29 Aug 2019 – A Walk In The Mountains

Mon: tkx to Stein for driving me around looking for Napoleonskaker, no luck but instead got GrønnGenser/Green Sweater (Marzipan cake filled with apricot, walnuts and cream) which is also delicious and which Ellen also like besides Napoleonskaker. Did not find any in Pedersen, but got it at the baked goods section from the grocery. Lunched with Ellen&Cathrine and good to see that she has improved from a year ago when she decided to move up here – she will be 95 this Oct with a memory better than some of the ppl from my generation!

The rains stopped by the time I started walking and it was a shorter walk than expected, appreciations to Cathrine for lunch and for directions to the short-cut paths. Passing by Elverhøy kirke (1803) – remembered this church by the old hospital and did not know that it moved here!

Tue: was thinking of the cable-car but too hazy to see out from there, also weather forecast rains later. Checked out some of these older buildings – unlike Hammerfest, where everything was burnt down during the war, TOS was spared and if only these buildings can show us some lights to the yesteryears in Verdensteatret Kino (1915), the world’s oldest cinema in use, a place for ArtHouse movies. Railway station that never was and do not know if there ever will be. Stortorget – Rakettkiosken (the round kiosk) and Our Lady Catholic Church.

Marit Bockelie’s Night&Day, the contrast of old&new etc, are all a part of life’s journey and how blessed we are to be able to experience&feel these contrast of life.

Used to go down this jetty (wooden planks in the 1970s) early in the mornings to wait for the fishing boats to get in for their fresh catch of the day, but that was many moons ago. You can still buy seafood (not sure how fresh?) across the road from the jetty in this mobile fish shop – wonder if this little vehicle is the same one that crossed my path last week? How is it that Fangstmonument/ArcticHunter has a gull on his head whenever my camera is ready??

Wed: the daily horn signals from Hurtigruten (the local coaster steamer) at 1445hrs announcing her arrival from the South and then again at 1830hrs when she sails North-bound – like&finding them comforting&soothing to my ears, those are the only ships that I am willing to cruise on.  Nice to catch up with EllenB who now has 4grandchildren.

Thu: up at 0448hrs to see the colours of sunrise. Got on the cable-car by 1000hrs RT NOK210 S$32 to make full use of the day as rains are in the forecast.

Exploring the surrounding area by the station to discover that the Nepalese are here fixing the Sherpatrappa/Sherpa-Steps getting them ready for the Sat night event. Still thinking of attending, but looking at the steps+the thoughts of crowds (make me feel claustrophobic); will also be dark+rains in the forecast, might pass and just be somewhere safe watching. Had early home-made sandwiches lunch outdoors, waiting for the clouds to clear – treated myself to a coffee&dessert NOK87 S$14 in the restaurant with a view.

Interesting huge bird (in my eyes) cloud formation, thank goodness it flew away so that I could follow the red-blaze leading up towards Bønntuva.

Clouds in the sky very much resembles the thoughts in our minds! Both changes perpetually from one second to another – Mehmet Murat ildan

It must have been 40yrs ago since so near Tromsdalstinden that I could see other mts in the background.

TOS seems far away from here. Could not help but felt sad for the young family who recently lost their mother when she was stuck dead by lightning – her funeral is today. On mt terrains when one is so exposed like these, one would not stand much of a chance if lightning strikes…

Did not linger after reaching the top as the clouds did not look too inviting. Took nearly 2hrs to get up nearly 3km and less than an hour to get down – still one small patch of snow and looks like I have not lost the skill for downhill paths! Better not talk too soon, who knows how I will feel tomorrow??

The mountains called and I went, unlike last year as the cable car was closed then!

Life Defies All Logic&Laws

25 Aug 2019 – Well Wishes, Thoughts&Prayers To All

Sat: walk to town from Claire’s passing by a variety of old&new designs for houses. When I was here last year, this house of the Porsche car dealer kind of intrigued me and now I kinda like it, especially the glass-door garage which shows the car – what you see is what he is. The older yellow house with the craved balcony is a contrast and absolutely beautiful.

