Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
bonding over some Pivo in the streets of Krakow.
Ben watching out for the local police
Hiding our drinks in Ben's jacket he got at the second hand store where you buy things according to weight. A Polish woman costs a lot.
Peter is considering trading in the Volvo for this ride.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Back to the hostel, we meet Ben our other roommate Ben from Australia.
The four of us go out that night to a local brewpub, but not before Ben and Peter remind Daniel "Don't forget your bitch hat". We order the big glass...
The beer is good, the company is funny.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
-Nora "so Peter the tickets to Prague are 58 euro, right?"
-Peter "yes the bus leaves tonight at 7:00"
2:34 outside of the Euroline office.
-Nora "look there is a sign that says we can go to Krakow for only 56 euro"
-Peter "What a deal! We get more kilometers for our Euro!"
2:36 inside the Euroline ticket office.
-Peter "Two tickets to Krakow please!"
It is amazing how things can change in 4 min...
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
We flew from Oslo Torp (120 k outside of Oslo) to Frankfurt Hahn (110 k east of Frankfurt). I believe that it should be called Luxembourg Hahn because that is how far east it is. Our flight arrived at midnight and we were without a bed to sleep in. Thank god for the free market system for there was a HUGE sign for the Advance Hotel. 45 euro a night for two, free Internet, use of sauna, free airport pickup AND a toll free phone number. A toll free phone number is unheard of here in Europe. We call and 15 min later Andreas comes with the black Advance Hotel mini van. We are driven though the night to a small town called Büchenbeuren, 3.1 km from the airport. We went to sleep happy in this quiet town in our beds on Hauptstrasse 35. The next morning we opened the shades and were treated to an amazing view of the German countryside. Green rolling hills, apple orchards and farmers working in their fields. This quickly helped us decide to stay in Buchenbeuren for a few more days.
Peter was particularly excited when we found out that the only store in town was the supermarket this would give us a constant supply of German brew, though not on Sundays since the country seems to shut down on the lord's day. This made our stay complete, we now have all we need, though the hotel workers could not understand why we wanted to stay and kept trying to get us to take the bus to Frankfurt. They were not aware of Peter's quest to taste some of the best beer that Germany has to offer. The small market did not disappoint and not only did all the beer adhere to the Reinheitsgebot law, or German Beer Purity law (originally enacted in 1516), which permits only four ingredients in the beverage: water, hops, barley, and yeast, it was also super cheap! Let the tasting commence.
We did not drink all day as the previous paragraph may allude to. We walked through the countryside, found some blackberries for desert. Watched a wedding procession, saw the farmers hard at work and enjoyed some good German cookies. Perfection.
We spent most of the day enjoying the sun and the view seated on the edge of this field. We fell in love with Buchenburen and all it had to offer. You often don't need modern buildings, tourist attractions and souvenir shops to be magical. Peter went for a run that night. When he came home he announced that he was inspired by this place. He felt like he could run forever, something that his body has not allowed him to do in sometime. We celebrated with a good meal, desert of blackberries with cream, and a sauna.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
In Norway, at the Rimi 1000, I was faced with a conundrum; Whale. Or as it will now be referred to, Beluga. We were assured by our Norwegian friends that this beluga in the freezer section was not the happy beluga we donated our pennies to in school during "save the whale" campaigns. So the dilemma I faced was not one related to Greenpeace, I simply did not know if I ate whale! It is a mammal, but it falls into the no legged sea creature category...Well when in Norway...
We had a feast our last night in town. We were joined by Christer, another fine Norseman who only solidifed our love for the people here. He is a kind and curious soul who loved to share stories and ideas with us. One of the main courses was the aforementioned Beluga. I can say that it does not taste like chicken or warm apple pie. It was more like a very tough red meat with a fishy aftertaste. I would not want it everyday, but I am glad that we tried it at least.
Turkish pebber shots,and lots of laughter that lasted long into the cold night.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
The woods were also home to ancient Norse Viking burial mounds. I, myself, am a Packers fan, but found them awing none the less. We ran often in the woods along the trails used by those ancient men. The locals thought us to be a bit crazy with scraped up legs, muddy shorts and smiling red faces. burrial ground
One of the beautiful things about couch surfing is that you get to see how life really is in a country. The small everyday things that you miss while meeting Australians and Canadians in hostel common rooms. The one touristy thing we did was to visit the sculpture park. We went with our host Terje as he decided to skip classes once again and spend the day with us. Tejre and Nora skipping class
The sculpture park was commissioned by the city of Oslo in hopes the perfect park would be created. The artist, Gustav Vigeland, was told that his budget was endless, and he could have as much time as he wished. He took 40 years of his life to create the plans for this park. Each bridge, tree planted, sculpture, and fountain was of his design. He never got to see his work come to fruition in that he died before it all came off his paper and into reality. Walking though the trees and fields is like being in a museum. It was as intricate as a puzzle and I wondered if there were secrete messages hidden in the carvings and sculptures. Sitting in the sun by the fountain does make you think of the message the artist was trying to convey, the journey of life. Fountain by Gustav Vigeland
We did in fact also go into a museum but that was only so that Peter could use the bathroom. That was our time being a tourist in Oslo.
Terje is a creative soul who is constantly looking for a new opportunity to create something. To do this he is need of a constant supply of art supplies. He finds most of them at the Salvation Army. He mentioned our first day there that he may be taking a trip to this store at some point. I am guessing that at the delight that lit up in our eyes at this prospect, Terje felt that he had come across two kindred spirits. It seems that since people in Norway are so well off they donate extremely nice things to the poor, like us!. We went to two stores all together. We purchased two hand made Scandinavian sweaters for 15 usd each. We had almost bought one in town the day before that was more than twice as much and less than twice the quality. All together we found some amazing, non touristy items, glassware, pewter, plates, and warm clothing that will last us into the future. We vowed that after this we would be on the look out for other second hand stores in future countries.
Some of the other non touristy things we experienced in Oslo via Tejre and Alec:
-Going to the recycling center. Norway is years ahead of the US, well most of the world is, in this respect. We were happy to be around so many green minded folks.
-Going to the supermarket Rimi 1000 and trying to find the cheapest things. Surprisingly this was not eggs as they were $5.00 for a dozen. But cabbage and orange juice were not too bad.
-Being a secrete shopper with Tejre. He gets paid to shop at gas stations and rate their service and sandwich making abilities. He used to work for McDonald's but he gave too many good ratings and he got taken off that account.
-Learning all about life in the Norwegian army. They have compulsory military service. Alec used to be a royal palace guard. We quickly learned this is not glamours, it is quite boring.
-Going on a beer run that turned into a mission of stealing apples from peoples yards. A game that Tejre had not played since he was a young lad.
-Trying to learn Norwegian by watching American television with Norwegian subtitles. Many young people in Norway have an amazing grasp of the English language, this may be a reason why. It is sad that we pump all our trashy television to the world.
-Sharing books and our love of them. I was able to read two books while curled up on the Ikea monsters.
-Going to Max Bo, a home depotesque store, to eat free pancakes with jam, blue raspberry slushies, and take free samples of wall paper.
Museums are great. to pee in.