Friday, February 25, 2011

World Cup of Skiing!

Last Monday, Ida and I attended a short conference where indigenous people from Brazil and Peru talked about Hydroelectric Power Plants and how most of the decision making is done without regard to the native people who depend on that water, nor the environment.  The Brazilian Ambassador to Norway was present, and decided to try and save face, and deny that any complaints had been made against the projects, but as you would expect from an unbalanced democracy, he just made a complete ass of himself.

After the conference, we took a scenic route back to the Train Station and decided to snap a few photos of the Royal Palace and Karl Johan's Gate.

And as always, feel free to click on the photos to enlarge them.  I purposely left them big enough so that you could make them into wallpaper for your computers if you so choose to.

Interestingly enough, you see what is going to be a snow-sculpture in the middle of the street,  Ida and I moved in for a closer look.

I don't know anything about the skeleton of this sculpture, but I can assure you all that the surfaces are all pure snow.

These sculptures where made in preparation for the World Cup of Skiing which is being hosted in Oslo, Norway this year!  And what's even more cooler than that, you ask?  Well, I was in the audience for the Opening Ceremonies.  And it was so cool!

Even more sculptures where complete on the day of the opening, and we got some pretty good photos from it.  This photo is me standing in front of a sculpture of a sick woman in bed, with a bottle of "clear liquid" on her bedside table.  The details are amazing!  click for enlargement.

This photo includes Ida's Aunt Taki, and her mother, Lisa-Lotte.  Again, the sculpture is incredible!

Towards the back of the event was Ice-Skating as well as all kinds of food from all parts of the European world!

Near the Middle part of the event, was a path that had TONS of European foods, information, and just cool souvenirs!

Normally this would just be Oslo University, but on Wednesday, it was the main event stage for the opening ceremonies.  Behind me is the main street that the Military marches down and presents all of the nations flags whom are a part of the World Cup Skiing Federation.  

My camera was out of power at this point, but if you get the chance, you might be able to watch the ceremonies online.  It was being broadcast on Euro-Sport, I just so happen to get on camera once, during the final part of the presenting of the nations flags.

I was so very glad to be part of this historical moment!  I will blog again in the future!  Thanks for Reading!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Horse Rides and Puzzle Pieces

Ida has been doing work for a common friend in the town of Ski.  In exchange for her services, Ida is able to ride the friend's horse twice a week.  Ida has gladly taken up the work as she will always have a special place in her heart for horses.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have been going with her to her college, and while she is in class, I am improving my Norwegian by reading more books.  Then we usually go and take care of the horse, and then we go back to the apartment.

Ida is offically hooked on the series, "LOST"  and we watch episodes infrequently as our days allow us to.

In the evenings, we usually cook supper and then relax for a while.  She finishes homework, or works on research, or we just relax in front of LOST.  But on one night, I got out a puzzle that she and her brother had as kids, and I completed it in one sitting.

Tonight, we are back at her mother and father's house in Spydeberg.  We just picked up a package in the mail.  The contents were her new headphones (with a lifetime guarentee).  and the new D-Link DIR-600 Router which I have already hacked.  We will use it as a repeater for the wireless in the apartment, because as of right now, we have to be in the bathroom to get any internet.

That's all for now.  I will post more in the future!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Norwegian Book: Completed!

Ida and I are so proud of my recent accomplishment; I finally finished my "Learn Norwegian" book!  I have been speaking more and more Norsk to her mother and father as I am adjusting my thought processes and language patterns.  I am nowhere near fluency, and the TV still moves too quickly for me to catch every word.  But sometimes there are subtitles on the news, and this really helps me.

Also, speaking of news.... here is what is new in my area.

Ida and I went out for a walk last Wednesday, and we had a fresh blanket of snow covering our countryside apartment area.

The day after we had arrived at her parents' place, the weather decided to snow aggressively and so I took the two handed shovel and scraped away about 12,7cm (5in) of snow.

This morning, I got my hair cut by Lisa-Lotte because it was time to cut it....and because tonight we are having dinner at the Grandparent's house with Aunt Mariana and Uncle Tron.