Our philosophy is about reaching back to move forward. We have something different to say with a sensibility that is both old and new – John Varvatos

WOW – Walls of Women.

Tollboden 1789 – oldest building in the city when the pop was then 70! The first public building, a toll booth in the old town Skansen then. It has been a resident, school, senior-home, museum since then, and now 2019 a protected heritage site with the cannons still pointing to the water towards the mainland, the pop of TOS in 2018 is app 75,638.

Passing by this new development under constructions by the waters where Stein would like to get an apt (so would I) and my size of a vehicle&house. Wall-mural vs a patch of graffiti on the small opening.

Polarmuseet-Polar Museum is about Arctic-hunting and Polar-explorers – preserves and conveys stories related to this aspect of TOS history&the Arctic. NOK70 S$11Adult NOK35 S$5Senior, well worth the visit. Had our home-made sandwiches down by the low-tide seaweed-beach.

Wonder what Caesar will think of this nose?? Amundsen who in 1911 was the first to the South Pole  – poor Scott! Would be pretty hair-raising to have a polar-bear just above you. Good painting of the reindeer hunter that got me thinking of my Norwegian family who recently returned from the mountains from their hunt.

TOS Coat of Arms/Crest being the reindeer, had to get this glow in the dark Aurora T-shirt (always wanted a glow in the dark shirt, and this so far has been the only one liked)+these 2small lovely wooden hand-carved animals NOK405 S$63.

Also have been recently told that Finmark&Troms are merging together – Hammerfest/Finmark has the polar-bear for their Coat of Arms/Crest.

Walking thru’ Kysten-Hus enjoying the CodHumour&admiring the paper-fishy artwork.

Have not noticed this men’s hair salon until now? Maybe this one of Marit Bockelie’s mosaics will be my favourite, but no, I like them all. Down memory land with these 2corners that are not forgotten and look more or less the same as I remember.

Tkx to Claire, time for a coffee and to share a mini Pavlova. This used to be Pedersen bakery (now moved to  Ringveien) where I used to get the yummy Grønn Genser&napoleonskaker

The former police station (fond memories of Henrik&Marit – may they RIP), now the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum/art museum. NOK80 S$12Adults NOK60 S$9Seniors. 

Harriet Backer’s (1845-1932) Chez Moi/Home and the piano in the foyer talked most to me about Yesterday!

Kristian Kvakland (1927-2011) Protest or Vegar Moen (1967) HKG reminding me about the present situation in HKG now! Betzy  Akersloot- Berg (1850-1922) painting on a whale shoulder,  Rose-Marie Huuva (1943) Sami Stories.

Magic Ice Bar, now this is quite an novelty! At first sight, thought they were broken glass, but on further examination, discovered that they were frozen ice shaped like wine glasses – sure got my attention! NOK250 S$40, decided to pass for this round, perhaps next week.

Continuing towards the south along the seafront&jetty watching the paragliding from the cable-car station.

Passing by Polaris to Hålogaland Teater and back into Storgate to meet Stein for dinner.

Huken BRYGG, good food with excellent service (Nathan from CA/USA) – shared the Montaditos, PortobelloBurger for Claire, SquidBurger for Stein, had to try the SpringChicken, the irony to compensate for not being one – hahaha! NOK1,041 S$162.

Shared a bottle of Mack WIT Isbjørn and even though not a beer drinker, enjoyed the taste of this. A thousand thanks to Claire&Stein as she will be off to Dublin tomorrow – safe journeys to her until we meet again.

Different angle with different lights – a beautiful sunset from yesterday evening, but this evening the body goes to sleep with a heavy heart in the cloudy sky as life defies all logic and laws. Should be tired after walking all day, alas could not quiet the mind.

