists, runners and pedestrians enjoying the morning sunshine.. This is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-morning-walk-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden morning walk  (33 of 39)

 

 

After a shower and breakfast we boarded our bus for the short ride to the stately and famous Stockholm City Hall or Stadshus. This imposing brick building hosts the four other Nobel awards each December.

Stockholm Sweden morning walk  (21 of 39)

Our guide gave us an informative tour of the building including the magnificent Golden Hall decorated with mosaics depicting many scenes from Swedish culture and history and made from over a million tiles.

 

Stockholm Sweden Gold Room  (11 of 23)

 

Here is a link to some more photographs of some of these beautiful mosaics. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-city-hall-gold-room-mosaics-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden Gold Room  (1 of 23)

When leaving the building I came upon an oak tree that was dedicated as a Children’s Meeting Place where children and decision makers meet and exchange ideas for a better future, What a wonderful idea. We left City Hall and boarded our bus for a tour of the city. Here are some more photographs from our visit to Stockholm City hall. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-city-hall-tour-august-4-2015Stockholm  City hall (35 of 36)

 

 

 

We first crossed over to the “south” island taking in the local busy streets and made our way to an overlook where we had a magnificent view of the city and most of it’s islands. Stockholm Sweden bus and walking tours  (17 of 49)

 

We than drove into Gamla Stan or “old town” Stockholm where we went on a very informative walking tour of the medieval town. We again visited the Stortorget or town square and made our where through the narrow streets of the old town past houses, still in use, that dated from the fifteenth century. Stockholm Sweden bus and walking tours  (32 of 49)

We ended our tour on djurgarden island, once a hunting preserve for royalty and now home to an amusement park, many museums a castle and the famous Vasa warship museum. Many of our group stayed here but my sister and a few others, with the help of our morning tour guide, made our way to the ferry docks where we took a ferry to visit the famous Drottningholm palace a World Heritage site. Looks like we again saw so much that I will need a Stockholm part two. I am sorry for any mistakes that appear in my posts, i am basically doing them straight from my head with no time for editing. We saw so much and i want to get it down while it is fresh in my mind.  Here is some more photographs from our bus and walking tours of  Stockholm. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/stockholm-sweden-bus-and-walking-tours-august-4-2015Stockholm Sweden boat ride to palace  (5 of 7)

 

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.  Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.  ~Mark Twain

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Oslo Norway: Part Three. Norsk Folkemuseum A Visit To Norway’s past.

After I left the group in Oslo Harbor I boarded a ferry to the Bygdoy peninsula, where we visited the Viking Boat Museum earlier in the day. This time I headed to the Folkemuseum. I enjoy learning about the history and culture of the country’s I visit so I thought this would be a good place to spend the couple of free hours we had.  Oslo Norway Folkemuseum ferry ride (3 of 32)

I enjoyed the short boat ride through the harbor. Clouds in the distance made for some nice pictures but they soon brought rain as I left the boat. I was glad I took along a camera cover and waterproof jacket.  This is a link to some more photographs of my ride to the museum. (and there are a number of albums, I took a lot of photographs, in the Scandinavia photo page of my blog) http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-ferry-ride-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Folkemuseum ferry ride (20 of 32)

The rain didn’t last long and I made my way into the museum. There were many exhibits about the history and culture in the building at the interest. I particularly enjoyed the exhibit on the native Sami  people who live in northern Scandinavia. Oslo Norway Folkemuseum (7 of 30)

After spending some time reviewing the exhibits, I headed on the spacious grounds, past homes planted with gardens, schoolhouses and made my way to the beautiful restored stave church, pictures above. Here is the link to more photographs from inside the museumhttp://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-august-2-2015

Oslo Norway Folkemuseum stave church (2 of 24)

This restored church dated from the 13th century. Almost all of the first churches in Scandinavia were made of wood and lost to time. This truly was a gem to history buffs like me. I stood in the dark wooded church and imagined the many Christmases wedding, funerals and other events that took place inside almost a thousand years ago. Here is a link to more photographs of the historic and beautiful structure. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-stave-church-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Folkemuseum stave church (1 of 24)

I enjoyed the church and a restored inn and then made my way down through a wooded area to the many exhibits of farms buildings of Norway throughout the centuries.  I was interested on how the thatched roofs were constructed and there were many on display.Oslo Norway historic farms (4 of 37) - Copy

Many of them were open with exhibits and information about the time they were built. Others had guides dressed in the appropriate time period who were happy to answer questions.  This is a link to the “historic ” farm houses. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-historic-farms-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Folkemuseum stave church (24 of 24)

I made my way to the 20th century and there was a “modern” farm dating from the 1950’s, I enjoyed seeing the old furniture and kitchen devises. Oslo Norway Folkemuseum modern farm (19 of 20)

 

The farms were complete with livestock. planted gardens and fields and really gave you a sense of traveling backward in time.  This is a link to the “modern” farm house. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-modern-farm-august-2-2015Oslo Norway historic farms (34 of 37)

I was amazed at how much I had learned about the farms of Norway and could have spent many more hours exploring the vast fields and many restored barns, sawmills,  smokehouse and other buildings and tools associated with the farming over the centuries.

