Preparing for trip. \240Writing lists, gathering information

Copy of Painting of Disenmoen farm in Vikersund Norway is ready for framing. A gift for whoever lives there now. \240Will there be a distant kin? Whatever happens is fine. \240Part of the adventure ahead. \240Plan on bringing photos and family information.

This painting was done in the 1970’s by a friend of my Dad’s cousin. \240We looked at the location a few years ago on Google Earth and could find \240what she had painted.

We will also be in Oslo checking out the many museums. \240I am especially excited about the art and will of course seeing Edvard Munich’s Scream

Bill found the actual place on the internet where he painted it. \240And you know what? - it looks nothing like the background here. 😆 surprise

This plate was painted by my sister Karen when she was a kid. It hung on our dining room wall when I was a kid. \240 Probably the first time I realized I was Scandinavian. These \240were the first Norwegian words I knew. These words along with my Dad counting to 10 in Norwegian.

I took Norwegian in college and only remember a few phrases. I know we won’t need it.

Will l hear at least one \240Uff Da!??

I have a feeling it would come from a Midwesterner and not \240a Norwegian.


i dag

Landed at Keflavík airport at 6:45 am (about 6 hours). It is a small airport. We already scoped it out looking at duty free items to buy when we leave for home in a couple of weeks. \240 Waiting for our connection to Oslo.

Airport Hotel Aurora Star

Breakfast-salmon omelet

Anker Hotel

i dag

We boarded our plane for Oslo at 10:30 am on 7/11.

We were part of the party in the back row with a couple of kids. They were not happy kids so we didn’t get much sleep. \240

When we finally made our descent into Oslo international Airport, Gardermoen, I was surprised to see so many farms and green. \240So different from other airports and so little traffic and freeways that you see coming into MSP airport. \240

Gettinto to the city a breeze by train. \240Finding our hotel was easy as well. \240We bought our Oslo Pass for 3 days of visiting museums.

Anker Hotel is small but the beds are comfy but maybe we are so exhausted we don’t notice.

We went out to eat at a Norwegian restaurant but the restaurant was closed for the season. \240Where did we end up? but at Brew Dog Oslo, a \240brew pub ordering burgers and beer. And not even a Norwegian beer. \240We were too tired to care. The server gave us a map of places to check out during our visit.

We walked back to our hotel stopping at another tap room and had a couple of Scandinavian beers. \240It all works out.


It’s 9:30 and still bright outside but we are back in our room ready for a good \240night sleep before hitting the museums tomorrow.

Anker Hotel

i dag

Our breakfast buffet was fantastic. Lots of fresh food - breads, cheese, fish cakes, salmon, roasted potatoes, yougurt, eggs. \240 (Spis og drik)

It was a day of history - Viking ships and polar expeditions (Flam museum)

A walk through Oslo

Fish and chips for dinner

It’s after 10 pm and we are outside at the hotel having a Hansa beer except for Dylan who is resting for tomorrow’s hike to Vigland Sculpture Garden and Edvard Munch museum.

My friends

Good Irish food

Flam ship is huge

Viking ship

Stave Church

God Dag!!!

A Trough is Just a Trough (except In Norway when it means that BREAKFAST is the most important meal of the day.

My EX mother -in-law used to say that food buffets were like pig troughs. \240And when you think about places like Old Country Buffet it’s easy to say yes.

Our hotel’s breakfast is a buffet - a huge one but the quality surpasses anything in America’s hotels idea of “free breakfast. \240

I am loving the fresh breads, yogurt, fruit, cappuccino, salmon, potatoes each morning.

The people of course still move around like cattle. \240Luckily the dining area is huge to accommodate.

Anker Hotel


Today was art day so we walked a lot!

First to the Munch Museum which current exhibit was titled, Exit! because the museum is moving to a new building by the waterfront next year. I learned more about the building history than about the artist. \240I did get to see The Scream but it was difficult because of all the people doing selfies. Bill got yelled at trying to move away from the groups and getting too close to the paintings.

The exit dumps you out right conviently into the gift store just like in DisneyWorld. \240I still wonder why The Scream theme is so out of control. \240The museum had a display of the many items using The Scream image. \240Everything you could want could have the Scream on it.

People were not only doing selfies with the painting but they were also mimicking it for photos.

On our way to Vigland Park we found Munich’s grave and a chalkboard on the ground allows people to draw a picture.

Guess what someone drew? \240Yep!

People are scream crazy.


We continued on our very long walk up past the old wooden houses to Vigeland Park

The Sculpture park & museum displays the works of Gustav Vigeland,

It is the largest sculpture park in the world created by a single sculptor.

Impressive is an understatement.