Sun: well wishes, thoughts and prayers are all out hoping for the best on this wet, grey misty day. Tonight I will have a goodnight sleep knowing that things will be better and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For every minute, the future is becoming the past – Thor Heyerdah

Then Nordnorsk Musikkonservatorium

23 Aug 2019 – Now Kongeparken

Wed-cont: started out walking down town on a glorious mid-morning passing by the schools that were&still are – Gylleborg elementary (the wall mosaic-mural was added on after my days), Kongsbakken videregående skole high-school and and the Maritime School. In front of the high-school (now a small park with a sculpture of the king) was  the former Old Latin-School and later Nordnorsk Musikkonservatorium where I worked, but sadly it burnt down in 1979 and the irony of it that it burnt the night after sprinklers were just installed but were not turned on yet!

Excited to find this useful site with old pix of the school which brought back fond memories running down F Langesgate towards town and just before Grønngate or Storegata? on the left-side, there was a wooden building where delicious fresh fish-cakes were made daily and you could buy them from the window – the smell&taste still lingers on…

Marit Bockelie, one of my favourite artists (especially her mosaics), in this area was a neighbour when we lived in Nesøya in the 1970s, I think she still lives there part-time. Her first mosaic in Tromsø is hung@the Department of Meteorological Institute and she titled it Tor With The Hammer Over Tromsø. Her heaviest work is The Gyllenborg-Hanen (Hen) weighs 2+tonnes and is almost 80sqM.

There is more time on this trip to research for the above topics – or perhaps being here now for the moment inspires me to want to find out more.

The new port terminal Prostneset Terminal, a hub for land&sea travelers is also where the Tourist Info is now located. Odyssey for the Future is also docked here for now – lucky me to see this unusual floating vessel, have not heard about it until now.

Slow walk towards Stortorget to KystensMathus for lunch – first time being served with this tomato-based fishsoup, quite good but personal preference is still the cream-base NOK139 S$22. Grey clouds were stating to gather and took the lazy way back by taking the bus NOK19 S$3 up the hill and just as I opened the main door to the apt block, torrential downpours fell from the sky. A good nap in this perfect weather.

Tkx to Claire&Stein for this scrupulous kveita/halibut (caught by Stein) dinner and multe/cloudberry dessert (picked by Claire). What a treat.

Thu: no worries about any weather with all these books around and the sweet fragrance of these roses from Claire’s garden. Managed to book tickets from the USA-OSL flying from Charleston-JFK US$90 S$125 JFK–OSL NOK1,590 S$245, total S$370

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all from this breath-taking view this morning – had to wake myself fully to see that it is for real and not a dream!

Strolling around Prestvannet taking in all the blue sky when it is there, especially with the mountain profile of a nose named Store Blåmann or Blåmannen 1,044m 3,425ft. Was introduced to this mountain as Karl Johans Nesa (Nose) when I first stepped foot in TOS in 1968 and since then, my relationship with this nose is similar to how Caesar was to Cleopatra’ s nose! Every time when I am back here, can never get enough of it.

If Cleopatra’s nose had been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have changed – Blaise Pascal

The paths taken@any Y-junctions have been and hopefully still be an adventure, especially when you meet a polar-bear who can forecast the weather!

Thank you to Laila&Morten for their graciousness for showing Claire&Stein how they have converted a small farm Småslett. to a country house, one of the most charming&idyllic summer places I have been.

Tromsø 2019

21 Aug 2019 – Not All Roads Lead to Rome

There’s roads, and there’s roads,
And they call. Can’t you hear it?
Roads of the earth
And roads of the spirit

The best roads of all
Are the ones that aren’t certain.
One of those is where you’ll find me
Til they drop the big curtain — Bruce Cockburn

Mon: And the road to the 1st day of school into 3rdGrade for #6 starts today

Could not find the Telenor@Majorstuen – took a slow refreshing walk, watching life goes by from Majorstuen to the castle-grounds and the castle.


Unlike SIN, I can walk a whole day here in this kind of weather.

Bought this phone@the Telenor Shop, OsloByporten NOK2400 S$370 and this is the first phone I am paying for! All the others have either been free with a subscription plan or inherited when the younger ppl get new models.

Had the Nordic Fish Soup+my favourite BundabergGingerBeer@PinkFish, OsloCityShopping NOK192 S$30. The only other PinkFish I know of is@Jewel/SIN but the lines were too long at the opening to try then.

