Monday, May 23, 2011

Drøbak, Norway

With this post, our long Norway saga comes to an end. Finally!

And what a place to end it after all we saw in Oslo our April 1st weekend, followed by our 6-day Hurtigruten sea voyage from Kirkenes north to Bergen south. Then we did the cross-country 7-hour train ride from Bergen back to Oslo (last post).

It was Tor's 66th birthday that Sunday when we returned to Oslo (remember, we're twins. born 2 months apart!). The next evening we were scheduled to fly back to Amsterdam, so he graciously took Monday off to show us a part of Norway, in the outskirts of Oslo, that is dear to his heart: Drøbak. His paternal grandmother, Martha, was born there in 1882.

Our parking spot was across the street from the Drøbak Kirke from 1776,
so that's where we started a lovely, leisurely walk around the city centrum.

I love churches that have cemeteries on their property.
Somehow it just seems appropriate.

On the other side of the church is where the commander of the Battle of Drøbak Sound is buried and memoralized, Colonel Birger Eriksen.. The start of the war in Europe began here against the German invasion, 9 April 1940. We stood on that spot almost exactly 71 years later, 11 April 2011.

It was fun to follow the Oslofjord around the back of the church and hilly terrain to the harbor.
It was such a delightfully warm and sunny day, as you can see.

And did I mention...a LAZY day!
Tor seemed to know just exactly what the doctor ordered.

We weren't the only ones!

All good things come to an end...but only to make way for the next good thing, right?
We were on our way to the harbor and had to check everything out.
The top-left image (above) is an old-timey lighthouse, compared to the one on the right!

And before we could say Jack Sprat, there they were: the Three Mermaids.
They're a gift to the city from Ingeborg Lane, sculpted by Reinard Finsrud. They're not as famous as Copenhagen's Little Mermaid but just as impressive, if not more so.

Now you know why there are THREE mermaids guarding this lovely harbor.
I have been to the harbor in Copenhagen where the Little Mermaid sits: no comparison!

From the harbor we started walking through this idyllic seaside town to the town square...

...and to the Christmas shop.
See the Santa sign Tor is holding? He bought that for us because the Drøbak Julehuset is open year-round with its own postmark. A big deal for children of all ages (which we are!).

Astrid was able to capture one of the signs as we entered the city.

Then it was time for lunch. Tor knew exactly where to go.
It was the perfect way to end our delicious day and trip...before leaving for the airport.

But first, one last surprise from Tor...a collage I have already shown when he took us to the vantage point high above Oslo, showing the same mountains in the background where Edvard Munch was inspired to paint his "Scream."

Remember my Opera House post? What a different vantage point!

...and 4 more churches to add to our Norway collection...

And one last weathervane captured by Astrid! A perfect one for ending the trip, sending us off on our brooms back to The Netherlands. HA!

Talk about the trip of a lifetime. How many times have I said that! We can't recommend it enough, which is one of the resons why I worked hard on all these posts to finish them. If you ever have the chance, GO. You'll never regret it.

But then, you could also just come here to visit us and be equally as entertained. I promise.


  1. We ended the vacation with what we started out with....SUN... and on top of that, it was the warmest day in history on that date.
    Tor was an amazing host that day and indeed it was what the doctor ordered, a nice lazy day seeing all the goodies in Drøbak.
    It is a nice town with a delightful harbour, by now you know I love everything related to sea, water, sailing, whatever.
    Tor really made the day by taking us to the overview point of Oslo too, what a city.....
    After that we were on our way to the airport and then goodby Norway...sigh...
    I think it was a fabulous vacation, Renny and Diane, Tor and Anne, thank you again.
    MLS thank you for making these wonderful posts, I had to smile at Dutchbaby's words.... when we are old and grey and are not able to travel anymore, we will look over these posts over and over again and just smile.......

  2. Wow, the war against the German invasion began there. The town is so appealing nestled there by the water. I could live there in a flash.

    And how beautiful Oslo looks from above like that.

    Great job with all these posts from the trip, Boots. What a treasure.

  3. Astrid: Yes, MLMA, sun was the the beginning and the end...the bookends of our trip, and sometimes in-between. It was the perfect way to end our trip. A lazy day of rest and relaxation. And Tor was such a good host, just as Renny and Diane were on the front end. What a trip! Hartstikke bedankt.

    Ruth: I was surprised about that piece of trivia, too, about the war beginning there. Who would have known! The town is very much like a Lake Michigan tourist town. Very idyllic. You'd love it! :) Thanks for following this journey, sister. It was wonderful in every way.

  4. Oh, I love the photo of the restaurants outside, and Astrid sitting with Tor and the cute seaside village.. The photos make me happy. :)

    One thing since it is on my mind is that I notice most statues of art aren't afraid to be real, be natural and be up front about how people actually are. That would not happen in the US for sure. People cannot accept that...