It was getting late so I headed back to the ferry and was surprised to find that I had missed a large part of the museum and that there were building with exhibits from the 16th  to the 20th century showing how the folks of Norway lived in the towns and cities. Oslo Norway City 20th century town (10 of 19)

I quickly popped my head in the many old stores, dental offices, houses and other businesses. The amount of exhibits were amazing. I wished I had another month to explore this vast museum which really does show the history of Norway in a very detailed and pleasant manner. It really was like walking back in time.   Here is a link to some more photographs of the old town.http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-folkemuseum-old-town-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Folkemuseum dental offices (10 of 13)

I made my way to the ferry, and, with a half hour wait had a huge bowl of fish chowder, i got back to the harbor and met up with my sister and her friends just when a thunderstorm blew in. We sat out the downpour in a store and, when the rain  ended, I made my way back to the room. We had an early departure for Stockholm in the morning and I wanted to get up early to see Oslo one last time.

untitled (1 of 1)

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”
Michael Crichton

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Scandinavia Day Eight. . Oslo. Norway Part Two: A Tour Of The City And A Legacy Of Peace.

After leaving the Vigeland Sculpture Garden  on our second in Oslo we toured the cities revitalized  harbor and it’s many new building, including the slick and modern new Opera House. Oslo Norway City bus tour  (4 of 23)

The harbor is connected to the North Sea by a long fjord and there are many marinas and docks along the waterfront. Here is a link to some more photographs from our bus tour of the city. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-city-bus-tour-august-2-2015Oslo Norway City bus tour  (20 of 23)

We drove into down town and visited the famous Oslo City Hall. Construction took many years and the building was completed in the 1950’s. It is famous for the event that occurs in it’s main hall every December 10, the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize. Oslo Norway City Hall  (6 of 50)

Although there has been some controversy over some of the recipients, one has to admire the attempt to award striving for peace. The  award was established by Alfred Nobel, a Swede, but since both Norway and Sweden were under joint  rule, Nobel made provisions in his will that the Peace prize would be awarded by the Parliament of Norway, while the other five  awards, for  Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature, established by his will are awarded in Stockholm Sweden.

The City Hall room were the ceremony is held is adorned with beautiful murals depicting the history of Norway. One could send hours admiring their beauty and learning about the culture and  history of Norway.Here is a link to some more photographs of out visit to Oslo’s City Hall. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-city-hall-august-2-2015Oslo Norway City Hall  (14 of 50)

After our visit we were on our own so my sister and I and a few others decided to visit the Nobel Peace Museum. Oslo Norway City Noble peace center (4 of 36)

On our way there we rain into this unique fellow. At first we thought it was a statute. But upon closer inspection, and seeing some eyes move, we realized  it was a person. Always something new in a foreign city. Oslo Norway City bus tour  (1 of 23)

Upon entering the Nobel Peace Museum  I was immediately moved by the exhibit about the 2014 recipient, that brave young lady Malala Yousafzai.  Oslo Norway City Noble peace center (8 of 36)

She was shot for attending school but continued to fight for the rights of women to be educated and treated equally with men. Walking through the museum I learned of the stories of countless recipients who fought for peace and quality in the world. And I learned a lot about Alfred Nobel and the origin of the award. I would love to attend a ceremony some day, or at least be in Oslo when it is presented. Oslo Norway City Noble peace center (26 of 36)

We spent a lot of time admiring the many peacemakers and reading their stories.  I wish we had more time but so much more to see in this beautiful Nordic city.

After our visit to the peace Museum  most of our the group went for a boat tour of the harbor. My love of history took me to the famous Folkemuseum where I spent the next three hours learning so much about the history of Norway. But that will have to wait until tomorrow. Here is a link to some more photos from our visit to the Nobel Peace Museum. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-noble-peace-center-august-2-2015Oslo Norway City Noble peace center (36 of 36)

“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one.”
John Lennon

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Scandinavia Day Eight. Oslo Norway, A Lovely City On A Fjord. So Much To See In So Little Time.

After our long day on the bus I was up early in Oslo hoping to see some of residential parts of the city before my group’s tour of the city. Unfortunately the weather was co-operating as i watched a heavy storm move in form the south and bring with it some torrential rains. Oslo Norway morning walk (1 of 48)

The storm moved through after about a half hour and I could see clearing to the south so headed out for a quick hike through the city.  I walked past the Royal Palace and the ever present guards on duty and proceeded through residential areas to the docks  along the fjord. Oslo Norway morning walk (12 of 48)

I love walking the out of the way streets in large cities. You learn so much about it;s inhabitants. Oslo’s streets were clean and green with  more automobiles and less bicycles than in Copenhagen or Malmo. Oslo Norway morning walk (31 of 48)

The docks also were clean and I walked by a number of colorful murals as well as a very real looking plastic coconut tree. Almost fooled me and had me scratching my head and trying to figure how it was growing in this northern latitude.  here is a link to some more photos from my walk through the streets of Oslo http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-morning-walk-august-2-2015Oslo Norway morning walk (29 of 48)

I walked along a marina and some upscale housing buildings before i had to head back to shower and grab some breakfast before joining the group for tour. The sun was shining when we took a bus ride over to the Viking Boat Museum. Oslo Norway Viking museum (22 of 29)

it was a nice visit, especially after seeing some other Viking ships at the museum in Roskilde Denmark.Oslo Norway Viking museum (6 of 29)

 

Unlike the ships there, which were recovered from the sea, these ships were buried with a Viking Queen along with many other possessions. I learned a lot about the Viking life style and culture at his museum.  Here is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the museum.http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-viking-boat-museum-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Vigeland (70 of 80)

We next drove some through the streets of Oslo and made our way to the famous Vigeland Sculpture park. At first seeing the naked statutes of men and women of all ages did nothing for me. But as we walked through the hundreds of sculptures, all made by one man during his life time, I became more and more impressed by not only the sculptures but the many messages about life he was conveying through his art work.  They showed man and women in all ages and moods of their life. This is a link to some of the many sculptures in the park. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-vigeland-sculpture-park-august-2-2015

It really was thought provoking. We only had aOslo Norway Vigeland (61 of 80)bout an hour in the park and this was far too little time to reflect on the many sculptures and the messages they conveyed on the fleetingness of life. The grounds themselves were planted in flowers and very beautiful. i am so glad i took so many photographs and found myself contemplating the meaning of them while preparing this blog. Please take a few moments and  reflect on them. They will have you thinking about the stages and conflicts in living one’s life. This is a link to some more of the many photographs I took at the park. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/oslo-norway-vigeland-sculpture-park-part-two-august-2-2015Oslo Norway Vigeland (78 of 80)

 

Once again we saw too much in just our morning tour for one blog post so looks like there will be an Oslo Part Two tomorrow. I don’t mind since it lets be reflect and absorb the many sights i took in on our trip and I truly enjoy sharing them with all of you. Oslo Norway morning walk (26 of 48)

“Life is meant to be shared. We need each other.”
Lailah Gift

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Copenhagen Denmark. Part Two. Observatories to Amusement Parks.

Sorry I didn’t finish up my tour of Copenhagen. I left after a nice lunch in a restaurant near the Stroget,  over a mile long, it is one of the longest pedestrian shopping streets in the world.  My sister and others from the group went to find a boat tour of the canals but I had broke my camera strap so went off to find a camera shop. Copenhagen Denmark afternoon walk (7 of 19)

I walked up another pedestrian street Kobmagergade. Like the others is was made of cobblestone and was crowded with tourists and local shopping or looking for a place to eat. It was lined with all sorts of shops and outdoors cafes.

Copenhagen Denmark afternoon walk (1 of 19)

 

 

 

I came upon the Rundetarn  or round tower a famous observatory with a wide spiral ramp that Peter the Great rode his horse up in 1716. Now how can you pass that up?

Copenhagen Denmark afternoon walk (10 of 19)

It wasn’t an easy climb the the views of the city were worth it. I enjoyed the view of the Oresund Bridge in the distance, which, if you recall, I crossed by rail on my visit to Malmo, Sweden.Copenhagen Denmark afternoon walk (14 of 19)

I then headed up the street to a camera store near the Botanical gardens. I was in luck, they had a strap for my camera, and so I decided to visit the Botanical gardens.Copenhagen Denmark Botanical gardens (19 of 21)

As are many of the parks, the gardens were built on the old fortifications protecting old town Copenhagen. The gardens were huge, including a large building, heated to house tropical plants. Rain and the late hour had me do just a brief visit to these  beautiful gardens. Here is a link to some more photographs i took at the Botanical Gardens. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-botanical-gardens-july-31-2915Copenhagen Denmark Botanical gardens (3 of 21)

I walked back to the hotels, and got ready for our groups visit to the famous amusement park dating from the early 19th century Tivoli Gardens. Walt Disney visited this magical park a number of times and they say it was his inspiration for Disneyland. Copenhagen Denmark Tivoli  (3 of 52)