Tue: some extra time at the airport to get things sorted@NorwegianCustomerServiceDesk. The Blackbirds here are new, but could not find any title or artist name? FlyBar has been here since the beginning.

Would have lingered longer outside on this lovely day if not for all the smokers, took this on the link-bridge where smoking was not allowed but could still smell them. #6 makes these paper-planes and we have fun trying to fly them from the upstairs into the garden in his home.

Nice grand-piano (played on it with my signature Yesterday!) and life around gate A15 area after checking in. Also a book for signing, but I did not leave any footprints! – found this impressive drawing. Playful time for the kids before strapping them down! Flexible moves from this dancing guy – strange sounds came from the funny looking large street-light when you walk under it.

It was a month shy of 1yr since I was last in Tromsø/TOS.

On time and uneventful nearly 2hrs flight to TOS. Tkx to Claire for meeting me and for delicious lunch with these yummy stone-crab legs fresh from Stein’s catch.

The view from the living room&the kitchen where I will be staying until 3Sep, so what is the complain??? And I will overflow my posting with these kind of views not knowing when&if I will have another chance to stay in Hazel&Richard’s apt located on the highest point of the island in additional to being the top floor in this apt block.

Wed: what a treat to wake up to this kitchen view towards the mainland which was also the living room view from when&where I lived in the 1970s-80s.

A fuller view from the living room towards the airport and the outer islands –

not forgetting that the main drag is located on this tiny island but unlike any other tiny islands, this is a uncrowded island surrounded by clean air, spectacular mountains where I can so understand&relate to life. Only now can I finally&honestly admit that this must be the favourite place where I have so far lived, but… we can get to those buts another day&time. For now I only want to enjoy and cherish every moment here.

Most grateful to Hazel&Richard for the use of their apt, thus being able to appreciate my time here longer, and to Claire&Stein for everything they are doing for me, am sooo truly blessed.

Van Gogh Interactive Exhibition

18 Aug 2019 – Hadeland Glassverk (1762)

Thu: visit here/HG in 2008 with Kari and then 2012 with Mette&Sturla – 7yrs ago since the last visit. Have always enjoyed this place and today was there for another reason than just to see&shop for glass.

Situated in Jevnaker, Oppland 40km N of OSL, at the southern tip of lake Randsfjorden. Usually here to shop for their sales items, but today was for the exhibition, and even that did not stop me from buying a few small sale gift items! Shrimp-salad NOK170 S$26 for lunch, May had a smoked-salmon open-face sandwich and #6 had hotdogs.

The last few days for the Van Gogh exhibition showing 3000 inspirational images using the state-of-the-art Sensory4 technology – for the very first time in the Nordic countries! Quite stunning effects.

Nice view of the lake from the playground&restaurant. Charming white building with the bell-tower which serves as a bakery today. HG is the oldest industrial company in Norway that can claim continuous operation since its foundation A/S Hadeland Glassverk is currently a co within the CG Holding Co, which includes business activities within industry, commodity trading, property and investment. 2012 KingHarald marked HG 250th anniversary,

Pleasant country-drive passing by JevnakerChurch, and again like many churches here, it has with the best views of the Randsfjorden lake&the town centre. Previously the site of a stone church, possibly built by King OlavKyrre, towards the end of the 11th century. Tkx to May for driving, had a good snooze on Riksvei4 back to OSL.

I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream ― Vincent Van Gogh

Fri: TGIF and a good weekend to all. Lunched with Kris – NishiSushi@Majorstua where #6 managed to impress the server by using chopsticks when he had his favourite 6salmon-sushi pieces. Kris had the TartarTrio – spicy tuna; salmon with sesame seeds&mango; scallops with lime&cilantro and salmon sashimi for me, total: NOK411 S$63.

Tkx to Kris for this lovely piece of weave made by her. Toy shopping&banking and appreciations to Kris for her help@DnB. Seems like I need a Norwegian mobile number to make certain changes.