    We move in a week and I'm envisioning packing up and photographing. But I know I won't be doing that.. I just thought of your big pack last time and know I could not even think about doing that... We will be moved hopefully by Monday morning.. :)

  5. ET: These seaside towns delight me to no end, no matter where they are in the world, Jen. I love them, too.

    Thanks for stopping by during this hectic time in your life! I pray your move will go smoothly, with no hitches. Conserve your energy and doe voorzichtig!

  6. The church graveyard images are quite nice with the bits of color from the rooftops (2nd graveyard collage) and flowers first graveyard collage)are lovely... the collage with Tor and Astrid sitting on the park bench (and you with your ever present camera) is especially tempting in terms of making me want to be there!

    I LOVE the image with the new lighthouse and it's red (orange?; looks red on my monitor, time to calibrate?) roof with the anchor in the foreground. The Three Mermaids and the harbor collage following it are marvelous (especially all the colorful images in the Harbor collage). Lunch collage... fantastic! (Santa shop... somehow I can never get interested in those at all but your collage is making me rethink that.)

    Such marvelous images and wonderful memories... you are making me want to follow the same path so I can see it all with my own eyes!

  7. Victoria: Thank you, dear Lady. The time you take with your comments is very humbling. I love finding out what floats your boat, so to speak. :) And I think your monitor is calibrated just fine, since that is indeed a red top to the lighthouse. You would love seeing all of Norway with your own eyes...if ever you have the chance!

  8. Fantastic! My brain is having trouble processing all these beautiful images. Thank you so much for sharing them with us.

    (I see that Blogger has now restored all the comments it ate in the past couple of weeks! Yours miraculously appeared again)

  9. Loved seeing Astrid out on the plank ... anything for a great photo! :) I adore and love the photos of the harbor the best and the sweet winding quant walk through the town... So many photo opportunities... My zoom would be working overtime! The oranges, reds and blues just kill me.... Thank you for spending so much time on this - the images take my breath away!

  10. MOre and more are going to this part of the world. Finally people are realizing there is so much beauty out there. I may not see all these beauty in person, but your photos are the next besst thing.

  11. Oh my! Lovely series of photos Ginnie! Beautiful sceneries pulsing with vibrant colours. Awesome!

  12. So beautiful! Love the orange tulips, haha.

  13. I am behind reading all the posts but I read all of yours. It was a pleasure to go back to the sea voyage with you on the Hurtigruten line. Your ship was larger than ours and your cabin too, but it was similar. When we crossed the Polar Arctic Circle we had a cup of some warm alcoholic drink and sweet waffles I think – we still have the cups. Your photos are superlative, really. The fog does add a great atmosphere. Hurtigruten keeps sending us offers for another cruise and I would be tempted if it were not for the expensive flight from Atlanta. Last time I used my frequent flyer miles for one of us. You show some sights I did not even see – for example all the churches – well I am not into churches so I do not notice them that much, I like old buildings and old streets and there are so many beautiful photo ops in Norway. We were in Bergen just one afternoon and it was so very warm, over 80 for sure. I wish we could go back. All your photos are so lovely – I’ll go back and take a second look after I am caught up commenting on all my friends’ blogs. You know when I bought our train ticket from Paris to Brussels I wished to go on to Amsterdam before returning to Paris. The online railroad site did not let me do it, and I tried several times, so instead we flew to Vienna.

  14. Looks like a marvelous vacation! So much to see and do -- actually too much! :)

  15. Christina: Just rest your brain, Lady. These pictures are more for me/us so we have them at our fingertips in the future. We didn't eant them to go into the Balck Holes of our computer files! But thanks for looking. :)

    Margaret: You know how to make my day. Thank you. I have loved whipping up all these collages and posts of our Norway trip. They were worth it all for me. So glad you enjoyed them, too!

    PC: Thank you Maria. I hope people who love to travel will find this as a gem not to be missed! You included. :)

    Charles: Tusen takk! I can see why you love this new country of yours. Eat it up while you have it! And say HI to Odd from us both.

    Karen: Thanks, Lady. And of course you love those orange tulips. :)

    Vagabonde: I know you and DutchBaby and us would all have different stories and images to share of almost the same experiences, but that's the beauty of this trip. If we ever have the opportunity to go back for cheap, I'm sure we'll do it. In the meantime, we'll try to see everything else we can so close to our doorstep! Thanks.

  16. Tim: It was pretty overwhelming, to be sure. I bet we missed half of it because of how much there was to see! Thanks.

  17. Really awesome photo collages! We've been to the very picturesque Drøbak too, several times, but never managed to take as beautiful series of photos as you - well done :-)

    (...and yes, Tor was our excellent guide too the last time we were there...)

  18. LC: You're very kind with this comment. Thank you. That Tor is something else, isn't he. He was the perfect guide, letting us just BE and do our photographic thing. We'll never forget it!