Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving and Visas

The midday sun was high in the sky.
Last weekend Ross and I flew to Oslo to see good friends and to get our work visas. We met up with Cristina, Melissa and Caroline at the train station and spent the weekend at Cristina and Melissa's apartment. Saturday morning started off slowly, but we eventually got out of the house and headed to downtown Olso. I had actually never visited the city before, so everything was new and exciting. We wandered through the Christmas market and bought some Spanish Waffles (actually churros). Then we went and explored the fort on the waterfront.

Ross trying to hold the wall up with his head.
 It was nice to look out over the ocean and Cristina pointed out buildings along the coast. We could even see the ski jump, way up high on the hillside. After wandering for a bit we headed towards campus for a campus/town "sprint." It was 7.1k, but all on the campus and surrounding streets. There were a lot of long running legs across the river bridges or railroad tracks. Unfortunately, my time off from running hadn't quite prepared me for this experience. I could barely walk for the next 2 days, mostly due to bad shin pain. Note to self: After time off, don't start with a 40 minute pavement sprint.

Part of the fort.

I would attack by sea, with many boats.
Saturday evening we started cooking and baking some of our Thanksgiving feast. Ross prepared the apple and pumpkin pie, Melissa was making the apple-cranberry sauce and Caroline was chopping almonds for the green beans. I was photodocumenting and directing... what were you doing, Cristina? ;) I suppose I can't pick on her too much, as the next morning, after Ross woke up at 5am to take the turkey out of the fridge, she and Melissa prepped the turkey and put it into the oven at 6am.

Hard at work chopping almonds.

Let's see what the can says - pour into bowl?
Does he ever wear a shirt?

Ross put all his love and thankfulness into the pumpkin pie.
The following morning, after the turkey was done, we headed out to go ice skating. Unfortunately, it took about 75 minutes to get there, since there was an animal on the tracks. It seemed we were always on the wrong mode of transportation. First the T wasn't moving, so eventually we went a few stops and tried to take a bus. But it didn't come, and it may not have been going where we wanted anyway. So we walked for a ways, and then decided to take the trolley. And then we got on the same T line that we had previous gotten off. But we made it! Ross, Caroline and I had to rent skates, but Cristina and Melissa were pros. I haven't been in iceskates in a very long time, and I was surprised by how wobbly I felt at first. After about a half hour, though, I was skating with confidence, if not much skill. The rink was outdoors and huge - lots of space for everyone to do their own thing.

Melissa teaching Ross how to skate backward.
2:30 setting sun behind the rink.
The group, minus Melissa, who was taking the photo.
After skating it was back to the kitchen! Ross carved the turkey and the many side dishes were made. It was all delicious. The evening was concluded with pie and Ticket to Ride: Europe. I'm so happy that we got to spend Thanksgiving with such awesome friends.

The next morning Ross and I went for a run in the woods and then started to walk to the Swedish Embassy. I was a bit grumpy about it, I will admit, because my shins hurt going downhill and I was worried we would be late. The embassy is only open for work visas between 1:30 and 3:00 on Mondays and Thursdays. Would there be a long line? As usual, there was no need to worry. Despite getting a bit lost on our way there, the place was fairly empty. I got a bit worried when they asked for our case number and we didn't have it, but they found our records anyway. I made the woman laugh when she asked how tall I was and I responded with 5'3". I then had to ask Ross how tall I was. The whole process took about 5 minutes. All they had to do was take our photographs and fingerprints. They are mailing us our visas! If we didn't have friends in Oslo, this would have been quite a wasted trip. But there is some policy about not being able to get a Swedish work permit inside Sweden. Now I'm only worrying about whether they will arrive before we leave for the States. I won't stop worrying until I have the paperwork in my hands. And then I'll probably just worry about something else... I leave you with some pictures we took in Frogner Park while waiting for our flight.

P.S. You can ask Ross about losing his wallet in the train station...

The famous statue of the angry baby.

Yes, this man is kicking babies off himself.
Did Ross know this was the picture in the Wikipedia article when he took it?

The whole park was filled with sculptures from Gustav Vigeland.

The Clouds Attack

Pole of humans.

Oslo streets at night

Ross with the giant Norwegian Tiger outside the train station.


Hans said...

Nice trip! Now remember that you are exactly 160 cm tall. Easy to remember.

Cristina said...

Hey, I was providing encouragement and sending tasty love waves into the food.

Plus, I made the corn bake. ;-)

Ian Smith said...

Hahaha: "Does he ever wear a shirt?"