Norway in a Nutshell

We left Oslo in style with Mari and Einar, Mari at the wheel of her car. Mari spent her junior year of high school with my family in Dallas through AFS. She merged into our family and life as if she had always been there. I had not met her family until this trip, but we spent a week with them, first in her parents mountain cabin and then in her lovely home on the water.

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Karen DeGraffenreidComment
On to Oslo

orway has been beckoning me for 18 years, ever since our delightful Norwegian “daughter” Mari spent a year with our family in Dallas. Our first Norwegian stop was Oslo, a delightful capital city on the Oslo Fjord. We initially stayed in the suburbs, a quick train ride away. With something beautiful around every corner, we chose to start with the Castle and Norway’s Resistance Museum.

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Tallinn, Estonia, Glorious Medieval Town

allinn is an amazing city in a country that has struggled to be free. The city was originally organized as a chartered city by the Danes in the 1200’s. Later, after German occupation, two centuries of czarist Russian rule, and finally integration into the Soviet Union, Estonia, a tiny country on the Baltic Sea, had a peaceful exit from the Soviet Union and is now a free country, a member of the EU and NATO.

The walled old town, still 95% intact with 26 watchtowers each topped by a pointy re

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Hopping Around Helsinki

We took our second overnight cruise on Tallink to Helsinki. With an early disembarkation, it is the city where Paul and I decided we could manage public transportation in a brand new city with 4 suitcases. Essentially, we became those people dragging their suitcases on and off of trams and over six blocks of busy streets. Yes, it was stressful, but we did it! And it wasn’t that difficult. We parked our suitcases at the bus station lockers and toured until we could check into our crazy, tiny, pretty horrible apartment. Live and learn!

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Song of Stockholm

We arrived in Stockholm via the train from Copenhagen to a gloomy afternoon, which evolved into a mostly glorious 11 days of sunshine. I was excited to spend my birthday in Stockholm that unfortunately I fell and turned my ankle/foot after walking about 100 meters out of our apartment. Paul retrieved Advil for me, and I limped on to see the Royal Palace

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