|We left Lillehammer on our way to Oslo. Lillehammer is a small town but it also hosted the 1994 Olympics . The town is very neat and clean. There is farmland around the town and lots of trees and greenery in town. There's a nice park behind the Townhall and you can still see the ski jumps on the hills from the 1994 Olympics. To show how much Lillehammer has progressed since the Olympics there is a McDonald's in town. Lillehammer after we left town we headed toward Hammer which is the town along the way to Oslo. Headfirst the road we were on had lots of trees on both sides of the highway. The area was very green and beautiful. There was a lake alongside the highway which was very blue and clear. The farmers harvest hay or alfalfa and package it in plastic which looks like giant marshmallows. If the packaging is blue the farmer made a contribution to boys or men's prostate cancer. The packaging is pink the contribution is for breast cancer and if the packaging is yellow it is for children's issues. The town of Hammer posted the Olympic speed skating and figures skating events. This one was the venue for the Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan controversy. We took a bridge over the lake and continued on our journey . There was a significant road construction on the motorway and it appeared they were widening the road. Norway is making significant investment in infrastructure to include tunnels and roadways. Most of the construction equipment was Europeanwith the dump trucks being Volvo. Not a piece of Catapillar equipment to be seen. As we continued from Hammer to Oslo, we were still in a farming area. We then paralleled a new lake which is called the Mjosa. It is the largest lake in Norway and is approximately 120 km long. On our drive we went through a number of times and passed an IKEA store in the middle of nowhere and a Tesla dealership. We saw at least three IKEA store and two Tesla dealership during our tour. We saw pockets of commercial activity and some small towns on our drive but basically the area is farming and rural?
On a more important note it turns out that the state controls the sale of alcohol and wine. They have state stores with very limited hours and the prices are high because of heavy taxation . You can buy beer in a grocery store but that is it. The government does not want the population drinking excessively so they control the sale of spiris.
We arrived in Oslo a little bit after noon and were given two hours to entertain ourselves. We decided to go to the national art museum which was a real fine. It was artwork by Munch, Degas Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Manet, Cezanne any many others. We were able to see the paining named The Scream by Edvard Munch.
Since it is Sunday there are not a lot of people out and about. We walked A pedestrian street and then headed back to the bus for a short tour of Oslo. We toured the Vigeland Sculpture Park Mister Vigeland spent 40 years of his life designing the park, the sculptures, the fountains, and everything else contained within the park. The park is approximately one square-mile and is heavily visited by the local population. We also saw the new opera house which is designed to look like a glacier and an artwork sitting in the bay by the opera house which is designed to look like an iceberg. The opera house is newly constructed and there is a lot of construction going on in the inner Harbor area. There are a number of condominiums going up which are being sold quickly. 80% of Norwegians own A home. The religion is Lutheran although people are not particularly religious. The tap water safe to drink anywhere in Norway. 60% of the cars in the Oslo area are electric and the government gives special advantages to electric car owners. There are approximately 700,000 people and I and the total population of the country is approximately 5 million. Norway gained its independence in 1905 after 400 years of Danish and 100 years of Swedish rule.
After our tour we went back to the hotel, checked in, and headed for the harbor area. We went to the Nobel peace Center where they award the peace prize every year it was very impressive and had an interactive display of each individual Nobel peace prize award winner. We also went to the City Hall which is a very large building with girls in the interior lobby. We also did a little shopping as there were some shops open along the inner Harbor even though it was Sunday. We had a nice dinner at the Harbor with a view of the fjord. Having spent a long day of sitting and walking around we decided to turn in for the evening.