While waiting for the train to leave Oslo, Sven and Olga spent a few hours in nearby Frogner Park, the open-air gallery dedicated to the works of Gustav Vigeland, the Norwegian sculptor. More people visit Vigeland’s park than any other tourist attraction.
“Vill yoou look at dat, Sven? Dey are all naked!” stated Olga, a bit embarassed by the sculptures.
“Oh, yah!” Sven replied.
They moved through the crowd, past the numerous bronze artworks. Then Sven thought he heard someone yelling his name.
“Vell, vell, vell! If it isn’t my oold friend, Sven!”
“Yumpin’ Yiminee! Iss dat Villem? Villem Knutsen?”
“Uff dah! Dat girl oover dere looks like she had a bad hair day,” commented Olga.
It was Sven’s old friend, Willem Knutesen. Willem had worked with Sven at TwinX Software in the United States. He then returned to Norway and was now writing restroom gasket replacement procedure manuals at the Oslo Sanitation Institute.
Sven told Willem about his train trip and Willem quickly ran home to pack in order to join Sven on the trip.
“Yumpin’ Yiminee! It vass goot to see Willem again,” said Sven
Here we see Sven’s family at a ski resort in the Marka, the area of forests, hills, and lakes that surrounds the whole of central Oslo. “I vass not in der pictoor, because I vass taking it,” commented Sven.
The Storting is Norway’s parliament. In World War II, the Storting refused to appoint Vidkun Quisling (a Nazi puppet, whose name is synonymous with traitor) governor. In the crowd, in the upper right corner of this image, we can see Sven and Olga waving to us.
Sven is very proud of his fellow Norwegians, “Vhen dat damn Hitler vass trying to take oover da vorld, vee kicked his boot oout of here!”
The hilly and mountainous geography in Norway is not very well suited for railways. This is the main reason for the somewhat limited network. But the scenery along the lines are in some places marvelous and attracts a large number of tourists to the country especially during the summer. Tickets with any combination of Train, Bus, Ferry and Airline are available and there are good connections between the different means of transport.
Avalanches are a constant threat to train travel in Norway. However, Norwegian ingenuity and adaptability is displayed here with a man-made tunnel that any avalanche merely passes over and train travel continues on.
Because of the difficult geography, train speeds are restricted. The traveling speed including all stops is between 70 and 80 km/h. Maximum allowed speed in Norway is at the moment 160km/h. The new line between Oslo and Gardermoen Airport is built for 200km/h.
The BM71 (right) will be the train Olga and Sven Svensen will be riding on their train tour of Norway. Sven commented, “Uff-dah, dat is vun fast choo-choo!”
Sven Svensen has arrived in Norway to begin his new job as the Head Janitor of the Royal Palace located in Oslo. Sven is the former chief janitorial officer of the now defunct TwinX Software, a small start-up company located in Folsom, California.
The autumn had been long and dry. The winds had rushed in from the South, parching the only arable land, leaving a scant harvest. But it would do. The food would last until early summer; and, with a little extra work in the spring, they would survive.
“We simply aren’t going to spend that kind of money on an employee ventilation request. The option on the building lease comes up soon, and we could be moving to Houston sooner than some think. Our budget certainly doesn’t have allocations for those expenditures”, retorted Dan Dollars, Vice President of Finance.