We woke ultra early, as is the norm with us. After breakfast, we headed off into the city, it was only a short walk of 15 minutes and it was cold but with my double layering and stealing of Simons thermals, all was bearable at -11. I must tell you that it was minus 11 as I don’t want you to think I’m a moaner. I’m not usually a complaining, cold person but I think you’ll agree that that is cold.
Luckily, the world skiing championships starts today so the city is awash with parties and a massive market in the middle of it. The market is centred around the frozen lake, where little 3 year olds show off their skate skills. Edward Munch style snow sculptures surrounded this lake and market and we sampled melting caramel waffles, norwegian cheeses and mulled wine, which was amazingly good.
To orientate ourselves, we took a walk around the city, right down to the Solid iced harbour and City Hall, an ugly building that has some colourful wood relief paintings of Norse myths. From then onwards, we went to the Ibsen museum and spend an hour browsing through his personal items and reading about him. Ibsen was a bit of a…how can I say it? Not very nice guy, full of himself, confused, bitter about the rejection(his view) from Norway and had an odd relationship with the women in his life. So odd that any women he had a relationship with were unable to maintain a relationship with any other men again. The museum didn’t go into any other details but I’ve continued to wonder about this all day. If you have any input, please comment below! I studied Ibsen in college, loved a Doll’s House, especially the strong roles he gave to his female characters.
After Ibsen, we headed to the Nobel Peace Centre, which gave me plenty to think about. A massive exhibition to the current holder of the award, Liu Xiaobo, Chinese Human rights fighter. One area was dedicated to the Chinese censorship of magazines and Internet sites like facebook and Twitter. Simon was obviously horrified by this. A hugely wealthy country with very sad people controlled in everything they say. We don’t know how lucky we are that we have the freedom to rant about the government and politics here.
Grabbing a leisurely coffee in the bar of the centre, vegging with a book for a while before we headed back to the hotel where a hot bath brought my blood’s temperature back to normal.
Simon is taking me to an authentic Norwegian restaurant later. Yum. But, do I have to go out into that cold?