The most popular Crying baby

Bill thinks this represents the perfect father

We took an hour to do our own sketching in the park next to one of the smaller fountains.

It’s funny but once you sit down with a sketch pad you attract attention. Two Chinese families came right up to me and looked at my sketch and both times a woman hugged me then their husband took our picture. \240Both times smiling and telling me I was doing a good job and then giving me a thumbs up.

NOTE: I have no real talent. I do this to relax so I’m not showing my work instead here is a glimpse of Bill’s Nordic collage that he is working on.

Akershus Fortress

Akershus Castle meets The Love Boat

Old meets new. \240Looking out from Akershus Castle (a Medieval castle from around 1300 AD) at the Princess Cruise Ship preparing to takeoff. \240Soon The Love Boat theme plays from the ship while people in courtyard fence.

Looking at ship outside castle. It is larger and taller than some buildings

“And just how tall are you?”

Our Room at the Anker Hotel is an IKEA showroom.

I feel like our hotel room could be in an IKEA catalogue. \240Everything is compact and simple including our fold up shower.

Not complaining- the beds are very \240comfy. \240I’ve always loved feather beds!


July 14, 2019. Sunday

Getting their sea legs before our 3 hour Prawn Buffet Cruise. \240No deserted islands found.

Dylan wasn’t so sure about the prawns buffet. Bill doesn’t like looking at something looking back at him.

And then suddenly we felt we were in a scene from the movie, The Birds.

I felt like we were in the movie The Birds. \240There were so many chasing the boat.

The night ended with the Song Dancing in the Moonlight playing as the Captain pulled the boat expertly into the dock.

Tot mot Bergen. Tuesday 7/16/19

On the 8:25 am train to Bergen. \240All the heavy forests remind me of Finland Mn

We are going through beautiful places and will \240spend 5 days in Bergen.

Some of \240the even better views were on the other side of train. \240 It was also a challeng to take photos because of all the tunnels that came up and my unlucky timing. And then there was all those darn trees!!! \240 So many excuses.

I used my camera so there are more photos on that then here.

At one point the conductor pointed out that we were passing the place where They filmed The Empire Strokes Back in the town of Finse -24000 feet above sea leve,l \240filmed here in winter as the ice planet Hoth. \240Of Course I was unable to get a photo so you’ll just have to believe me.


Back to Some of My \240Roots -Monday July 15, 2019

Stopped in the Vikersund Cafe and the owner prepared tapas for us with a huge selection of Norwegian food for us. We had plenty to take with us to eat for a couple of days. Delicious

Still feel like I am in twilight zone from yesterday.

I \240just happened to connect with a distant cousin and to learn so much in such a short amount of time. To actually discover a personal past. To feel like you left the 21st century.

The area of Vikersund and the Disen farm is beautiful.

Lots of awe moments.

To walk in an 11 th century church and on Pew #29 to see my family name on the pew.

To see a 16th century Bible sent to the church by the King

The guide showing us the Oldest print \240in Norway of the Last \240Supper

To go outside to the quiet cemetery and find family gravestones and right above the Vikersund Ski Jump (the second largest in the world) nestled in these thick green hills.

Old meets new

And to learn that my maiden name is prounced Disen (Deeson) not Dyson.

Lots of joyful surprises.

I’m in Awe.

Lunch at the Vikersund Cafe - real Nordic food

My cousin Truls Disen (4th cousin?). His great great \240grandmother, Kari \240was sister to my great great \240grandfather Daniel Disen.

The view from the Disen farm

The 1100 AD Church where the Disen family attended church services.

The oldest print in Norway \240of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper is up on the wall.

Bottom left on pew -the name Disen where family sat for church.

Where old meets new. \240The family cemetery and right above Is the Vikersund Ski Jump — the second largest in the world.

Grand Hotel Terminus

Our hotel - Grand Terminus in Bergen- is directly across from The Train Station. \240Loved loved this place.

We went from IKEA hotel design in Oslo to Art Deco hotel. How convenient to be re-reading The Great Gatsby while I’m here.

More room

Art Deco bathroom reminds me a bit of MC Escher

View outside our window. \240There are no screens on any of our windows in any of the hotels.

Only fear is a seagul may come in. Where are the mosquitoes I heard about.

4:41 sunrise. \24010:46 \240pm

Blessed daylight

Lobby where we sat and I read The Great Gatsby

Amundsen’s connection to hotel. \240

Loved this hotel and its old world elegance and how it fit with all of what I was doing at the time like interconnecting puzzle pieces.

The Train from Oslo to Bergen. Most are on my camera and I will add when I get home. \240Hard to express the beauty with a camera.

I’ll be taking more pictures on the train back. Part of the even better views were from the other side of train. \240But everything is beautiful here. It’s just getting the next beautiful one \240and can I keep topping it? \240But whose to judge?

