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Oslo…. oh so slow.      – by David

by on June 30, 2017

Not much news today… we drove 180 miles from Goteborg to Oslo, Norway.

Along the highway we saw a sign with the “UNESCO World Heritage Site” logo, so of course we got off to see what it was.   Turns out that Stone Age peoples who lived in Sweden/Norway were prolific about carving pictographs in the rocks, so we saw a number of the sites and learned about them.  The carvings wouldn’t be very visible, but the archaeologists painted them red so you can see.  Lots of Viking-style boats (which proves they had that boatbuilding technology in 1800 BC!), deer and elk, men fighting with spears, etc.

It’s also interesting to learn that the Sweden/Norway geologic plate is rising relatively quickly; 3,800 years ago the water was 14 feet higher on the shoreline than it is today.   Makes up for climate-change-induced-ocean rising I guess.

Re the comment in yesterday’s blog about how do they define an “island” in Sweden, we found a site today that says it has to be 25 square meters…  and there are about 233,000 islands that make that grade.

Driving in Denmark and Sweden was relatively painless, but OMG, the traffic in Oslo is complete insanity!  And the GPS didn’t work well because most of the streets are blocked for construction, plus the main arteries are 5-mile-long tunnels straight under the city center, where GPS can’t get a signal.   I only drove down one tram track, and fortunately there was no tram coming.   (Add this to the pedestrian shopping mall I drove onto in Aarhus, and I’m having a lovely time.  Glad to give the rental car back with no scratches tonight and rely on trains, planes and ships from here on.)

I did have one not-so-great experience yesterday that will be funny in a year or so…  I was putting gas in the car and the machine at the unattended station wouldn’t take my credit card (it wanted a chip-and-PIN card, which stupid American banks don’t provide), so I had to quickly feed the machine some cash.   I got a bit flustered trying to do all the unit conversions….    8.5 Swedish Krona to the dollar, 3.8 liters to a gallon, so at a price of 18 Krona per liter, how much money should I put in the machine to fill the tank?  Well 500 Krona didn’t seem like enough, so I put in another 500 bill, and then filled the tank for…. 515 Krona, and of course the machine doesn’t give change. So I totally wasted 485 krona, or $57.00 US.   Ugh. Well, given how insanely expensive everything is over here, that will just be in the noise.

So we’re settled into our Oslo apartment, and planning our sightseeing for the next couple of days. Good night (well, good morning actually).


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