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Scandinavia 2009
Week 4

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19 July 2009 - 25 July 2009

One of many hydrofoil ferries thatt shuttle between Helsinki and Tallinn.

A first view of the Old Town in Tallinn, Estonia.

Raekoja Plats, the Town Hall Square in Tallinn.

Nice doorway.

Looking up at Oleviste Church.

A view of the existing city walls surrounding Old Town in Tallinn.

My Finnish dinner of vendace - battered and fried fish that looked like minnows.

After a long and crappy day, they assign me a seat in an old railway car without A/C?

The railway station in Rovaniemi, Finland, where I arrived at 8 am.

Apparently, I arrived too late for the ice sculpture showing.

The Jatkankynttila Bridge spanning the Kemijoki River in Rovaniemi.

Standing in front of the Arktikum Museum.

The Arktikum Museum had great displays on life in the Arctic circle, both past and present.

A Sami herdsman explaining about reindeer.

I got a chance to walk amongst reindeer during a "Reindeer Safari."

Adult male reindeer grow their antlers all summer long until mating season, then they lose them in the winter.

The exact latitude of the Arctic Circle is marked on the ground at the Santa Claus Village, just north of Rovaniemi, Finland.

Here I am "chilling" at the border of the Arctic Circle.

The timetable guide I was given to help me navigate my way from Rovaniemi, Finland to Stockholm, Sweden.

An exciting fast food lunch at Max in Haparanda, Sweden. Luckily, they took euros, which I still had from Finland.

The double-decker bus I rode from Haparanda to Lulea, Sweden. I was able to ride free with my Eurail pass (perhaps because the trains were not running).

The train station in Boden, Sweden, where I had to switch to the proper train to Stockholm. (The train I had boarded in Lulea was bypassing Stockholm for Goteborg.)

Enjoying food in the dining car. Lucikly, they took plastic for payment.

There were power outlets by my seat in the train, so I could work on video editing during my overnight train ride to Stockholm. (I slept, too, of course.)

The expansive train station in Stockholm, where I spent my waiting time surfing the net and looking for a quiet place to record voice overs. (I could not find such a place, however.)

The sleek modern train that I rode from Karlstad, Sweden to Oslo, Norway.

My first view of Oslo - the pedestrian-only thoroughfare called Karl Johans Gate.

Relaxing in my Oslo youth hostel room after a 33-hour transit from northern Finland.

There are a lot of street musicians busking in the streets of Oslo.

A tram rolling down a street in the city center of Oslo.

Inside the Vikingskiphuset, or the Viking Ship Museum, which displays three Viking ships from the 9th century A.D. used as burials chambers.

A traditional Norwegian stabbur, or storage house, at the Norsk Folkemuseum.

In 1970, Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed the Ra II, a papyrus reed boat built in Egypt, across the Atlantic Ocean, proving that transatlantic journey was possible in ancient times.

The Fram was the ship used by Roald Amendsen to explore both the North and South Poles.

Here I am testing my ship steering skills on board the Fram.

Roald Amundsen made the first crossing of the North West passage aboard the Gjoa, sailing from Norway across the Arctic Ocean north of Canada to Alaska.

The Radhus, Oslo's City Hall, which is full of interesting murals.

The main hall of the Radhus, where the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held every December 10.

My Norwegian dinner of pork, potatoes, and Norwegian sauerkraut.

A night out at the bar with fellow travelers from Dublin, San Francisco, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Det Kongelige Slott, or the Royal Palace where King Harlad V lives.

The changing of the guard ceremony at the Royal Palace in Oslo.

A nice view of the Oslo's harbor from Akershus Fortress.

Listening to the audio tour guide inside Akershus Slott, or Akershus Castle.

This long, tall structure added to the castle was used as a toilet.

Some of the very old canons once used to defend the fortress.

The Nasjonalgalleriet, or the National Gallery, which contains a large collection of Norwegian art.

One of the bronze sculptures on the bridge in Vigelan Park

One of the granite sculptures at Vigelan Park.

Standing in front of the circle of steps that are full of granite sculptures at Vigelan Park. And yes, the tall column behind me is covered with naked human figures.

The Oslo train station is guarded by a tiger.

The view of Vinstra, Norway from the home of my Norwegian relaitives.

Just some cows hanging out on one of the mountain roads.

In the distance, you can see Galdhopiggen, the tallest mountain in Norway.

A picture of a picture, dated from 1895, of the farm owned by my Norwegian ancestors.

My great-great grandmother Karen Egge (1846-1937). She was a hottie!

Standing with my distant relative Svein and his wife.

A view from the bus during my ride to Sogndal.

A view of a distant glacier in Jotunheimen National Park.

The windy switchbacks on the mountain road - I'm glad the driver knew what he was doing.

The bus descended the mountains and drove along the Sognefjorden, the longest fjord in Norway.

I just got off the bus. Now, how do I find the youth hostel?

A view of Sogndal, a sleepy town on the coast of a fjord. (And yes, I found the youth hostel.)

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