Pilgrims’ Progress: Journal Entries from a 60th Anniversary Pilgrimage – #8
On August 15, 2019, thirteen Canadian Jesuits will note their 60th Anniversary as members of the Society of Jesus. Two members of this group – Charlie Pottie Pate, SJ and David Eley, SJ – have chosen to make a special pilgrimage to mark the occasion. They have graciously agreed to share their journal entries and photos with igNation which will post them once or twice a week.
# 8 Journal Thursday June 13
Well this our last day in Oslo has been full and wonderful. Not enough time to see everything, of course. But we must enjoy what we can do in the limited time we have.
The hotel served a wonderful, hearty breakfast to start our day. We decided to settle for the boat cruise to Oslo fjord and the islands. It was too far to go to Bergen in a day to see the major fjords.
But Oslo is also a fjord partly formed by a glacier and comets and volcano activity in this area 3 million years ago! This 2 hr cruise gave us a wonderful view of the city of Oslo seen from the large body of water leading into the north sea in the south. Lots of islands and beautiful buildings along the seashore.
It was a cloudy day but not raining. We had a very good audio commentary during the boat trip. See photo of Oslo fjord looking west.
Then we visited the City Hall (Radhus). This is a city hall unlike anything I’ve seen anywhere. Outside, modest looking but inside these amazing paintings of the ordinary life and work of the citizens of Norway. This was begun in 1930 and finished in 1950. It really is an artistic expression of the people’s social democratic outlook in Norway. Beautiful rooms with paintings and tapestries. Also where the Nobel Peace prize is given each year.
After a sandwich lunch in the plaza (modelled after the piazza in Siena, Italy), we returned to the hotel. David went to see the Cathedral. I went to see the new Opera house. Beautiful structure…. Like an iceberg was the artist’s conception. See photo.
Then I walked up the famous Karl Johan’s Gate (street), a pedestrian only street, with lots of shops, the Parliament building, Historic museum, ending with the Royal Palace and park. It was a wonderful walk and even though I just got a short glimpse of the richness of the city, it was worth it.
Did you know that Norway is celebrating this year 2019, the anniversary of universal suffrage for all men and women, whatever social and economic strata they may be? It was a gradual upward battle to have all citizens the right to vote. There were some wonderful posters giving the history of this struggle.
After this, I went and had a half hour or so in the sauna of the hotel. Very relaxing. We then had our dinner in the hotel restaurant. Delicious offerings and very reasonable. We are leaving very early for Stockholm tomorrow morning, direct train from Oslo to Stockholm.
Oslo in Norway has been a wonderful experience. The people are very friendly and kind in helping tourists. Just tonight I was returning from the long walk and wanted to take the tram but I didn’t know which track to get it. Ask some men nearby but they didn’t know. This lovely young woman ran up to me and asked me where I was going (towards the Central Station, I said). She indicated clearly where to get the train. So kind of her. So good night and enjoy the read.