Roll & Rock American Diner

Dinner with Elvis at the Roll & Rock Diner

And on our way back to the hotel:

Some photos of Bergen



Fish Market

Umbrella society again

Of course it is —It rains 266 days of the year

Quaint cafe


Our Search for Trolls on Mount Floyen

A ride up on the Floibanen Funicular \240to the top of Mount Floyen on a rainy day.

And then our hike above took us through woods where trolls sleep.

And there they were!


Hakon’s Hall and \240and Rosenkrantz Tower

Dylan as a knight

Dylan didn’t fit in many places - this was the bathroom

Dungeon friend



Bill’s beer and coffee break


Another beautiful day here in Bergen. \240It started with more museums including seeing more Munch (3rd largest collection). Some Picasso and some Scandinavian artists.

Nikolai Astrop was my favorite.

One of Norway’s beloved artists. Out of shadows exhibit shows his interest in shifting moods of nature and colorful depictions of people in close contact with nature.

Then we took an evening fjord cruise to Mostraumen. \240This is the Oh my Odin! \240part ( in place of the American version Oh my God!)


It just keeps getting better and better. \240An ever ending view.

Reading at the Lobby bar

Re-reading The Great Gatsby in an Art Deco hotel \240lobby in Bergen on a rainy day in Bergen before heading out to look at Antique shops.

Bill is reading

Book is about Hakons Tower that we visited and serindipious he happened \240to pick this book to read for the trip.

I Dag

Checking out of our hotel the Grand Terminus

Finished the Great Gatsby. Heading for the Fjords

Verkshotellet JΓΈrpeland

The drive \240to our next destination of Pulpet Rock. that involved record taking photo taking

And all we did was drive up a mountain down a mountain along a fjord or under a fjord. And

Then repeat and repeat

Photo taking can be exhausting as I try to get one that can actually show the beauty of this place.

I’m not done trying


A walk on the island in town

Not only did we find interesting wood carvings but the local \240goats trotted by \240bahing as they went by — their bellls tinkling

old stone foundations of a settlement and- rocks piled up for fenced in areas . \240The residents use the park for frisbee golf we learned when we ended up in their path.

An island across we can see what is described as a Norwegian stone hedge

On the bridge we look down to see jellyfish

Now we sit with wine on the hotel patio enjoying the quiet and the view.

Lots of interesting things today.

We loved our hotel- Verkshotellet Jørpeland

Quaint and scenic. \240Dylan has his on room \240it felt like a little apartment.

We sit with wine and gaze out

Norwegian Stonehenge

Foxglove grows like a weed here

Bills throne

My friends of the woods

Old foundations on this island

Another friend


Look at \240the Day

Heading home today. \240What a trip and it has been busy the last few. \240We made it to Preikestolen

One of the most breathtaking views in Norway.

We rented a car and drove 7 hours and stayed at a quaint hotel in Jørpeland. A gorgeous place. We walked on an island with carved wooden figures in a frisbee golf park with roaming goats. In the distance a Norwegian Stonehenge and when we looked \240in the water we saw jellyfish.

7 hour Drive \240back ( after hiking 5 mostly vertical trails ) through 118 individual tunnels totaling 66 miles and seeing more waterfalls than we could count. \240Through fjords, glaciers, mountain roads (narrow and winding) And snapping picture upon picture trying to replicate what cannot be replicated.

Norway is never ending beauty. My photos will never do it justice.

Arriving back to Bergen at midnight. We were exhausted.

Fjord country

One of many tunnels- including one that went under a fjord

Across on the ferry

Dylan is little again

A friend

Another sneaky friend

Bill’s friend

Norwegian Stonehenge


Wine at our hotel

Pulpit Rock

Waterfalls galore!

3000 feet above. Dylan and me

Yeah not going any closer


A View of Iceland from Hilton’s \240Executive Lounge

Courtesy \240of Icelandic Air

A little mix up in flights but with the same arrival time to Minneaolis worked in our favor

Free food and lodging

And we thought we’d be in the airport all night

Just initial impressions of Iceland: enerything seems new compare with the old mixed in with new in Oslo and Bergen.

Views from Executive Lounge

Hotel Room view at night . It never really was dark


We are home now.

A long \240day in the airport followed by a long wait on Custo.

Last night at 8:40 \240it was dark

This morning at 4 am it was dark and now it is raining.

I am already missing the light.

But glad to be home and so is Albert kitty.

Our last evening in Oslo. \240Wine in the park after dinner.

Iceland from our hotel.

Iceland from hotel at night.

Iceland on our way to airport.

Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe in Oslo our last evening. Bill getting shade from Dylan’s head