Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Not Orly but Oslo

The week of 18-23 October took us to Oslo for the annual conference of ITU: The IT Research and Competence in Education research centre in the Education Faculty at the University of Oslo. We were doing the opening plenary for the conference, and it was our first time ever in Norway.

I flew from Montreal to Paris -- but to Charles de Gaulle Airport, not Orly -- and then onto Oslo. Perhaps it was because it quickly became apparent that Norway was a place we'd love to return to that we did not get the camera out earlier. Or perhaps it was because the conference turned out to be full time work for almost all the time we were there. Whatever the reason it was not until the last afternoon that we really got a chance to get out and look around. It was cold and wet. On the way to the airport the next day it was snowing. Could be a long winter in Oslo .....

The free day began with a trip to the Munch Museum to take in what we know as German Expressionism. I'm no art critic, but this was a seriously comprehensive museum that communicated a full (and dark) concept. The only work of Munch that I had previously known was The Scream -- housed somewhere else, perhaps mercifully. I'm not easy to get into museums, but this one was magical in a troubling kind of way. It will live on in my head and my mind's eye for a long time, and if I ever retutn to Oslo I will visit again. It made a disturbing impact.

Then we wrestled with the elements and found a bus for the Viking Ships museum, but we went in the wrong direction!! That was not a problem since it was so cold and wet outside. The bus arched through the city centre and out through various Gates to the end of its line -- wonderful sightseeing in the rain. Considerable cold weather architectural majesty. It was easy to spend time on the bus and ride it to the end of the line and then back to the Viking ships. After all, we thought there was plenty of time before the 6pm close. But we were out of season and closing was at 4pm. We stole a peek at the big ship through the doors until a guard passed by to suggest with a glance that we move on.

We walked in the rain and finally decided it was not going to get any better, so the camera came out. On the road from the Viking ships to the folk museum we found a very nice neighbourhood that shared its good looks with us as the rain came down and our hands quietly froze.

Onto the bus and the camera came out again. But this time I shot short videos in order to get as much as possible on the way back. The video cameos are great, but do not yet translate to the blog.

The short sequence of photogenic houses follows. Meanwhile, we have briefly blogged the conference at our everyday literacies blog.


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