Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Bit of Oslo, A Bit of Amsterdam

Before our flight to Amsterdam we had a few hours to play in Oslo. For the first time, we had trouble with the local transport system. The trams. Usually, we just roll into a city, look at the maps, figure out a route, and end up where we want to go. Not in Oslo. We tried to take the tram, but ended up looping back in the wrong direction. Okay. So we got off and consulted again... the map was unclear. But we figured we should go back the other way, so we did. Before it turned back to where we'd come from, we got off again and decided we'd better walk. Then we figured out why it was so confusing: an entire street was torn up and the tram simply wasn't going where it usually goes. Any mention of that on the maps and signs on the tram? Nope. Grrrr.

But we made it to our goal: Vigelandsparken. Fall colors were stunning and so were the people.

a bit of beard envy 

If you go to Oslo, go see Vigeland's statue park.


That evening we hopped on a plane and in just a couple of hours were in Amsterdam where we spent a little less than three weeks. 

During the stay we treated ourselves to a luxurious dinner at a Dutch fine dining place that looked ready to fall right on its face. De Silveren Spiegel (The Silver Mirror, watch out the website has the longest intro imaginable). Pictures do not describe it well enough, and my pictures of it are crap. But it's an incredible restaurant and we spoiled ourselves for the first time in a long time.

For the most part, the weather was beautiful, except for the huge storm towards the end of our stay. The storm did tons of damage to the south of England, so that got a lot of attention in the news. A number of trees fell and on TV we saw footage of two people actually falling over because the wind was blowing them away. We stayed indoors and watched people struggling on the bike path below the windows.

No joke. 

Tons of fun in the big city, great times with our Amsterdam buddies, a visit with Arie, who we met cycling in Scotland and England two years ago, a quick trip to Berlin for an MRI for me (Ramona). And now we're out in the middle of nowhere, Czech Republic with two giant American bulldogs, two ponies, and a few cats. Quiet times for us, at least for two weeks.

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