Early on into this trip, Dad became obsessed with eating seafood. Perhaps it's due to his interpretations of the Baltic region that Dad wanted to refuse land meats and focus solely on consuming creatures that once roamed the mighty depths. He was appalled when there were no easily accessible seafood restaurants in a given town and would comment often about it while eating at a foreign steakhouse or burger joint. Eventually Mom said, "Shut up about the seafood." and it made all of us cackle.
Our last day in Copenhagen included a stressful mad-dash breakfast that involved tense battles of speed against other morning eaters. You had to fight for breakfast in this place and some Union's fared better than others. All a little grumpy from the Breakfast Match, we piled into a taxi and rode out to the port to climb onto the floating bowl of germs that would carry us from city to city for the next ten days. T'was a lovely boat, not decorated with garish colors and confusing artwork. Mom and I enjoyed the splashes of navy blue and celadon green in an otherwise sandy colored lounge. Dad and Ellen enjoyed the many applications on their stateroom tv's. Actually the day we boarded the ship was the World Cup Final so a gaggle of cruisers forwent the initial explorations of the first day aboard and instead we gathered in a theater that was showing the game on a large screen.
My notes tell me that Dad proudly took three naps on this day and that Ellen went to the gym within two hours of unpacking.
We woke up the next morning in Oslo, Norway. Our initial jaunt into to town was led by Mops who had already figured out where to hop onto a ferry that would take us over to the Viking Ship Museum. We rode in a little tender boat over to an island in the harbor where we looked at ancient viking boats but also mostly waited for Mom to look at the ancient Viking boats. They were very neat to see and also a little scary. Those Viking dudes just piled into what is effectively an enormous canoe and they hit the high seas. There was no worry of different levels, ballast stones, I'm not even sure some of them had sails. I left the Viking Ship Museum having decided that those ancient Nordic men relied entirely on bravery because there must not have been much complex thinking going on in their brains.
The chunk of Oslo that we wandered in was very New Endglandy with a smidge of Europe. Crisp and blue. Pretty trees. Things you'd expect from a Northern haven that takes their environment very seriously. Post Ship Museum, Ellen and Dad wandered back to the Ship for naps and snacks. Mops and I ventured into the city a bit and found government buildings and flower lined streets. The Norweigian people are very tall and light-haired and I imagined a nordic Brett leaning on a building smoking a cigarette. He'd have fit right in. I pointed this out so many times that I think I annoyed Mom. "That guy looks like Brett.", "Look at that Brett doppelgänger!", "That guy would look like Brett if he cut his hair and was a little taller and fixed this teeth!"
Blinded by what, you say?
On our way back to the boat, Mom and I stopped at a little seaside cafe called Pappabuene where we drank sodas and people watched. We studied locals and tourists alike and the most memorable three seconds of this lounge occurred when a little girl, suspended directly over Mom's head by her father, let out a larger than expected little girl poot and Mom's eyes bugged out with outrage. I had a hard time waiting for that family to leave before I laughed at the gall of that little girl and the horror on the face of my lady-like mother.
My last note on Oslo is their fondness for trolls. Mom hated these trolls. They appeared in statues, gift shops, door stoops, and key chains and I reckon those Wegians are proud of their trolls on account of folktales and whatnot. Though I said it softly to Ellen, Dad heard me compare them to his possible future appearance and he didn't disagree.