Friday, February 12, 2010

Oslo

Busy week. Lots of preparation for a two-day conference in Oslo on Thursday and Friday. Wonderful trip!

Transit was very easy. I breezed through taxi, plane, and train to get me from my house to the Thon Opera hotel in downtown Oslo. I even helped someone buy tickets from the machine at the Oslo airport... a year ago that would have been me asking someone else for help. Thursday evening I met the Capellen Damm publisher representatives that were hosting the conference, and we hit it off immediately. The first night was at the publishing office in a cozy space with small round tables and candles, with about 70 teachers there. (I always multiply these numbers by 67 to get a feeling for the impace, because Norway has 1/67 the population of the U.S., so it's the equivalent of a conference with 5000 people in the U.S. Okay, maybe it's not a realistic conversion, but it's fun to think that way!) Afterwards, I went out with a group of authors of a popular high school textbook series, and we stayed out late. It was a lot of fun, and I talked Norwegian the whole night and felt very comfortable with that.

In the morning, I walked across the street to stretch my legs and explore the opera house. Fantastic building! I gave a second talk that afternoon, and left immediately afterwards to rush to the airport. I left the hotel at 3:30 and my flight departed at 4:55, so I was bit nervous. With Oslo Sentral station right across the street from the hotel, however, I was on a train at 3:40 minutes, to the airport at 4:00, and at my gate 10 minutes before boarding. Easy!

I got home in time to take Maggie to a Valentines dance at school and then went to bed early. A wonderful trip, and I made a lot of new friends.

A statue of Kirsten Flagstad, one of the world's greatest opera singers, stands near the entrance to the opera house.

Designed to look like an iceberg, you are allowed to walk all over it. Here I am on the top.

Mysterious patterns on the top of the building. Is it a code? The musical score to an opera perhaps? I hope so.

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