Sat: nearly 3weeks and few food pix. The children’s father once told me that many ‘Norwegians eat to live, while we live to eat and my father told me that When in Rome, do as the Romans do, so enjoying&savouring the fresh-bakes&seafood here to the fullest. Made a plate of roast beef salad at home for a fraction of the price compared to this small bowl of chicken ramen NOK139 S$22 eaten outside; bouquet of sunflowers NOK205 S$32. Food culture here is completely different from SIN, and we do not often eat out here.

I am on a seafood diet, I see food and I eat it –


Sun: after relentless rains yesterday and a nice night O-sitting, the sky cleared with a glorious sunrise today. Sunset pix with Holemnkollen SkiJump in the background was taken on a beautiful evening when it was not raining. Getting things sorted out to travel with just a bag-pack (ie no checked-in luggage) heading north next week. OSL-TOS-OSL NOK1,328-S$205.

Reminder note: when I can remember, will share the cost of living when in Norway as I have been often asked about how much things cost here. Thus prices quoted are NOT complains or comparisons, but to answer&share.


14 Aug 2019 – OSL Under Construction

Mon: breakfast (NOK144 S$23) across the road from Vinstra train station in the local bakery Ødegaarden Bakeri&Konditori – could not resist 2nd piece of napoleonskaker. Norway has the best bread&napoleonskaker for my taste. Their fresh seafood is a must. TINE Norvegia cheese, whole milk, butter, fresh cream and the local blueberries&strawberries are foods I live on during my stay here.

Why did I not notice this yesterday? Saw the bakery from a distance and knowing that it would be closed on a Sun, had my own sandwich and walked in the opposite direction.

Vinstra train station like the hostel are unattended. If you are not prepared for this kind of life, make sure that you have all your info+whatever you need in your hands or in your mobile fully charged with WiFi connection or you will be lost.

Tkx for this time round and so long Vinstra. 3+hrs direct train 1152hrs from Vinstra-OSL, stopping@Ringebu (pix downloaded), Hunderfossen, Lillehammer, (pix of the cafe on the train as I was having a hot-dog+soda NOK76 S$12), Hamar,

OsloLufthavn/Airport, Lillestrom, getting into OsloS@1503hrs sharp to the maddening crowds connecting on the T-Ban to Majorstuen and bus from there. Due to constructions, the direct tram from OsloS to where I wanted to go was not so direct! Quite a contrast with scenery from the boat ride to Filtvet but trains&boats, etc, like Japan are very punctual (unless under constructions!) in this country too.

Faster than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles;
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And here is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart runaway in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill, and there is a river:
Each a glimpse and gone forever – Robert L Stevenson

Sad to learn about the news of the mosque attack at al-Noor Islamic Centre in Skui (24k south of OSL) on their Hari Raya Qurban.

Tue: morning walk from Holbergs plass to Fredricks gate passing by the HistoricalMuseum  which is under  renovation. Fascinating to see that not only the buildings, but also the tram-line under renovation are covered with not just plain boring covers, but prints of the finished results.

Peacock-Fountain by the Nationaltheatret, across towards the CityHall passing by ChatNoir which has a performance titled 12 Gode Råd=12 good advices – hahaha the irony of that title next to an Irish Pub!? Nobels fredssenter= Nobel-PeaceCenter is also under covers!

With all these constructions+

the new completed Fisketorget=fish-market (which is actually a restaurant) and the new National Museum (grey brick building in the background still under construction), it is good to see the old sailing vessel on the water.

Its been a while since I have been inside AkerBrygge Shopping and good to be there when nothing is opened yet, thus no one around.

The outdoors side lanes are quite interesting.


Wed: appreciations to Ingrid for an interesting rehearsal performance to Shakespeare’s Romeo&Juliet – first time@ Riksteateret i Nydalen. 

