Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Rest of Oslo

I completely forgot about this post, which is why it's so late getting published, but anyhow this is a quick, pictorial run down of our three days in Oslo after Maker Fair was over. Three more days  to enjoy the cold weather and various museums etc.

We also enjoyed the fact that there was a Karaoke Taxi.

There were several large churches like this one, made of stone or brick. Very nice.

We decided to stop by a 'vintage' shop Sam and I liked the little round tinted glasses, just because they were funny.

Mittens were very popular among the people who had them. Thanks Grandma!


Also, Franklin D Roosevelt himself. This was just outside the Akershus Fortress. Still not sure why he was there...

Snowy roofs from the top of Akershus.This place was a fortress, castle, and prison at different points in time, it was also used as a base by the Germans during WWII.

Dad taking a look around at Akershus, most of the buildings were closed.

The Fortress is actually still a military area and as such there was a guard. I felt sorry for him, it was really cold that day!


A mile stone, they had a couple of these, I like them :)

And look! A real Loft Hus! We all struck a pose:

 The stave church was the real attraction here, and it was really awesome. The rest of Europe built huge stone cathedrals, but I think I prefer stave churches.

There was also a sauna, the door and facing was covered with ornate graffiti

If I wrote like this, it would be awesome. 

There were also a bunch of farm related buildings, houses, barns etc
I believe this is a couple of houses stuck together.
 Most of the buildings were padlocked and there were chains across the stairs so we couldn't get in, but that didn't stop us from checking!

There were also a couple of Sami style buildings, like this house: 

And this elevated storehouse.

 Among the farmhouses I spotted this. a simple head gate setup perhaps?

This is one of the buildings labeled as a barn, I'm guessing it was used mostly for storing feed and implements since the byres, stables and sheep folds were all lower to the ground.

One of three viking grave ships, I believe this is the one which held two women, one likely a slave and the other probably a queen or very important person. This was the best preserved of any of the ships in the museum. The other two were smaller and one was little more than a couple of pieces of wood stuck together. 
 The same ship from a different angle
 One of the carts found with the ship

The outside of the National Gallery. It was a pretty nice museum with a lot of excellent art.

The National Theatre which we didn't go into, but it looks really cool from the outside.

I think this was actually the raft named RA II which was used to navigate the Atlantic from Morocco. Ra I was poorly made and sank after only a couple of days/weeks at sea. Of course nearly drowning in the Atlantic was no dissuasion to Thor Heyerdahl. He just went to someone else to get the next Ra built.

The Kon Tiki, which made the voyage from the coast of Peru all the way to Polynesia. And if you ever get the chance to read the book, pick it up. It's really good.

There were actually three rafts used by Thor Heyerdahl, but the third (the Tigris) was burned as either a protest of the war activities going on in the areas around the Red Sea or was burned by some of the people participating in the war. 

So that was the other three days of our trip to Oslo. The whole trip was fantastic. And if you're short of things to do, look up Thor Heyerdahl and the rafts, really cool story.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Field Trip to the hospital

This afternoon, Nicole turned up after her workout with some rather distressing symptoms.  So the second time she told me she couldn't see anything I called Cam.  He turned up at the house followed shortly by his colleague Ilhan.  By then, all of Nicole's symptoms had subsided, but we decided better safe than sorry and off we went to the "big" hospital in Kesan.

On the way I called our Insurance provider and played twenty questions.  I was very grateful I had the foresight to write down her symptoms in order of occurrence.  

Ilhan took us to the emergency department.  It was a narrow hallway with an admitting desk on one side and two curtained cubicles behind.  Ilhan explained the problem to a man behind the desk and we were ushered immediately into one of the cubicles (Cam, Ilhan, Nicole and I).  The same fellow followed us in and checked Nicole's blood pressure, then a doctor came.  I was excited because he greeted us in English, but his English was as limited as my Turkish.

The doctor ran a few more rudimentary tests, and spent a long time reassuring Ilhan that Nicole was fine and we could come back if there were more problems.  He made no notes, didn't ask her name and charged us nothing for the visit.

We aren't planning a second visit of course, but we were very relieved the way this visit worked out. To  quote Ilhan "Thanks be to God".

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Puppies! and some of the other feral dogs in the neighbourhood.

There are two feral dog packs in our neighbourhood; one in our village and another one in the village which borders ours.  Like wild packs there are disagreements between the two groups and fights break out.  The dogs below all belong to our village's pack.  Currently there are at least 12 dogs in this pack plus the puppies.  The dogs are territorial and not too choosey about what they eat.  They can all climb and jump. (Of course the names are what we call them so we can tell them apart.)

This is JW. She came to the village in the fall of 2013.  She has a blue ear tag, which I am guessing means she is spayed.  She has claimed our yard as her own.  She climbs the fence from the neighbour's yard to get into ours.  When the weather was so cold two weeks ago she began sleeping on the deck.  I added a tarp for insulation and put the rug she'd claimed on top.  She is very territorial and barks at other dogs who come around.  If I walk in our own village she will go with me, but if I walk in the village next door she turns around at the bridge. Yes I've been feeding her regularly for the last month or so, but as more people return to the village that will come to an end.  My next door neighbour will not appreciate her.

This dog arrived in the village the same day as JW.  He also sports an ear tag.  This is the first time I've seen him in at least a month.  A lot of the dogs in both villages seem to have mange or some other skin condition.  He looked quite miserable yesterday.

From left to right Lloyd (big and not too bright Other dogs don't really seem to like him.), Gimpy (Alpha), Mutt and Jeff (siblings perhaps - always together and lately always with Gimpy). Many dogs have an injury to their back leg or hip as a result of fights, Gimpy is one of those.  Gimpy has been here since we first arrived in December 2011.  Gimpy, Mutt and Jeff have claimed a yard in our village and act quite aggressively when anyone comes near.

Nicole, Sam and I found these pups (2/3 pictured) a couple of days ago.  Their mom and dad were hanging around, but when Sam and I went back for pictures yesterday, their parents were no where to be seen. Their mom is a skeleton, but they seem well fed. Their dad is enormous - probably the biggest/heaviest dog in the village. At the place where we first saw the pups, we also saw 11 cats. ELEVEN!


Sausage has been in the village for about 18 months.