Tuesday morning and the Olmsteads have to take a breather and do some errands here at our Oslo apartment. However, the day turned out to be fun all the way around. Even a simple task, like going to the grocery store is entertaining in a foreign country where you don’t know the language. For example, while I shop, Clay follows me around with his phone, translating Norwegian words to English to help me figure out which item is butter or margarine, etc.
After completing our shopping errand, we headed over to the Central Train Station, which is very close to our apartment. We wanted to pick up our Oslo to Bergen train trip tickets for June 17th. The reason for booking so early is that this train trip is considered to be on of the most beautiful train rides in the world, and we wanted to make sure we got window seats. We did! Better yet, since I am considered a “senior” by Norwegian standards, Clay also got the senior rate, so we saved 50% on the train trip. I guess there are a few advantages to getting older. 🙂
Because we got so much accomplished in the early morning, we decided to treat ourselves to a long lunch. We decided to go to an upscale restaurant (The Festningen), because it was very close to the Norway Resistance Museum, which we planned to visit after our late lunch. We usually keep expenses down by eating only one meal at a restaurant per day. This one was special and here are the photos to prove it.
Norwegian Resistance Museum
This is a small museum that probably gets missed by the people who arrive on cruise ships in the morning and sail off in the evening. It tells how the Norwegian people responded to the horrors of the Nazi occupation during WWII. An incredible number of them actively resisted: in spite of the threat of being shot or sent to prison or a concentration camp, they committed countless acts of resistance, large and small; actors refused to act in propaganda shows; police spied for the resistance; the Norwegian Merchant Marine refused to surrender their ships, instead joining the chain of convoys shuttling between the U.S. and England, submitting themselves to the U-boat scourge in its darkest days; 30,000 to 40,000 men and women joined MILORG, the armed resistance organization. Their spotters relayed the positions of the damaged battleships Bismark and Tirpitz to the British, allowing Allied bombers to finish them off as they tried to shelter in the fjords. MILORG commandos blew up the Nazi heavy water processing facilities in Telemark, setting back the Nazi nuclear program by months, helping to ensure that the Nazis never developed an atomic bomb.
We walked from exhibit to exhibit, marveling at their courage and ingenuity. Inevitably, we wondered what we would have done in their place. You’d like to think that you’d be one of them; maybe so, but any of us would have a tough time matching their perseverance, much less carrying out some of their audacious operations.
Back out in the sunshine, we returned to the modern world. Our president is trying to engage in a Twitter war with the mayor of London, who isn’t having any; the people of London are once again showing their courage and resilience, and the Norwegians maintain their commitment to peace. It’s just rained, everything is clean, and there’s a marching band passing by playing “Copacabana.” The Norwegians are committed to peace, but not necessarily quiet.
2 thoughts on “Splurge”
Yes, my relatives I stayed with in Oslo insisted I go to the Resistance Museum, it left a strong impression on me. Ivar and Borghild were in their seventies (I visited them in 1984) and they told me how the Nazi’s occupied the village where Ivar lived and a young boy was running across the square. The Nazi’s shouted halt in German. He kept going and they shot and killed him. On our family farm in Hallingby (north of Oslo), there are bullet holes in the smoke house from the Nazi’s. Ivar and Borghild said hearing German spoken was upsetting to them. The war is very real when it occupies your land.
Wow, that does make it more real. part of the attraction of the museum was hearing people talking about the experiences of their relatives. When we visited, there was a man talking about how his grandfather told him about the Nazis confiscating the radios. They stored and cataloged each one, so when the war was over, the Norwegian government looked through the Nazi records and returned all the radios to their rightful owners.