I can hardly believe that it has been two weeks since I left Merida and traveled to Norway. It is odd how we can be physically transported to a completely different environment in a matter of hours, yet it takes our minds much longer to settle in. In fact, the whole time I’ve been here has been like straddling two worlds…
Of course, the lion’s share of my time has been spent with Emma… I became completely smitten by her in no time at all. It happened the very instant I laid eyes on her; I love being a grandmother.
When she’s awake, I walk with her in my arms (she now weighs nearly 5 kilos) and my memory has dredged up the same songs I used to sing to her daddy. I push her for miles in the buggy and I jiggle her on my knee. Let me tell you, being around a 2 month old baby, 24 – 7 , is strenuous exercise when you aren’t used to it!
And so last Wednesday, it took no convincing at all to get me to to join Carlos on a trip to Oslo. He had a meeting at the university where he is part of the editorial board of Tvergastein , an environmentally-focused journal. It contains many articles in English, including some written by Carlos, so check out their blog: http://tvergasteinjournal.wordpress.com/
While there, I wanted to go to the Munch museum. I wasn’t too familiar his paintings, except for The Scream and The Madonna, so I was pleased to have the opportunity to see a larger representation of his work. In my (uneducated) opinion, Munch’s paintings are somewhat like van Gough’s, but many of them look muddier. The Dutch artist is much more vibrant. Yet, I found Munch’s composition to be extremely innovative and I like the way he incorporates shapes and angles in such a unique and an unusual way. I am glad I saw the exhibition, but the admission was steep.
Nonetheless, this is typical of Norway. I estimate that it would take about $400.00 USD a day for a modest stay. I am glad I have lodging and meals with Carlos and Jeanette! Mind you, they pay about $2,500.00 USD for a small 2 bedroom apartment in a town that lies 1 ½ hours from Oslo. It is extremely expensive to live or travel here.
When we finished at the museum, we crossed the road to the botanical gardens to enjoy the final summer blooms. This summer has been warm and sunny in Norway, so the flowers are still extraordinary. We then walked, and walked, and walked all over Oslo. It is a very diverse city in terms of architecture… everything from ultra modern to traditional. The neighborhoods are likewise; there are new immigrant communities as well as established Nordic ones. Oslo also has a lot of green areas, with streams, waterfalls and lakes found right in the heart of the city.
Luckily, we scored a great table at a sidewalk café and had a lovely lunch while watching the crowds walk by.
Carlos started his meeting at 6:00 pm and I spent some time with his friend from Guatemala. Sofia took the same masters program as Carlos at the University of Oslo. I predict that she will go far in life… I so enjoy talking with young, independent Latin women like her.
We arrived home at the same time as Jeanette who had spent the afternoon with her mom. Emma enjoyed the outing and went to sleep with little fuss… the perfect ending to a great day!