Friday, May 16, 2008

Tha advantage of speaking at conferences is that you get to travel to some pretty fantastic places. So I've been in Norway for a few days, speaking at a military conference. Stayed in Oslo for one night in the Hotel Opera, opposite (you've guessed it) the new Opera House. It's a low set building, all sharp lines and a crysatline white exterior. It's so low that you can wander up and onto its roof. Spectacular setting overlooking the sound.

Next morning off to Gol with my Norwegian hosts and a couple of nice guys from Washington DC. The rail trip was three hours of spectacular scenery. It's all black lakes, mountains, rivers, trees and wooden houses. May of the houses have separate out-houses on pillars, where they hang smoked meat.

I had a great afternoon in Gol sunbathing in the grounds of the Stavkyrkje, a tall wooden church that reminded me of Chinese and Thai architecture, with its vertical wooden beams and pavilion-like layers.

And just a word about the people - it's VERY friendly. Norwegians love a laugh and drink like drains. They have a drink called Linae Aquivit, which crosses the equator twice in Sherry barrels, to make it blend and get the sherry taste through gentle rolling. You dow them in one gulp. My hosts were fantastic.

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