The kids had school off on Thursday and Friday for Kristi himmelfartsdag, the funniest-sounding Norwegian holiday to the English speaker, which is Ascension day. Although Norwegians are not a religious people now, the Church of Norway has been a state-sanctioned church for so long that they took religious holidays as public holidays. Once those public holidays are out, it’s pretty tough to call them off. Pentecost is a day off that is coming up too.
We took the 4-day weekend to travel to Ås, a bit south of Oslo, a 7 hour train trip. Our first evening, we took a tour of Ås and the NMBU university campus, all beautiful in the springtime glory. Then we got a sudden downpour and thunder! We got back home, but our Oregonian kids danced in the rain for a bit 🙂
The kids set up the trampoline and played, dinner was made and enjoyed.
On Saturday, Kristine and Tor gathered up enough bikes for all of us to take a tour over rivers and highways, through fields and woods, all the way to the sea at Drøbak. It was about an hour or more, with a mix of mountain biking, bike trails, and through towns. But even in the towns you ride on bike trails or sidewalks, no street biking necessary. It was the first time we had been on bikes since being here, which felt great. The kids did a fantastic job.
At Drøbak, we admired the fjord while Kristine and the kids had their “Norwegian baptism” in the water! It was cold, but they did it! The day was warm, so they laid out in the sun and dried off quickly. Then we went off for dinner at a fantastic restaurant, Kumlegården. It was quite upscale, but they let us come in our casual clothes and put a bike in back because we didn’t have enough locks for everyone. Kristine and I had fish, Ted and Tor had lamb, and the kids had a fish soup. Afterward, we got coffee and ice cream at a Narvesen convenience store because the gelato shop that we saw on the way was closed–on a Friday night!
Nora really enjoyed visiting with Luna, their 12 year old collie, who is getting quite slow and old. But she really likes cuddles and slow walks, so Nora is the perfect friend.