03 January 2016

Winter Holiday in Norway

My daughters had a fortnight-long winter break from their respective Sheffield schools.  We took advantage of their break and spent ten days in Norway (21 December - 30 December).  What a beautiful country!  Most people we encountered were very friendly, almost all spoke English quite well, and public transportation made getting around easy.

We spent six days in Oslo.  That is one clean city, probably the cleanest city I've visited.    Even the subway stations are immaculate.  In late December at approximately 60 degrees latitude, there are only about six hours between sunrise and sunset, so we had to make the most of the daylight.  We visited a Christmas market (click on image for a larger view).
We enjoyed great food, including wonderfully-prepared fresh fish and traditional Norwegian fare on Christmas Eve.  One of many new experiences for me was ice skating on an outdoor rink (click on the image for a larger view).
Not bad form for a nerdy physicist, huh?  Well, perhaps I could use more practice!  I've not ice skated much in my life, but I've got more appreciation for those who zoom on the ice, be they figure skaters or ice-hockey players.  We toured the Oslo Harbour and walked many streets.  Part of Boxing Day was spent at Frogner Park.  The photo below shows the monolith, one of many cool statues in the park (click in the image for a larger view).
Boxing Day in 2015 will remain in my memory for a long, long time.  When I first learned that my family would return to Sheffield for my second sabbatical, I had the idea of spending Christmas in Norway.  Not only have I always wanted to visit Norway, I wanted to be in snow during the Christmas holiday.  For about a year, my family has been anticipating skiing in Norway.  Boxing Day was our last full day in Oslo; we were headed to the ski resort at Hemsedal on the following day.  I took my daughters to a playground near the home we were renting.  I've been studying friction between shoes and sports surfaces since my sabbatical research commenced.  I wish I had just a bit more friction on Boxing Day because I slipped at the playground and broke my left ulna.  No skiing for me!

So after a year looking forward to skiing in Norway, I had to sit on the sidelines and watch my wife and daughters hit the slopes.  But accidents happen, and there are definitely no do-overs in life.  Accepting reality is sometimes easier said than done.  As much as I hated missing out on skiing, I would have felt ten times worse had my wife or one of my daughters been the one sitting in the lodge.  I'm glad they had fun!

I still enjoyed Hemsedal.  It was a winter wonderland.  I witnessed beauty in nature almost everywhere I looked.  My family did some dogsled riding while there.  I was unable to drive, but thoroughly enjoyed the ride.  The scenery was breathtaking (click on the image for a larger view).
I learned a great deal about how the dogsleds work, what the dogs are like, and got some great ideas for physics problems.

It was tough leaving Hemsedal, knowing that I did not get to ski, and wondering if I would make it back at some point in the future.  The photo below shows my last look at the ski resort (click on the image for a larger view).
Beautiful, isn't it?  Despite my broken arm, I loved being in Norway over the holidays.  Sometimes life doesn't go exactly like you want it to go.  What's important is making the best of life, not only for yourself, but for those around you.  We get one shot at life.  Make the most of each and every day!

1 comment:

  1. Loved this post. You have me really wanting travel to Norway. Thanks for sharing your amazing pictures.