Friday, August 10, 2012

Visiting Oslo and Aarhus

We are off!

I love this shot I got of our good friends, Robin and Jim, as we cast off from Copenhagen.  We have state rooms next to each other and our balconies connect.  How cool is that?

The few cruises I have been on have been similar in the way that we board the ship in early afternoon and usually set sail around dinner.  I think that is of course by design, everyone is usually so busy eating and drinking that we hardly know we are at sea.

The best part is when you wake up in the morning and open your drapes you are usually docked at your first port.


Or Oslo, Norway.
This is the view from our state room.
The old fortress in Oslo.

We visited this lovely city just 4 days before they commemorated the awful attack that occurred last year on July 22.

She was mowing an interesting design into the grass.

We boarded our bus and visited the Open Air Museum.

A great glimpse of life in Norway long ago.  I have Norwegian heritage and I loved imagining my ancestors living in a house like this long ago.

Our guide told us that there are more Norwegians living in the US than in Norway and I think the majority are living in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Living an isolated life in one of these small houses would be so difficult.  I can see why they tried to find their fortunes in the New World.

Norway enjoys about 18-20 hours of sunlight in the summer  { in the south ~ 24 hours in the north }  So of course the winter is the opposite. 
Can you imagine? 

This was a church that had been moved to the location.  Very beautiful and very dark inside.

Next we visited the Vigeland Sculpture Park.  
We were so fortunate to have a guide with a real love for this park and she gave us great insight into the sculptures.
These were all created by one man, and they were his vision of the human condition from birth to death.
It is one of the most visited places in Norway.

The last stop in Oslo was the Holmenkollen Ski Jump.  It was the site of the '52 Olympics. 
It was perched at the top of the city and we had a fabulous view over the city and out to the sea.
{oops ~ should have edited out my finger!}

Later that evening back on the ship ~ our favorite pastime.  Dinner!  

Our second port of call was Aarhus, Denmark.
We visited an open air museum there also.  

We went into the city center to their cathedral.

Our guide told us that there is always a ship in a Danish church.
{Can you spot the ship hanging in the photo below?}

She also told us that few Danes go to church.  It is mostly Christmas and Easter.  I am very afraid that it appears that a lot of Europe is very secular.
I remember a bishop from Uganda once telling our church, that once Europeans and Americans came to Africa to spread the word of God, and now maybe it's time for the Africans to repay the favor and send missionaries to Europe.  I think he's right.

One of my very favorite things to do in Europe is to visit old churches and see the beauty that was created to worship God.  I pray that their faith returns and that these lovely places of worship are filled with something besides tourists.

Back on the ship after 2 full days of touring.  It was a lovely sunset viewed from our balcony.

We have lots more to see on our cruise.  I am documenting this mostly for us to remember ~ but you are welcome to come along.  


Jen S. said...

So glad you are sharing some pictures from your trip! They are just gorgeous! And I thoroughly enjoyed what you wrote about them. Very nice!

Lori said...

Thanks for taking us along. Actually, I think a lot of Americans are doing the Easter/Christmas things as well. Not my friends because we all attend the same church. But at work, I think if I took a poll most don't go.

TLEB said...

Wow, it's beautiful! I am exciting to see all the rest of your pictures, and I love the one of R&J!!

jessica said...

Beautiful pictures! It's fun to see all of the places you went. It was a great photo of all four of you at dinner too!

Debbie said...

I'm late to the cruise, Sue. I've been kind of AWOL for a week. I'm glad I didn't miss it entirely!

I love the old houses most of all. They are kind of fairy tale looking, don't you think?

It's all so beautiful, and I would REALLY like to take such a cruise sometime. I agree with what you said about them abandoning the faith. It's the same in Germany. Breaks my heart.

Love Being A Nonny said...

Oh my word, how did I miss this post? These pictures are fabulous!!