It certainly was a wonderful world were kids of all ages from 2 to 99 could find something to entertain them. We walked the park, and all of it’s beautiful lakes, gardens, shops, restaurants and rides.Copenhagen Denmark Tivoli  (9 of 52)

We stopped for a beer and bite to eat at the parks own micro brewery and left as it was getting dark. I would have loved to stay but we had an early start the next day so walked back to our hotel after spending a very busy day in Copenhagen. Here is a link to some more photographs of magical Tivoli gardens. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-tivoli-july-31-2015

Copenhagen Denmark Tivoli  (49 of 52)

“Fantasy, if it’s really convincing, can’t become dated, for the simple reason that it represents a flight into a dimension that lies beyond the reach of time.”
Walt Disney

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Copenhagen Denmark. Something For Everyone: Gardens, Palaces, Shopping, History And The Second Oldest Amusement Park In The World. Part One.

It is going to be very hard to summarize all I saw and did in my one full day in the  “city of green spires”.  I knew it was an amazing visit, from the opulent Christianborg Palace to the magical Tivoli amusement park.  But, in reviewing the photographs I took for this blog,  I realized just how much there is to see and do in this historic city. I am hoping the photos will help me convey some it’s great diversity. I sure took a lot of them. Copenhagen Denmark early morning walk (30 of 43)

I began the day early, up before sunrise to take a look at the “real” neighborhoods and how the regular folks live. One thing I learned they are up early, are active, and love their bicycles.Copenhagen Denmark early morning walk (27 of 43)

I walked down Farimagsgade, a major street, which had little motor vehicle traffic but plenty of pedestrians, runners and bicyclists.

I walked past the Orstedsparken  and Botanical Gardens and entered the grounds of the Fine Arts Museum.  Here I left the main streets and roamed the residential neighborhoods finding the usual playgrounds, churches and schools. Copenhagen Denmark early morning walk (42 of 43)

I made my way back along the beautiful reservoirs that are the homes to numerous swans, ducks, geese, blue herons and other birds. I love to watch a city wake up and Copenhagen woke up as gracefully as any I ever visited.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my morning walk. (Of course you can also see them in my Scandinavia photo album on my blogs home page).http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-early-morning-walk-july-31-2015

After a shower and nice breakfast at the hotel I joined our group for a bus tour through the city streets were we saw many of the historic sights. including the canals and famous “old town” Most of the old town was seen from a distance since large sections are closed to motor vehicle traffic. Copenhagen   Denmark City Tour   July 31 2015 (18 of 50)

We than visited the splendid inner chamber of Christianborg Place, not only the seat of the nation’s  Parliament and Supreme Court but also the site of the Royal Reception Room and other rooms for Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II.Copenhagen Denmark Christianborg Palace (31 of 49)

 

We learned so much visiting these magnificent rooms, adorned with all sorts of art. This is a link to some more photographs from our visit to the Palace. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-christianborg-palace-july-31-2015Copenhagen Denmark Christianborg Palace (40 of 49)

My favorite was the tapestry room, were the finest woven carpets depicted the history of Denmark from the Viking age to the present.  The carpets were amazing. My favorite was the one depicting events from the 20th century, the good and the bad , and leaving an unfilled spot for us to complete. The guide gave a very emotional presentation about the hatred and evil of the NAZI years and how it is the desire of the Queen that we never forget the hatred on which it was based and never let it happen again. This visit would have, in itself, made the entire trip worth while. This is a link to some more photographs of the beautiful tapestries on display at the Palace. http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-christianborg-palace-tapestry-room-july-31-2015Copenhagen Denmark Christianborg Palace Tapestry Room  (4 of 20)

We left the Palace, watched the end of the changing of the guard and then visited some more of the seemingly countless sites of the city, including the famous Little Mermaid,Copenhagen   Denmark City Tour   July 31 2015 (31 of 50)

 

We than we left on our own and  I had a very pleasant lunch with my sister Linda and some other members of our group. As I said there was just so much to see I will need more time to relate it all. So I guess there will be a Copenhagen Part Two.  Please check out the photographs, although the don’t do justice to the beauty of this city, they give some indication of the wonderful sights I experienced.  Here is a link to some more photographs from my tour of the city.http://www.keepyoureyespeeled.net/scandinavia-july-26-august-8-2015/nggallery/scandinavia-july-25-august-8-2015/copenhagen-denmark-city-tour-july-31-2015

Copenhagen Denmark Christianborg Palace (20 of 49)

 

 

“…together we shall see what is in this great kingdom of Denmark, and on this journey you will put from you all the sufferings of recent years and regain your joy in the world.”
Rose Tremain

 

 

 

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