Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Wake of the Vikings: Oslo – Bristol Hotel and Surroundings

A quick ride from the airport to downtown Oslo, where we find The Bristol Hotel, and inside a table with Viking local guides, armed with key sets with each passengers name. So easy, so well thought through – no waiting, just pick up your keys and an information sheet (like what time to meet up with your guide the next morning – critical information) and up to our room. Smooth. Efficient. Well done.

 

The room is charming and welcoming. You would think we would drop all our bags and hit the town, but you would be wrong. We dropped all our bags and hit the sack; slept like the dead for two hours and forced ourselves to wake up and get morning. It works for us.

 

I loved the spaciousness of this room, and oh, YES, wooden floors. I am such a sucker for wooden floors.

 

The bathroom was nice enough; I took a photo to show you the teeny tiny shower. I estimated it was about two feet by maybe two and a half feet at the longest, but a door cut across at a 45 degree angle, slicing space out of the shower. The controls were interesting; you control hot and cold with the right lever, and volume with the left. Well, it got the job done, it just felt cramped.

A storage rack and a pay bar in the entry hall.

 

We ate dinner in the Bristol Library Bar; the most fun was watching the locals gather in groups to have a drink on the way home. It was a busy, happy place, and we decided to eat dinner there and then go for a walk.

 

 

Our dinner was a bowl of Norwegian fish soup and an Autumn salad. The fish soup was delicious; we don’t put peas in fish soup in the Pacific Northwest, nor in the South, so it was a lovely addition that surprised me and delighted me. The Herbstsalad had roast duck pieces, and roasted beet, on a bed of mixed greens. The whole meal was lovely.

 

After dinner, we walked around the shopping area near our hotel, it was a beautiful night and the streets were crowded with a festive crowd. I thought the below was a church, and perhaps it was at one time, but I was told it is no longer a functioning church.

 

Some public art – Oslo is full of lovely statuary, and beautiful parks.

Oslo is also peopled by these trolls, in infinite variety. I sort of like them, I think of Father Richard Rohr and his message that our dark side is sometimes the way we find our path to God, in our brokenness.

 

As we walked, more and more people were gathering along the pedestrian way. We would ask, but no one we asked seemed to know what was happening, but all suggested it was probably a political rally with elections coming up soon. It was a very festive rally, not hostile or threatening in any way. Ah, to have such civil politics . . . .

 

Near our hotel was a store which sold what we called in Germany, “trachten” which means traditional folk-clothing. This traditional folk clothing is still made and is increasingly worn on high social occasions – weddings, important political occasions, National day, etc and is very expensive. One guide told us an outfit might start at $2,000. and then for special occasions, your husband might buy you the traditional jewelry which goes with the clothing.

 

 

This is actually my favorite, below. The Norwegian traditional clothing seems to me to have some Middle Eastern influence in the trims and buttons and modesty. No, I am not the least bit tempted; it would not work in Pensacola. It would be too hot and too heavy, and the heat and humidity would harm the valuable wool fabrics.

We slept wonderfully at the Bristol Hotel, and were up bright and shiny the next morning for our tour of Oslo and train trip over the mountains to Bergen.

 

 

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September 11, 2017 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Cultural, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Hotels, Public Art, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Traditional Clothing Exposition

Last night I was invited for a very special occasion, the Tarek Rajab family had a private showing of their unparalleled Arab Dress collection for the Kuwait Textile Arts Association. We enjoy their two museums so much – we take our friends and visitors there, sometimes we just visit the calligraphy museum to watch the film on calligraphy one more time! We learn something new with every visit. If you have never visited either of these museums, you are missing one of the rare treats in Kuwait.

On top of their value on traditional items, their foresight in beginning the collection decades ago, their two museums are open to the public, entirely free. Free of charge. Free admission. I never can get over it; the entire country of Kuwait is an honored guest in these museums. Imagine.

Denise Rajab, the museum curator, was on hand to answer questions about the costumes, which were displayed hanging against backgrounds showing photos of the countries and surroundings where these items of dress would be worn. White gloves were available to all present, and people were encouraged to (gently) handle the garb, so that you could see front and back.

There was so much loving attention to detail, so much handwork in these items of clothing!

I encourage you, my friends in Kuwait, to do two things. First, visit the two Tarek Rajab museums (located in Jabriya, near the New English School.) Here is their website: Tarek Rajab Museums

Second, if you want a window on a whole new world, join this group, Kuwait Textile Arts Association. Take their trips (this year the group just got back from South Africa, and are whooping with delight!) and attend their monthly meeting, meet some of the most interesting people in Kuwait, interesting because they have wide-ranging interests – like yours!

Here are some photos from a truly remarkable evening:





I hope I’m in town next year for all the meetings, and . . . I’ll see you there!

April 23, 2008 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Community, Cross Cultural, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments