Tønsberg, The Ancient Capital of Norway

 

“The brace man well shall fight and win, through dull his blade may be.”- ~Fafnismal 28

Tønsberg is generally regarded as the oldest town in Norway, founded by the Vikings in the 9th century and also regarded as an Ancient Capital of Norway.

The town is also eventful in this present time as it is ancient. Tønsberg is a town filled opportunities for those with an urge to explore (like our Turknoy family and the Vikings!) We have noticed buzzing activities just below the The Castle Rock Tower, Slottsfjellet, and Brygga during our visit.

Tønsberg has beautiful nature to explore, too. At the coastal path, gorgeous and ever changing magnificent landscape can be enjoyed.

As mentioned, the town of Tønsberg is the oldest town in Norway. It was founded during the Viking Age, and celebrated its millennial jubilee in 1871! The greatest testament to the town’s significance during the Viking times is the world-famous Oseberg ship, which was discovered just north of Tønsberg center.

After the Viking Age and throughout the Middle Ages, Tønsberg remained a center of power until 1671, the only established town in the Vestfold region.

Tønsberg was a hub for commerce and shipping, and sites as Tunsberghus, several churches and monasteries, as well as the Earldom of Jarlsberg served to reinforce the town’s position of importance. Tønsberg was also a member of the Hanseatic League and played a major role in the establishment and development of commercial whaling in Northern Europe.

For hundred of years, Oseberghaugen has concealed one of the world’s largest Viking treasures, the Oseberg ship, excavated in 1904. The 21.5 meters long Oseberg ship turned out to be the grave is an eminent woman, perhaps a queen. The ship was filled gifts for the journey to its not so obvious doom! A copy of the Oseberg ship’s beautifully carved bow can be seen at The Slottsfjell Museum. Another complete replica of the ship can be seen at the harbor of Tønsberg.

The world’s most important discovery from the Viking Era was made just outside of Tønsberg in 1904, the famous Oseberg Viking Ship

The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark and is part of Slottsfjell museum which is located at the foot of the hill. The present tower was built as the 1000-year anniversary and was completed in 1888. The tower is 17 meters high, with a stunning view of the town. The original cross from the Maria Church and the engaged signature of three Norwegian kings can be seen in the tower.

The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark

Family photo The Castle Rock Tower is Tønsberg’s most famous landmark

The Slottsfjell museum and the area around is a culture heritage that represent the long history of Tønsberg. The ruin park shows remains of the one of Norway’s most significant medieval fort. In the museum’s Viking hall is Norway’s forth Viking ship, the only preserved ship that is placed outside Oslo, and the story of Oseberg findings. The Whale exhibition shows whale skeletons and the history of Svend Foyn. The blue whale skeleton  is the world’s  largest preserved skeleton.

The Quayside and old warehouses restored in 1978-1980. The brygga is a popular place with restaurants, marina and activities in a maritime setting.

View of the Tønsberg Brygge from the Bridge!

Playing Knight!

Viking longboat repair station… fine, fine … or any normal boat

Torvet, the main square of city center is a 10-minute walk from Tønsberg Brygge or Wharf and also to the Tønsberg Station. It was Sunday when we visited so everything was closed. It was still a very fun walk to do with kids!

Leading path to the Torvet, the main square of city center.
All dreams will be great 👍🏾

Torvet, the main square of city center.
Built 1919

Dream catchers

Last but definitely not the least trivia about Tønsberg is that the town is the New Asgard! Hello Marvel movies fanatic like us! Though, a little bit of reality from a Tønsberg resident.

It does make a lot of sense, though, that Marvel Universe is in a town with Norse mythology and Viking background. Tønsberg was the Earth-based battleground of Orin’s war against the Frost Giants, revealed during Thor’s prologue. It is also the location where the Red Skull, back when he was Johanna Schmidt, first discovered the Tesseract, containing the Space Stone, which has had a massive impact on the fate of the Avengers. The New Asgard with a new queen Valkyrie, that’s Tønsberg, Norway. What a fateful location indeed.

Marvel Studios may or may not have filmed in Tønsberg, well, they should have. This town is fabulous and Asgardian in any way!

Top of Castle Rock where our Marvel fanatics play loving the view and Endgame at the same time!

Have you been to New Asgard… hoops, Tønsberg? 🤗🇳🇴😜❤️

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Det kongelige slott, Royal Palace

“I think the main task in life we all have received, is to become the best version of ourselves, no matter how difficult life can be. ” King Harald V of Norway

Det kongelige slot, or simply, Slottet is the royal residence home to HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja. Slottet is located at the top of Karl Johans gate, completed in 1849.

The Royal Palace Park surrounds the palace on all sides and features grassy areas, majestic trees, small ponds and statues. These grassy ares are perfect for a quick picnic/ hanging out in front of the castle while admiring the majestic neo-classical style with the facade of stuccoed brick.

Great fond memories in front of His Highness home residence

The building is in neo-classical style with a facade of stuccoed brick, and was completed in 1849.
Our prince and the Royal Palace

Beyond hanging out during sunny days (or any cold days!) there are tours in summer, changing of guards every 1:30pm and service in the Palace Chapel every Sundays at 11am.

Our family believes the King Harald of Norway is THE coolest monarch. He is a champion sailor; he represented his country three times in Olympic Games; he support all genres and religions.

Not so long ago, he quoted Love Actually, in comparing Norway with United Kingdom,

“We may be a small country, but we’re a great one…”

He is certainly has more right to state this than Hugh Grant.

If you don’t think that is way too cool for a monarch, you should hear the love story between King Harald and Queen Sonja.

Once upon a time in 1950s…. so the real fairy tale starts King Harald saw a commoner, love at first sight, chased after her, courtship of nine years! King Olav V disapproves of the Prince not marrying another royalty from Sweden, a country of alliance. They defied all odds and eventually got married and live happily ever after ruling a great country… making it greater every day…

It’s a lot better than Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s story, right?!

Hanging out at The Royal Palace Park
the top of Karl Johans gate is the a Royal Palace

Obviously, lots of positive energy around The Royal Palace that our family wishes to absorb. And really, it’s a fine place to visit!

Don’t miss passing through The Royal Palace when in Oslo, Norway!

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Den Norske Opera & Ballett, Opera House

Opera House is at very close proximity at the harbor . It’s angled, white exterior looks low its rising from the wage. Climbing the roof is fun on its own, not to mention the panoramic views of Oslo and fjord, at all seasons.

And of course, our traveling family climbed up and enjoyed the sunset and the view!

Oslo’s Opera House in Spring!
The panoramic view of Oslo City seen from the top of Opera House

The opera is designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, and has received several prestigious awards. The Norwegian National Opera & Ballet offers a rich and varied programme from three stages: The Main House (1369 seats), Second House (400 seats) and the Studio (200 seats). The Opera roof and foyer are also used for concerts. 

Climbing up and down Oslo’s Opera House is an adventure in itself!

Enjoying the view of artistic glass sculpture “She Lies” from Oslo’s Opera House.

This art installation lies in the water just beside the Opera House; it’s axis turns with the wind and tide. Like the Opera House, unique experiences is guaranteed every time.

She splits! With the view of Oslo’s New Harbor Promenade

We have yet to visit the inside of the Opera House. There are tours available. Large-scale windows at street level provide the public with glimpses of rehearsals and workshop activities. The building’s interior is mainly oak, and the main hall is shaped like a horseshoe, reminiscent of classical theatres of the past.

Wishing, thinking of watching a performance in the Opera House during our visit to Oslo this time around. Any recommendations?

Exploring Oslo, Norway: Akershus festning, Akershus Fortress

“Si vis pacem, para bellum”

“Let him who desires peace prepare for war.”

The Norwegian Military Academy (Krigsskolen)

The Akershus Fortress was built to protect Oslo and had successfully survived many attempted sieges, most of them from Swedish forces.

Fast forward to present date, the central location of the Akershus Fortress makes it the number one tourist landmarks in Oslo. The city’s landscape with the sea view can give anybody and calming and relaxing experience.

Akershus festning or the Akershus Fortress was built in the late 1290s under King Haakon V.

The fortress protects the fabulous medieval castle completed in 14th century, in its strategic location at the tip of the headland.

The fortress close proximity to the sea played a strategic naval power in protecting the interests of early Norwegian trade which was mainly sea-based during the period.

The fortress has also bee used as a prison and now houses The Norwegian Resistance Museum.

The Norwegian Military and Armed Forces still in operation in the fortress, playing around with the fortress defense “attack cannons” was then main thing to do for our peace-loving little travellers.

And his command — attack!! So much for peace 😄

All those things, above all, the view and family bonding in a relaxed setting!

The view is majestic, to say the least. The landscape, the luxury cruises and yachts make the Oslo horizon perfect when viewed from the fortress.

That medieval feel to the gate!

With this fortress gate, those Swedish invasions never stood a chance!

Dating from 1299, this medieval castle and royal residence developed into a fortress in 1592 and was rebuilt into a renaissance castle between 1637 and 1648.Akershus Castle today contains banquet halls, the Royal Mausoleum and the government’s reception rooms, and its small, historic church is the home of the royal sarcophagi.Norwegian name: Akershus slott

The medieval castle is perfect for our knight-loving traveling little man. Just see how proud he looks by the castle entrance.

The medieval castle serves as the Mausoleum for Norwegian Royalties including King Sigurd I, King Haakon V, King Haakon VI, Queen Eufemia, King Olav V and Crown Princess Martha.

Knowing the actual royalties are buried in the castle, somehow, makes it cooler for our traveling boy!

Not to mention, real live knights protecting the castle! Well, live knights – yes! Real? Am they are working towards being awesome knights by practice, not by being anointed.

Truth be told, we chance upon the knights club practicing in the castle square which took up most of our time exploring the medieval castle and it was very well worth it. Watching the knights in semi-costume fight is amusing in itself.

“Real” love knights in action with the two kids watching intently.

Exploring Akershus Fortress easily took a full day for us. Top with ice cream after, it was a perfect family day in Oslo, Norway!

Love knights and medieval castle? Consider exploring Oslo’s Akershus festning or the Akershus Fortress!

Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour For Kids 

“Ice-cream is the favorite currency of love. ” – Puck


Taking a break from a beautiful weather and fall foliage paradise, off we hopped into Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour. As if we needed more sugar and cream to add more fun with our naturally hyper traveling kids. 

As if getting a fall foliage treat in Vermont is not paradise enough, a break from nature means Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour! Whooaaa, life is great! Thank you, God, for all the blessings!


We were given a brief introduction about the company and its mission. Well, we are indeed avid fans of mission-oriented kid-friendly activities and places  and with ice cream product, no less! Love, love, dream, travel and ice cream on. That’s what we say!

We love ice cream, we love flavors, we love colors, we love life! Does it show? 😍


Ben and Jerry’s Economic Mission: To operate a company g on a sustainable financial basis of profitable growth, increasing value for our stakeholders of profitable growth & expanding opportunities for development and career growth for our employees. 

After all, Ben and Jerry is a business and business needs to make money. The company is also has shareholders who has investment in the company and, naturally, want their investment to grow. 

Dannndaaandaannn … and at this point, the kids would know what their mom and dad would say to them.  Every family should have a similar mission. Of course, we want sustainable financial basis of continued family earnings so we can increase the value of all our family members. At this point, we achieve that by two working parents, acquired properties and calculated investments. At the end of the end, even though we aim to travel to 100 beautiful countries, islands and landmarks, we also have a mission to create little humans who will make their marks in the world.  

Economic Mission – After all Ben and Jerry’s is a business institution



Ben and Jerry’s Product Mission: To Make, distribute and seek the finest quality natural ice cream and euphoric concoctions with a continued commitment to incorporating wholesome, natural ingredients and promoting business practices that respect the Earth and the Environment. 

As a home educating and worldschooling family, this mission exactly. Of course? Instead of ice cream, we have our kids. Not actually as products but more like, the output of raising up unique individuals enhancing their natural and God-given gifts and their euphoric passions in life. In addition, with respect to the world we live in, including all the diverse living things that live in it. 

Product Mission

Ben ans Jerry’s Social Mission: To operate the Company in a way that actively recognizes the central role that business plays in society by initiating, innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally and internationally. 

Ben and Jerry’s changing the world one ice cream at a time. Turknoy Travels 100 is commitment to change the world, one family member at a time. 

Social Mission
Hoops, yes, the kids enjoyed he ice cream Factory Tour, too! 
We had a lot of talks but then we had a lot ice cream, too. 


Dad’s Choice – Stephen Colbert flavor ice cream! 😜
Ice cream like it’s summer please…


Guess who wants a truckload of ice cream? 😜



Do you have Life’s Mission while eating ice cream? 😝


Vermont Teddy Bear For Kids, Factory Tour and Build-A-Bear 

“A teddy bear will give you love. A grizzly bear will give you a mauling. Some bears aren’t just the same.” – Anthony T.Hincks

Do you know how a teddy bear is made and born? Well, these three traveling Turknoys definitely does now.

Deciding to have a Teddy Bear?! It’s a big decision to consider, think it through… 😘

Once kids made the big leap of choosing to own a best friend teddy, like life, they’ll be face with more decisions to make, not just for themselves, be for their Teddy Bears. 

Choose wisely all the bear parts and assemble the skeletal and muscular system of the Teddy Bear
 
Fill the Teddy Bear with positive vibes!
Choose any type of positive vibes!
 

A friend for life is born! Complete with brith certificate. Meet WAYBEAR! ❤️
After making their own personal Teddy Bear  BFFs, the Turknoys made a Factory Tour at the Vermont Teddy Bear to check if all the teddies are made in accordance to the quality assurance of all BFFs. Spoiler alert – it does! 
All across USA, Vermont Teddy Bears comply with the most personal customer quality ever for a teddy bear. We saw it for ourselves ❤️
There is Forever when it comes to Vermont Teddy Bears! Lifetime guarantee, including a TLC for every sick Teddy Bear!

We are definitely going home with more luggages than we want. Better yet, from family of five to traveling family of eight, 2 adults, 3 kids and 3 Vermont teddies. Luckily, the kids didn’t choose that big, gigantic bear. 

When we travel
When we travel light like an expert, along came three teddy bears! 😂😂😂
Do you own a Vermont Teddy Bear? 

Halloween Howl For Kids  in Burlington, Vermont 

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this may come. ” – William Shakespeare, Macbeth 

Wonder Woman / Amazon Woman/ Traveling Woman

Okay, the traveling parents caved in with the kids with regards to participating in a Halloween party while in USA. It’s not that we don’t celebrate Halloween. It’s not that  we agree that it’s anti- religion nor anti-God. It may be a country tradition but how we see it is more like a commercial manipulation while waiting for Thanksgiving and Christmas season. Bring on the pumpkins, the season spices, costumes and gazillion candies and the retailers had October and November sales covered. 
Boy, did we see how customers shopped and crammed getting the costumes. It’s part of what made us want to be part of it – better to experience it once, rather than be nagging on the edge of being bitter about it every year. So, off we celebrate Halloween, kids costumes, party and sweets! 
Shopping done At Party City

Having said that, we choose a free Halloween event and oh boy, did we enjoy.. and the kids, too! It’s a family event in a great weather with friendly awesome people by Lake Champlain. It’s a fabulous event.  We are very glad to joined. 
Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont is a spooktakular good time on a hay ride and wandering through the haunted walk with costume contest, music and games! 

Give it up to these spontaneous traveling parents – we planned attending the Halloween event early in the morning and attended late afternoon, not without a couple selfie 👫

Captain America with Dragon Slayer Ninja, Wonder Woman and Pink Power Rangers – Turknoy Travellers! 😘❤️
These traveling kids enjoying the scary walk along the park. Superheroes inside out!

