“You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system. ” – Erol Ozan
Travel, it seems, then and again for us, is all about perspective. Exploring Oslo, Norway raised our standards so much so that we frowned on New York’s Metro Card calling it “barely a card.” Getting settled into the New York transportation system after three days, off we went to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and there we were greeted with a scratch card… the city’s day pass for tourists and travelers. Let’s just say that it took us four days to look beyond this and give Toronto a fair judgement of the city’s beauty and uniqueness. First impressions. Perspectives. Flexible travelers that we think we are, perspectives matter.
If we have traveled from Manila, Philippines, our home country, straight from Toronto, Canada, the availability of Metro straight from the Union Station and the convenience of family card plus the friendly ticket receptionist, would have floored us with awe. To travel conveniently in Manila, usually takes private-hire transportation and even then, the horrendous traffic and heat (or rain) would leave us scratching our eyes out waiting for the transport ordeal to be over. Transport system in Toronto would be we a very much welcome blissful paradise to experience.
Only,, we didn’t come from a developing country. We transited from a highly developed city, equally diversified as Toronto, it seems to us, equally populated like New York. Transport payment scheme in Toronto is very primitive to us now.
How does this affect how we think of Canada? It should not affect us much. We firmly believe that how we view a country is more of a reflection on us that it is a reflection of the country,
So, this experience, makes us feel empowered. Worldschooling the kids mainly has the purpose of showing the kids the beauty of the world and what men are capable of nurturing what’s possible; highlighting NOT borders, but potentials.
Who is Alfred Nobel?: Alfred Bernhard Nobel, 1833 – 1896:
Considering the fact that Nobel had been infamous for the birthing of the “Nobel Peace Prize”, along with five other rewards based on various categories; (eg. chemistry, economics, literature, physics, physiology, and medicine.) I had never guessed his career had commenced due to the exact opposite.
Alfred Nobel had had specific interests since he had been birthed, one of which had included nitroglycerin. Having been influenced by people of intellect such as himself, it hadn’t taken long for Nobel to develop interest in the chemistry department. Despite the fact that nitroglycerin, at the time; had been eminent due to the fact that it had been the most unchancy reincarnation of explosives in the 19th century, Nobel had been quick to toy with it.
This had resulted in the death of five people, including his youngest sibling. During one of his nitroglycerin-congested experiments, the building; much to my non-existent confoundment, had, well…exploded.
This had left Nobel at a stunned state for a matter of five seconds in the duration of a decade; for he had quickly brushed himself off, determined to avenge the day Emil had perished by…
the production of explosives!! From that day forward, Nobel had been positively driven to produce trustworthy time-bombs, occasionally tweaking for the better of battles.
That is, until he had stumbled upon the feet of Baroness Bertha Von Suttner. From the day the had met, they had been considered as the closest companions. Von Snutter, the prodigious pacifist, as well as the perplexing pen-woman; and Alfred Nobel, the… dashing dynamite dude?
Fortunately, the beautiful baroness had been able to clean his act up a bit, no matter of the fact that he had custody of four beach houses in countries of which he spoke fluently.
As much as Von Snuttner, as well as Nobel had been best buddies; they had never considered themselves as the “romantic”. Proving this point, Nobel had later on courted some woman that had been 1/2 his own age, although ‘suppose “love is love”. Since I had already began to delve into dalliance, I might as well state the fact that Alfred Nobel had never gotten around to marrying; not to mention the fact that he had never had offspring. (Dad/Mom: Yeaahhhhh!!)
1896, October 10, Midday,
was the day of the death of Alfred Bernhard Nobel. The procession commenced, the coffin had been enveloped with fragrant flowers. Later it had been discovered that:
at his deathbed Nobel had had something of a guilty conscience. Having done dynamite deals a majority of his life, he hadn’t exactly contributed towards peace until he had written his will.
Why was the Peace Prize named after him?:
What lay written in Alfred Bernhard Nobel’s will, was the fact that he had requested a platform be made for the means he had devoted his life to. Thus began the birth of the Nobel Prizes, and the distribution of 1 million dollars, as well as a memorious medal every December 10th, the day an admirable man had gone gallivanting to the heavens; an armful of explosives at hand.
Who are my top 3 favorite Nobel Peace Laureate? Why?:
Baroness Bertha Von Snutter, the very first female Nobel Peace Laureate, not to mention the fact that she had greatly impacted Alfred Nobel’s life, and future decisions, and possibly the past itself.
Denis Mukwege Mukengere, for the temporary exhibition at the time had displayed the deeds he had done, and the wounds he had healed for the victims of awful armed rebells. (The most recent Laureate, 2018.)
Nadia Murad, along with Denis Mukwege Mukengere, she too was rewarded the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize, for after her execrable experiences as she was held captive in the city of Mosul where she had gone through things no human should ever withstand; she had managed to escape, and is now the founder of Nadia’s Initiative, “an organization dedicated to helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities”.
What would you I in the future to win a Nobel Peace Prize? How? When?:
Contribution to climate change, and before everything smelts to smithereens.
Mom: “How, how, how???”:
Somehow incorporate geothermal energy for household heaters, stoves, etc. Despite the fact that there is indeed a possible percentage that global warming mayn’t be real, although the discovery of new energy could contribute nevertheless. If this fact proves to be true, I’d like to get behind exactly what warms the earth, and help the walking skeletons that have become our arctic animals avoid extinction.
She had been buried in bed for the past ten minutes, debating on whether it’d be worth it if she had finally dragged herself out; although when it had come to it, her body felt as if it weighed a ton. Her brain barked and brandished psychological threats, though her body displayed no signs of swaying.
She squinted her eyes against the rouge ray of white light that had found it’s way through the gaps between blinds as she wiggled her toes and stretched her spine. Her brain had swapped tactics, and was now shuffling through memories of homework that had yet to be thumbed through; coincidentally- or rather voluntarily loitering on certain sore spots.
Six seconds later she had found herself in the bathroom.
It wasn’t hard due to the fact that the rooms within their current apartment- like any other, had practically been pulverized among one another, and she had been able to cover the living room with what had been consisted of three sluggish strides; although it’d be difficult to deny the fact that the dread that lay within her notebooks had egged her on a tad.
She slouched in front of the wall mirror, much to her mother’s dismay. Her mother’s voice bounced about in her head, her face that had remarkably mimicked one of a Saber-toothed tiger at the time flashed before her eyes. She grasped her toothbrush, although she couldn’t help but straighten her spine. Her hair jutted out at every angle humanly possible, though as much as she fingered fruitlessly it had bounced back to it’s former maddening mane-like glory. It was definite. She was indeed related to ferocious Felidae.
She breathed in the cool, crisp air. Her shoes clicked against the damp pavement, as it was slightly drizzling. Rain patterned against the roof of her hoodie, a mollifying melody. She yearned to dampen her hair, although wasn’t quite as zealous at the thought of awaking sniveling and stuffy the day after. She clicked across the wooden bridge, the usual light tone of oak mirrored one of spruce once it had been drenched.
She proceeded to pass sculptures that would have been considered scandalous if not for knowing Norwegians, eyeing a few people she presumed had been posing for the wrong reasons.
20 minutes later, her clicks had become less enthusiastic; if anything, they had morphed into piteous shuffles. Dad had map at hand, cracked at the rim; although allegedly function-able nevertheless. She made a show of her discouragement plastered at face, frowning at what seemed like scraps of metal that had miraculously managed to cling onto one another; although her father- oblivious to the lack of approvement, sauntered off, offspring ambling afterwards.
Another 20 minutes later, after passing the scrap-metal-map among one another, as if the change in person would affect the topography itself; they had found themselves at the point where they had started, the sought-after Grass Root Square quite literally underfoot.
She glanced at Dad, a mixture of triumph as well as daggers. He made a I’ve-had-three-kids-nothing-surprises-slash-tires-me-anymore kind of face, as he scrutinized the sculptures.
In all modesty, she had seen quite the number of sculptures in the span of her 13 year old lifetime, though nothing compared- or rather embodied anything nearly as unique as this.
From a further prospective, it seemed as if slabs off of the pebble-gray pavement seemed as if it were levitating; although at intimate inspection, hundreds of thousands minuscule men- and women, had been bolstering the bottom.
Their sizes varied, depending on whether they had been maintaining the weight of stone; since the immensely minute figures seemed only to sprout in the stead of numerous blocks. Their tiny jade heads clustered together in order to embody a single large, lime slab.
Their minuscule mouths appeared to gape in agony as her brother layered the slab the tiny figurines were bearing with his rear. A flat, elevated surface was equivalent to an inanimate object worthy of bottom smothering. At least, through a certain someone’s eyes.
Numerous people swept by, not a single fleeting glance at the grass-like population that had literally been sculpted under their noses. Well, we’re definitely one to talk, although considering the multiple renovations that took place surrounding the area, it’d be considerably difficult for anybody to spot. Anybody who wasn’t trodding all over it, that is.
With the expanse of knowledge she had unveiled that day, something bubbled at the pit of her stomach; something of a melancholy melody. The world had ballooned a green 50,000 time’s bigger that day, for how would she ever make it, if tens of thousands of people; excluding those below five inches, were clambering for “it”? She knew the answer, although the thought of it sent bile belting up her throat. How? Well, first things first.
I intend to leave after my death a large fund for the promotion of the peace idea, but I am skeptical as to its results. – Alfred Bernhard Nobel
Nobel Peace Center is located in Aker Brygge and it’s really close to where this traveling Turknoys stayed for several days. The Nobel Peace Center is a showcase for the Nobel Peace Prize and the ideals it represents. The Center is also an arena where culture and politics merge to promote involvement, debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution.
Alfred Bernhard Nobel was a Swedish businessman, chemist, engineer, inventor, and philanthropist. Nobel held 355 different patents, dynamite being the most famous. The synthetic element nobelium was named after him.
Quote on Obama’s Nobel speech acceptance ..on climate change..apparently, the kids favorite topic on how to win the Nobel Peace Prize for their generation.
…the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, famine and mass displacement that will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and activists who call for swift and forceful action it is military leaders in my country and others who understand that our common security hangs in the balance.
The City of Oslo is preparing for a car-free city centre and is almost there Equipped with electrified transport system, all city-dwellers and visitors can easily move in and around the city freely, easily and quite conveniently with a carbon footprint of zero! Isn’t that a great example for traveling kids- how to have it all with class no damage to environment? IT IS!
Oslo is the capital city of Norway and has a population of 658,390. The city is surrounded by the Marka Forest, a nationally protected area, and the Oslo Fjord, both connected by a number of waterways. Oslo’s approach to conserving its natural areas and restoring its waterway network is just one of the many reasons why it won the European Green Capital Award for 2019.
The city’s waterways have been subject to a new revolutionary strategy which has completely reversed the previous approach of enclosing these channels. They are now being actively re-opened in order to make them accessible for people, to efficiently manage stormwater and facilitate development and restoration of habitat.
Tackling climate change is a high priority for Oslo. The city aims to cut emissions by 50% by 2020 (compared to 1990) and to be carbon neutral by 2050. Oslo has introduced a range of integrated measures to achieve these ambitious targets, for example, by promoting zero emissions transport. The city has become the ‘Electric Vehicle Capital of the World’ with 30% of all vehicles now sold in the city being electric.
Improvements in cycling and public transport infrastructure, the introduction of car free zones, and encouraging the use of electric vehicles, will not only help the city reach its climate goals, it will also greatly reduce air and noise pollution, and enhance the urban environment for its citizens.
Innovation and the promotion of new jobs in the circular economy is a priority for Oslo and the city is at the forefront of circular use of available resources. Biogas produced from bio-waste and city sewage is used to fuel city buses and waste trucks.
Oslo also established the ‘Business for Climate Network’ to foster cooperation between the business community, citizens and NGOs in addressing the impact business operations have on the climate.
In 2016, the city introduced a ‘Climate Budget’, an initiative consisting of 42 separate measures across three sectors: energy and the built environment, transport, and resources. Carbon Dioxide emissions are now being counted in the same way a financial budget would account for funding. The unique ‘Climate Budget’ is one of the main initiatives that the City of Oslo is driving to reach its goal of 50% emissions reduction by 2020.
Exploring the city, the culture of green city is very evident. One thing that the kids enjoyed a lot are the scooters easily rentable around the city. We tried VOI Scooters and the kids had a blast. Our eldest traveller who’s so into the rules of wearing helmet while using the scooter was not comfortable disobeying them, so we have to cut our experience short – well done her!
Global warming is real – it is man-made and it is an important problem. But it is not the end of the world. We need to show the kids that efforts are being done to address this real problem.
Tjuvholmen is a neighborhood on a peninsula sticking out from Aker Brygge into the Oslofjord. At the tip of the peninsula, next to the sculpture park, is an outdoor bathing area. The water leads out to the Inner Oslofjord.
The Tjuvholmen Square great for kids, there are a lot of non-conforming scenarios aka ideas that challenges the norm– from naked sculptures to messages around the dining areas – expect a good number of questions from traveling kids.
WHAT IF?? -If we killed humans at the same rate as we kill animals, it would take17 days to wipe out the entire human specifies.
Visit Oslo notes the Tjuvholmen is a very recent addition to Oslo’s varied collection of boroughs. The buildings that make up the area are drawn by some 20 different architects, creating a concentrated display of current trends in architecture. Tjuvholmen is also characterised by elaborate outdoor spaces, including a city beach and several humorous outdoor artworks.At the point where Tjuvholmen meets the fjord you find one of Oslo’s main attractions, master architect Renzo Piano’s Astrup Fearnley Museum.Tjuvholmen may be knew in Oslo but this place will be the closest to our traveling family’s hearts in Oslo.
“In my experience, it is rarer to find a really happy person in a circle of millionaires than among vagabonds.” – Thor Heyerdahl
Another Norwegian explorer breaking the ocean norm– why is that NOT surprising!
Thor Heyerdahl rose to fame when he crossed the Pacific Ocean with the Kon-Tiki in 1947. He is obviously an adventurer-at-heart, an ethnographer in profession with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. In his famous Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, he sailed 8,000 km across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. Heyerdahl also proposed that Azerbaijan was the site of an ancient advanced civilization. He believed that natives migrated north through waterways to present-day Scandinavia.
In 1984, he was appointed a government scholar and further adventures followed with voyages on the Ra and Tigris reed boats.
Turknoys and Kon-Tiki, during their previous visit last winter (November 2018)
It’s fantastic to experience original rafts and up to date exhibitions on Heyerdahl’s expedition- the Kon-tiki, being the most famous, Ra, Tigris, Easter Island, Fatuhiva, Tucume, Galapagos, spelunking, under water exhibition and more!
What a really admirable explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Probably the coolest Thor we’ve read about, way better than the one with the hammer.
More of Thor Heyerdahl’s famous quotes illustrate his determined and adventurous personality:
“Some people believe in fate, others don’t. I do, and I don’t. It may seem at times as if invisible fingers move us about like puppets on strings. But for sure, we are not born to be dragged along. We can grab the strings ourselves and adjust our course at every crossroad, or take off at any little trail into the unknown.” – Thor Heyerdahl
“Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people.” – Thor Heyerdahl
“If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.” – Alfred Nobel
Oslo City Hall (Norwegian: Oslo rådhus) is a municipal building in country capital, Oslo, located in the northern part of Pipervika neighborhood and faces Oslofjord. It houses the city council, the city’s administration and various other municipal organisations. The building as it stands today was constructed between 1931 and 1950. It was designed by architects Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson.
Oslo City Hall is built of red brick and has two towers, one 63 meters tall and other 66 meters tall. The bricks used are larger than what was typical at the time of construction, but are roughly the same size as bricks used in the Middle Ages. The bricks – measuring approximately 27,5 x 13 x 8,5 cm – were produced by Hovin Teglverk in Oslo. The eastern tower has a set of 49 bells
On December 10 each year, during the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel, the Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma.
A podium for the laureate and the Nobel Committee is erected in the far end of the hall for each ceremony. The Norwegian Royal Family and Prime Minister attends the ceremony.
There are free tours inside the Oslo City Hall. Have you seen the interior of this administration building?
“That two bodies press convulsively together, man and woman, he fertilizing her, he giving her a budding life, or he planting a seed, a seed of life in her womb – Oh God. I think this God-given idea is so enormous, so eternal, so endlessly wise – that people should not be allowed to depict it in art!”
– Quote By Gustav Vigeland
One may find this quote inappropriate for a family travel blog, but this really relates to what radical unschooling or radical family lifestyle means. There is no taboo in art, so there should be no taboo in nonconforming to school, religion or any society’s institutions.
So a day spent in Vigeland Sculpture Park may be equivalent to any “normal” art or any lessons day in school. Or more. Kids running around in more than 200 naked sculptures depicting life, of course!