Oscar seemed to be in a good mood this morning too, as he rarely poses for photos.  He really isn't fat, but he has a great amount of fur.

And I got a new Jacket from Lisa-Lotte and Silvano.  Apparently Silvano had bought it and used it a couple of times, before he realized that it's too big for him.  So now I have a Canadian Goose Down jacket.  Woo-hoo!

That's all for now, make sure to subscribe to my blog and post comments below!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

This is Norway

First, this is a Norwegian Sunset.

Next I would like to show you all what Ida and I woke up to today.

This next one is a shot of our apartment building, of course, caked in Norwegian snow fall.

Today I went with Ida to her school, and there, while she was being taught lessons about this and that, yours truly was busy studying his Norwegian.  I only have a handful of lessons left before I am done with my book, and as it happens, I have found someone who is selling their "Learn Norwegian" textbook and CD for only about $65.  Ida and I were very excited, and we have placed a phone call to see if we can get it from him.  

Tomorrow is Irish Night on the campus. (why in February... I will never know)  so Ida and I will be attending that with full knowledge of Dublin, and the Irish way of life.  

Feel free to leave questions in the comments, or whatever....I like feedback, it makes me feel like I am not just blasting on the web, all alone.   Blog to you later.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Wet Cats and Christmas Cookies

First of all, let me say that I arrived in Norway after a very long 8 hour layover in London.  If right now you are thinking to yourself, "Man, I would love to be in LDN for 8 hours" then stop it.  I was in Heathrow for what should have been about 6 hours on no sleep, and it was about midnight (Central Time) when I arrived, and it was 8am (Central Time) when I departed.  Needless to say that I was tired to the point of hallucination.

The wind was apparently bringing a storm all the way from England, across the North Sea, and to Norway's front door.  This storm was knocking planes off course, and because of that, I had a total of 8hours on my layover.

Ida was a bit nervous because British Airways didn't really update their website with the latest information, so she was very anxious by the time that I arrived.

On a friendlier note, the passport control person this time around was actually very nice.  The very first time that I entered Norway, the passport control officer was a bit rude....I think that an American man had dumped her in the past, and she was jaded towards me when I mentioned my Norwegian Girlfriend.  
This time around, the officer simply asked why I was in Norway, asked me about my other stamps and visas, and asked how long I was going to stay in her country.  She was very understanding and when I mentioned that Ida's mother is a police officer, she immediately stamped my passport in the understanding that harboring an illegal immigrant is not something that an officer would ever do.

Ida and I arrived at her apartment and almost immediately fell asleep.  luckily, because of the plane's delay, combined with the train rides to her appartment, it was about evening when we crashed, so that means that my internal clock is correct with daylight.  Woo! something went right.

In the morning, I had my traditional Norwegian frokost (that's breakfast) and we headed on over to her parents place.  They were cross-country skiing when we arrived, so we dropped by her grand-parent's place for christmas cookies and coffee.  Both were excited to see me.  Lisa-Lotte and Silvano arrived later after skiing and we all sat and talked for a while.

When we retired back to the main house, Ida wanted to give her fluffly cat "Oscar" a bath....and with all of that extra kitty fur, all wet....he was quite the sight to see. (pictures coming soon).

Well that brings us up to date, except for the super bowl....which I do not really care about. sorry to all of you who give a crap.  I will post pictures of the apartment in the near future, and will continue to post on this blog.

Ha det bra!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It Is Time!

Hello all of you faithful readers.  If you are reading this, then I am most likely somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, on my way to London, and then from there to Gardermoen Airport in Oslo, Norway.  Once again, I am living in Norway for a period of no less than 90 days.

While my time here in the States has been very productive, I am eager to get back to Norway, where life moves at a different pace.

I have applied for employment, and also to a well known business school in Norway.  While my employment opportunities are a little limited, my application has been received by the school, and Ida and myself don't see a reason why I wouldn't be accepted.  This would mean that I would be finishing my degree in Norway under a student visa.

I would like to blog more, but I believe that it is time for yours truly to sleep and dream about a special girl, and a special little 4 cylinder Ford Fiesta that are waiting for me in Norway.

Daniel Robert Appel