Feels  like superheroes walking around in the park, the forest, by the lake and in bouncy castle, that’s one awesome afternoon spent in Burlington, Vermont. 

Nature and Halloween really goes together… with little bit of scare here and there, of course!
Turknoy Travels 100 in character for the day!
 

Our family members in character while  one in nature is a perfect way to celebrate   an awesome Halloween Howl in Burlington, Vermont.



What’s your Halloween plan? Do share Halloween traditions you do with your family

Omaha, Nebraska for Family Travel With Young Kids 

“I love it. You know, I was born almost a mile away from here, and I’ve never have a bad experience in Omaha. Omaha and Nebraska are home to me. It’s a pace. It’s  relationships. There’s a lot of continuity. There’s a lot of community. There’s a lot of friendship. It’s a very solid place, a  friendly place in which to grow up and in which to conduct a business. ” – Warren Buffet, Becoming Warren Buffet, on why he chooses to live in Omaha. 




We tried to find where Warren Buffet, the world’s richest multibillionaire, lives. We managed to get to his mailing address and we tried to get all the billionaire vibes in the area. Omaha has lots of gorgeous houses, it’s easy to imagine Warren Buffet’s home in the city.


To be able to get around Omaha, Nebraska, we needed to rent a car and realized that fact later on after walking from the train station wee hours in the morning, coming straight from our Chicago, Illinois family travel  and waking up way too early walking around the very quiet, almost deserted city, with not even a single cab is available. 

Off we went to the city’s airport and rented a car to roam the city. At the airport, we realized the the city has lady Mayor! Yay, raising global girls needed a discussion of a little bit of governance of the world and what part do ladies of power play. 


While waiting for the car rental… the best way to go around Omaha is by car. The City Mayor is a woman so we have this little girl power photo!

We then hang out at the Old Market after realizing that we won’t be able to find Warren Buffet’s house. 

The Old Market, Omaha – lots of interesting to see with kids


Fall colors in Omaha, Nebraska

After driving around the city and the nearby cities in Nebraska, we went to do exactly an “American” fall/ autumn tradition…  Visit a farm, explore a corn maze and pumpkin patch. We picked our pumpkin but of course, didn’t buy any.

Corn Maze in The Mid West In Fall… Hope we get that right about “American” fall activity
Pumpkin Patch
These girls love the suburbs and farm 😃
Our little lady farmer ❤️

Going back to Omaha, we got tempted yet again to visit local bookstore and had another share of our family book haul. 

More books!
Jackson Street Bookseller at Old Market

We didn’t want to leave the Bookstore, but dinner called and we enjoyed a very scrumptious local dinner at Upstream Brewing Company. 

Yes, we make it a point that kids visit Brewing Restaurant in Omaha!
Omaha Burger, isn’t this mouthwatering?!
Dinner when we travel in local restaurants always turn out to be very intimate and quiet with kids 😃❤️

If Omaha is a glimpse of Mid West USA, then we definitely need to be back soon to explore the region. 

What cities in the Midwest USA would you recommend? 

Chicago Children’s Museum

Did You Know:


Chicago Children’s Museum‘s mission is to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect.

Our contention: Every Family Should Have A Written Manifesto Like This. Don’t you agree?
Big wild ideas are welcome in our Turknoy Family
We arrived in Chicago when it was rainy! We underestimated the windy  and chilly weather about the city so we decided to enjoy the city from the indoors. We planned for a quick stopover at the Chicago Children’s Museum for about 1-2 hours only yet we ended up staying until closing time! 

Balance in colors
Every kids should have a photo with a T-Rex Skull
Those busy little creative hands!
Kids rule in play and learning in Chicago Children’s Museum. We have all raves and praises about this awesome kids place. 
Climb, jump, climb, cling and smile
Build For Real.
Rest means a game of chess
Happy faces for all.
 
The staff were friendly, the place is ergonomically designed for kids to play and for parents to enjoy their kids play; or better yet, to enjoy playing with their kids.

