Norway

Lance and I are still shaking off jet lag after a week-long trip to Norway. The excuse for the trip was a wedding of two of Lance's friends, one from Norway and the other from Russia. However, we added a few days to the trip to tour a bit.

Norway is utterly beautiful. We toured the Lysafjord on a boat. Spectacular. However, everything we saw in our short stay was wonderful.

Oslo is a quiet capital. In fact, the whole country was quiet. At breakfast each morning in the hotel people went about their business in utter quietude. Very calming Nordic music played on the sound system as we sipped Norwegoian coffee made to wake up the dead.

Norwegians are very tall. Norway is a land of gentle giants. Norwegians are also very good looking. Walking around Oslo was a bit like trapsing through a photo shoot for some fashion magazine.

The wedding was quite a party. It was good to have a chance to visit with some Norwegians. The proceedings were performed in English.

We then went to Stavanger, a city of 130,000 on the southwest coast. That is the area where the Bergesons came from. In fact, there are statues of people we Bergesons like to think of as relatives all over the city--and the cemetery. There is some doubt as to whether we are actually related to Sigval Bergesen, the billionaire ship builder, but we'll assume the best--and wait for a check. 

Norway is wealthy. However, the myth that they can only support their impressive health care system and transportation infrastructure due to oil is just that--a myth. Although the state does own the oil in the North Sea, only 2% of the annual budget is directly from oil profits. The rest comes from heavy taxation, which nobody seems to mind. They see the benefits.