Sunday, July 12, 2015

10 FOR 10: Trip #6
London & Oslo

"I've the most extraordinary longing to say 'Bloody Hell'!"
Henrik Ibsen, A Doll's House, Act I (Nora)

This sixth 10 FOR 10 trip was a tag-along for me while AC had work to do in London, and then went to a conference that started in Oslo, Norway, and then traveled to Kiel, Germany on a cruise ship via the north/south waterway between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea.  

To start the trip off, we were upgraded into first class, the real one with the beds that lay down completely flat.  It was incredible and so much more comfortable than spending hours cramped up in  a seat that barely reclines a few inches.  Once there, we spent the weekend in London wandering around.  We discovered Brick Lane Market on the East side, which is open on Sundays and full of delicious food vendors.  AC had to work the first days of the week, so I played the tourist and went to Kensington Palace for the fashion exhibit, and the V&A for the wedding dress exhibit.  

We took a quick flight to Oslo on Tuesday night, and Wednesday AC had meetings to go to, so I spent the day wandering the main street area, Karl Johans Gate.  I bought a scarf from a local shop, and wandered out of the way to find a local potter to purchase a beautiful coffee mug.  I spent most of the day, however, at the National Gallery, which I was very pleased with.  It had the most logical flow pattern, and related every national artist to what was going on with the rest of the world.  I learned so much about not just Norwegian artists, but how they fit in relation to the worldwide art movements as they were happening.  Of course I saw Munch's famous Scream, but enjoyed the rest of the museum's works just as much.

Wednesday night we went to dinner with all the other conference speakers, and then Thursday morning we embarked for the two-day conference.  For me it was intellectually exhilarating, which is probably not what most spouses would say if dragged along on a technical conference.  However, I am very interested in certain aspects of data technology, so I even sat in on some of the sessions.  I also enjoyed getting to know so many of the other people that AC has the opportunity to work with, and had some pretty intense conversations.

The other thing I did on this trip was take the opportunity to read seven books from my "to read" list.  Of those I read, my favorite was Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey (and I hope to review it soon).  The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins were both very good as well. 

We only were able to spend a few hours in Kiel before turning around to head back to Oslo, and we met up with some local(ish) friends of friends who had set up an outdoor picnic, complete with sandwiches and drinks.  AC and I stayed for a bit and then wandered some, but not too far into the city, since we had to make it back to the boat at a specific time.  

Saturday morning we arrived back in Oslo, and then promptly flew back to London, where we spent the weekend before I headed home on my own.  AC still had some work to get done and would be coming home at the end of the week.  Even though it was a tag-along trip and AC had to work some, we both had a great time, and I would jump at the chance to tag along to this particular conference again.

In case you missed the first post ...

Next July, AC and I will celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary, and as such have been discussing what sort of big trip to take.  However, it occurred to me that we typically take some pretty big trips every year, sometimes as a tag-along when AC works, and sometimes just using all the points and miles he has amassed from his work travels.  I couldn't help but wonder if another trip would really be that special and different.  So, I came up with the idea that instead of just one more trip, we should take ten trips to celebrate our years together.  I told AC, and told him that it didn't have to be just him and me (because SC is also part of our lives, obviously), but that I wanted to take ten purposeful trips, that are focused on celebrating us (and our family) as much as we can.  I told him that they didn't all have to be long or complicated trips, though we had already talked about a few places that will be, and we can start now (in our tenth year) and run through the end of 2015 so that we didn't take too much time away from work.  So, hopefully, these ten trips will make this a celebratory year, one that will stand out for us as we look back (in another ten years).

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