Now, let’s talk about Mission. Obviously, our family is advocate of setting family goals linked to one own’s Mission Statement. With the mission statement, “to improve children’s lives by creating a community where play and learning connect”

We have articulated our family goals Turknoy Travels 100 is A Family Lifestyle based on our family’s mission to raise global citizens by family travel and worldschooling. 

Children’s Museum and other family recreation facilities State their Mission quite clearly and concisely. We believe every family should, too. 


Do you have your own unique family mission? Do tell us

Chicago, Illinois For Family Travel With Young Kids 

“Eventually, I think Chicago will be the most beautiful great city left in the world.” – Frank Lloyd Wright

We were welcomed by a 100% probability of rain on our first hour in the city! Actually, strong  rain welcomed our train from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania we were scared to get out the Station Union. 

Rain. Chilly and windy rain. Okay, that surprised us. A lot. Well, it’s Chicago is not called “The Windy City” for fun or pun. Windy the city really is.  

Nothing can stop our family from enjoying the beauty and architecture of Chicago. Not even 100% certainty of bad weather. 

Our first stop, to get equipped. We don’t like to shopping (window shopping specially nor shopping for fun — any kind if shopping for that matter. On the side note, this is actually obvious in all our family photos, we are always wearing the same clothes over and over and over and over….), but for necessity, we do what we need to.  Off we went to get our traveling feet warm while we explore. Although we make sure we know the weather for days and weeks of the place we will explore, we were caught off guard by the winds of Chicago! 

Bloomingdales Darlings Getting Equipped to Explore, by Galoshes, not by Tutus 🤗



Armed with a lot of umbrellas and water proof shoes, we went to visit Cloud Gate Park and checked out “The Bean.” Oh boy, was it still crowded, amidst the rain. 

The Bean at The Cloud Gate, Millennium Park

We had a blast taking photos in this architectural wonder. Oh yeah, it seems that the phrase  “architectural wonder” goes together with Chicago! The skyscrapers are extraodinaire when it comes to architecture design. Or it our visual description – fabulous and looks functional. 

In addition to the Chicago skyscrapers, we visited the Chicago Cultural Center and checked out their extraordinaire biennial exhibition on Architecture! Arxhitects, designers and students everywhere socializing with our three traveling kids talking about design, construction and mine crafts. Minecrafts mainly  from our Turknoys, of course. That counts. 

MAKE GREAT PLANS, in Skyscrapers and in Life! Designs Come True Only After BluePrints and Models – Turknoy Travels 100

Then comes the bronze cow in The Windy City.

Hear Ye Bronze Cow! A lot of statues worth talking a picture around this city!

The next day, we didn’t want to be overwhelmed with all the “must-sees” in Chicago, so we decided to visit the Chicago Children’s Museum. We didn’t realize we will be there for hours and hours of adult and kids fun! 

Chicago Children’s Museum

There are also lots of things to see and enjoy at the Navy Pier! 

Skyline from the Navy Pier

Top of our list, Chicago’s famous deep dish pizza! A pizza which takes more than an hour wait to bake. Our verdic -calorific! 

Chicago Raise Pizza is Deep Dish

If you think that’s loaded, try the glazed and infused donuts, another Chicago born and raised idea of culinary speciality! 

Chicago Donut Fun is Glazed and Infused ❤️

We went to Grant Park and enjoyed a nice sunny and cloudy (and windy!) stroll along the Buckingham Fountain, one of the largest in the world and one that resembles Versailles Fountain. That sounds familiar, yes, the one in France. 

CAN YOU SEE THE HAPPINESS ? We can almost touch it here! 😋

We spent our last day in the Water Tower Place – Dr. Seuss and Lego. Two things that these kids would want not to leave any place. 

The Art of Dr. Seuss, small gallery, great ideas!
We are counting this one as enjoying Chicago’s skyline !

We’ve seen a little of the city but the kids did a whole lot of Chicago loving their way! 
Someday, we’ll return and for sure we’ll enjoy this city more, especially the must-sees. 





Have you been to Chicago? What did you love most? Do tell.