Don’t waste your love on somebody, who doesn’t value it ― William Shakespeare

Peer Gynt på Gålå

11 Aug 2019 – Bucket List 

Wed&Thu: getting errands&shopping (NOK1,380 S$212)  done while May&family packed to head for the mountains. First piece of one of my favourite cakes here in Norway, napoleonskaker@Bakeriet Nærbakst/Majorstua. NOK94 S$15

Fri: TGIF – Majulah Singapura! Great to catch up with Mette for lunch before rushing into town to catch the train to Slepender NOK30 S$5. Appreciations to Leng&Tore for hosting&including me in their yummy ND pot-luck gathering in their lovely home. First time I am meeting so many of my fellow SIN in OSL. This must be my first ND celebrated in Norway with fellow-SIN.

Sat: up bright and early to catch the first T-ban-OsloS. What a confusion for me to assume (how may times do I tell myself to not assume, but check!!!) that the bus would be leaving from the bus-terminal, but turned out that for some reason or other, the bus was leaving between the train-station and ThonHotelOpera@Trelastgata. Just as well I was early out and made it in good time for the bus. Not sure why I had to take the bus to Lillehammer and then change to the train to Vinstra (not going to assume here!) – was just happy to get transportation. RT tickets to&from OSL NOK606 S$95

Appreciations to Guri for meeting me at the station in Vinstra – Peer Gynt’s Country. Good to have names of places on my pix, so as to not forget when&where wandering off beaten paths might lead me.

Headed straight up to Gålå to where they have rented a cabin for the duration of the Peer Gynt performances. Welcome back to the charms of country-roads where the animals have the right-of-way.

For Guri, 10mins run will take them to the scene, for me 30mins to walk. While the men&the kids were indoors swimming (weather overcast with rains), Guri&friend were out cross-country running to get ready for their marathon in the Feroe isalnds/Sep, I took the time walking to explore. Cakes bought there NOK245 S$38, gifts&souvenirs NOK170 S$27.

This is an outdoor performance and this year, the novelty of an infinity pool will be interesting to the scenes. Above 3pix downloaded as I will not have the opportunity to take aerial views and in blue sky for this time round.

Today is Even’s 5th Bday and here celebrating with his parents, siblings Peder, Eline+2friends&their parents. Had to take some pix with the little Big star with his proud parents&proud grand-godparent! if that even exist! The last time I met up with the whole Stenseth family was in 2015, 4yrs ago when Even was 1.

Full-house for Ibsen’s Peer Gynt på Gålå 2019 last performance (NOK800 S$125) for Peder. Difficult to take pix during the performance due to the lighting and the weather. Was also told not to take pix during the performance, but managed to do so under the covers of a rain-cape borrowed from Guri. Doubt that anyone noticed it as I was taking the pix from the inside of quite a fully covered cape.

Amazing set-ups scenes, props, etc. The infinity pool gave the special effects, especially at the ship-wreck scene – with the rains&cloudy sky, the feeling was quite surreal. Sure would like to play on that baby-grand being slowly pulled across the waters. The only 2pieces of Greg’s Peer Gynt Suite used here were Solveig’s Song&The Death of Åse. 

Tkx to Guri for the summary program where you can see what it is like in clear weathers. This is one of the items to do/see on my bucket list, but unlike others, this one is a special bonus – with Peder in this performance. By the time I got back to my accommodations, it was way pass midnight, happy to have had this experience at this stage of life’s journey.

Sun: decided to take an extra day here in VInstra. No complains with the place here NOK2,190 S$340 for 2nights, surrounded by mountains, clean, no frills and 5mins walk to the train station.

Nice walk around the area by the river about noon and the weathers were just perfect. Discovered the church up the slopes and decided to walk up there, remembering that churches in this country usually have the best sights.

Sure enough and worth the walk uphill to Sødorp kirke (1760), a beautiful old structure in serene surroundings overlooking the town on the other side of the river.

Headed back slowly across the river admiring this lovely house with a gazebo by the river. Strange to see how calm the river is on one side of the bridge, while it seems the opposite on the other side – enjoyed thoroughly this 2hrs refreshing walk.

To live is to war with trolls in heart and woul. 
To write is to sit in judgment on oneself – Henrik Johan Ibsen, Peer Gynt