Monday, May 16, 2011
Lillehammer was used by the Nazis in WWII.
Our software has gone mad.
Get this. I speak no Norwegian. However, Firefox, Explorer and Blogger are now insisting on giving me log in information IN NORWEGIAN --bust because I'm in Norway! I made no such request yet Firefox and google keep showing up in Norwegian when I open the software on my laptop. Google keeps offering my Norwegian Google into "translate" to English! Crazy. I changed my location, not my language! lol.
Blogger would not change the headings into English no matter what I did - so I finally had to guess Norwegian for "log in" -- and finally got on.
It's a good thing it is not going to make me write in Norwegian because other than "Takk" (Thanks) that's all the language I know. LOL.
We went from green valley to snowy mountain roads today in less than 2 hours. Thee snow grew to line the roads almost as high as the tour bus. Another highway above us was still closed due to snow. The driver stopped at one point --no one else was around for miles -- and some of the tourists couldn't resist the cold snow next to the road and had impromptu snow ball fights amongst themselves.
Then we wound down a twisting road to a ferry at the head of a Fjord. Its front opened up like "jaws" and out the cars. It was big enough to handle for more than four buses like ours. It took an hour for us to travel down the Fjord, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and amazing waterfalls like the "Seven sisters." We saw ancient farms on the side of the Fjord - all abandoned now. On one they tethered the children to keep them from falling off the cliff. On another, they moved out because a large rock hovered over the farm. One hundred years later the same still has not fallen.
We passed a section where a huge rock had broken off the side of a Fjord mountain and crashed in the water. It created a Tsunami that killed dozens of people some years ago.
Clean, tidy, RELAXED, beautiful are all words that fail to describe Norway. It is a special place. It has none of the junk on the side of the road that we see. They use a special red paint that is so tough that they don't have to paint as often. Hay is wrapped in white plastic to protect it. Some Fjords are as deep as the mountains above them. And I have yet to see a fat Norwegian. I saw a lot of them riding bicycles or walking, often with baby strollers.
It turns out the hotel we stayed at last night in Lillehammer was used by the Nazis as their Norway HQ in WWII. It did look like one of those movie places. I posted a photo of it on the right.
The Norwegian resistance played a key role in WWII by destroying a "heavy water" shipment by the Nazis to their nuclear program. It keep them from getting the atomic bomb before the United States.
This is an opportune time to be here. Tomorrow is "Constitution Day" Norway's National Day. I didn't expect that. But Norwegians are pretty low key about it - they usually don't fly flags except for national day. And stores will be closed. Another 2 hour ferry ride tomorrow - we are looking for a national day parade...
Did you know that Norway is one of the most generous donors to international causes that need $$$? It's also home of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Today some in the group went to a nearby church that has a cross that dates back 1,000 years - right about the time the Vikings converted to Christianity...