Norway 2 - First Night in Oslo

Oslo seems comfortably small, but the downtown is vibrant, with a mix of old and modern.

oslo_musician

We walked around town that first night, listened to some street performers, gawked at the royal palace and found a great Asian place for dinner.  The idea was just to stay busy so our bodies become acclimated to the local time zone, rather than pushing right on to our final destination in the Lofotens.

A stranger 'stands guard' in front of the royal palace.  Yes, officially at least, Norway is ruled by royalty.

A stranger 'stands guard' in front of the royal palace.  Yes, officially at least, Norway is ruled by royalty.

Norway is ruled by King Harald V, though as you might imagine, his rule is titular only.  However, he does remind me of an interesting modern techno aspect to his name.  The name Harald has figured prominently in Scandinavian royalty for millennia.  A former King of Denmark & Norway, was Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson.  

Rumors as to the origin of the Bluetooth name stem from a bad tooth, blue as a way of saying dark ( as in dark chieftain), royal blue clothing and more...  Regardless, he is said to have united Denmark and Norway. 

When Ericcson, Intel, Toshiba and Nokia planned technology to unify communications between disparate devices (computers, phones, printers, etc...) Bluetooth as a moniker to celebrate th unification of these devices.  In his honor, the current Bluetooth technology symbol is comprised of Runic version of the letters H + B, Harald Bluetooth.

The real royal guard at the royal palace.  This one was a woman.

The real royal guard at the royal palace.  This one was a woman.

For those of us coming from the U.S., food is extraordinarily expensive in Scandinavia and Norway is no exception.  I don't know if it's stems from the exchange rate or perhaps a high level of expensive importation into the northern countries.

Whatever the cause, eating dinner at a decent, though not outstanding restaurant easily runs over $100 dollars for a couple.  Our first dinner at an Asian place hit the card at about a buck twenty.  That's with only a beer each and no desert.

Royal Palace guard

Royal Palace guard

If you then consider being on the road in Norway for 10 days or so, this sort of trip is not for the financial faint-of-heart.  Thankfully, I'm married to a woman who's travel philosophy includes the mantra; 'Just don't think too much about how much it costs.'