On a more serious tone (the previous tone was made in pun but no way less serious!)…. the Vigeland Park is one of Norway’s most visited attractions and the world’s largets sculpture park made by one artist, Gustav Vigeland, contains no less than 212 bronze and granite sculptures
Gustav Vigeland (11 April 1869 – 12 March 1943), né Adolf Gustav Thorsen, was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies a special position among Norwegian sculptors, both in the power of his creative imagination and in his productivity. He is most associated with the Vigeland installation (Vigelandsanlegget) in Frogner Park, Oslo. He was also the designer of the Nobel Peace Prize medal.
The park was completed between 1939 and 1949 and all the statues are centred on the Human Condition theme of the park, illustrating relationships between men and women, adults and children.
The park can be divided into 5 main units that are located along the 850-metre-long main axis: The main gate, the bridge with the children’s playground, the fountain, the monolith plateau and the wheel of life. Norway’s most famous boy, the angry boy, is located in the middle of the bridge together with more than 50 bronze sculptures where the artist wanted to display mainly young people and show the relationship between men and women.
The popular Angry Boy sculpture shows a naked little boy crying and about to stamp his foot.
Not shying away from naked sculptures and artistic interpretation of the human bodies and its “activities” , we have explored the Vigeland Sculpture Park three times for different seasons, (two actually – cold and very cold!), and it was always an eye-opener experience, both literally and figuratively!
Fall season with family is the time to explore Vigeland Park!!!
and on to almost summer in Oslo!!
Have you explored Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo, Norway? Did you like it?
“þetta reddast”- Icelandic wisdom which means, it will work out okay. (Of course, it will – all the time!)
As the cliche goes, If we’d learnt one thing from traveling, it was the way to get things done was to go ahead and do them… and add in that Icelandic wisdom… “IT WILL WORK OUT OKAY!)
So, how do we write about our one-month experience in Iceland which turns out to be THE BEST and THE MOST EXCITING family adventure we had, to date, in one single post?
Iceland is the 35th Country out of our 100 Country Goals, the only “new”country for us for 2018 – where the mom celebrate her 40th birthday, dad’s 42nd and their 10th wedding anniversary! Out there in the very cold summer breeze of Iceland, out in the wild. With only the the three kids, camping tent, winter clothes and blankets. More than enough to realize that “Life” indeed begins.. very happily!
I wish I can tell the stories of our adventures quite elaborately, comprehensively and articulately. But I really can’t. There were mostly moments that we take pictures, make sure it’s capture (albeit barely) and we’ll unplug and be with Iceland nature, be with each other… be in moments with each other together in perfectly inspiring Iceland.
Powerful, magnificent falls and hopefully-not-so active and yes, magnificent volcanoes are mainly the stopovers during the drive around the Ring Road. We stopped sometimes were tourists stopped depending on the queue and the kids momentum about exploring!
Our Iceland Trip Highlights in bullet points – we don’t recommend that families take this as guide -we went around Iceland with carefree, spontaneous, adventurous spirits -no exact plans, no notes whatsoever and we didn’t want to stop!
Vestur til Suðurlands (West to South Iceland)
✅And lots and lots of Puffin Watching and stalking!
Suður til Austurlands
✅ Jökulsárlón-Glacier Lagoon
✅ Endless waterfalls along scenic snowy mountains to glaciers and icebergs in lakes to ocean! Oh ha! Stunning and breathtaking!
✅ Almost Permanent Rainbow and the most powerful falls in Europe, Delfoss and Selfoss
✅ Myvatn Nature Baths and lots and lots of bloopers!
✅ Artic Ocean Wildlife – seals stalking and whale watching!
Norðurland til Vesturlands
✅ More waterfalls every 15 minutes road trip! ☺️
✅ Godafoss (and the history of beginning of Christianity in Iceland!)
✅ Leif Ericson’s birthplace (and a lot of real facts about explorers!)
✅ More waterfalls 😋
✅ Jules Verne’s entrance to the Centre of the Earth
✅ Lots of authors books and literature
✅ Way more family bonding and laughters we will forever treasure! ❤️
✅ Lots of delicious fish and cheap
✅ Second hand bookstores and fancy ones, too! We love books!
There are consequences in traveling to this beautiful, modern and isolated country island. It made us question a lot of countries’ political and economic realities. “Resource Curse” is real for most geographies blessed with natural resources and gorgeous landscapes. But Iceland- what have they done? Everything seems to be prospering – farming, tourism, energy utilization, gender equality? Thinking about Iceland makes our family pause for these questions we have yet to fully answer!