Friday, August 1, 2014

August in Scandinavia

Notice the sidebar link to, our Brekke "Norway Scenic and Historical Tour" including links to to purchase the book "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Undset  or the movie directed by Liv Ullman
Ron's email address is

The Smooches in the Grieg Fjord
Grieg Fjord
Bud, Norway
Look at those dirty white jeans!
31 Aug:  Quiet day packing for VT.  Cynthia finished reading Claire Tomalin's excellent book, The Invisible Woman, about Charles Dickens and Ellen Ternan.  Thanks to Barbara T. for sending us photos from our Norway tour.  We were blessed to have such delightful traveling companions.  Marvelous!   The photos are an excellent way to say good bye to August in Scandinavia.

30 Aug:  9:00 AM Cynthia is at Bush Intercontinental awaiting flight to Philadelphia, reflecting on life: Thanks be to God for the gift of great kids and their spouses that produced incredible grandchildren.  When I see my  children as responsible, good, loving parents I can only thank God.  Thanks be to God for the gift of  a peaceful and joy-filled life in relationship.  How can one know the love of Christ and not be filled with thanksgiving?  Do Not Disturb starting at 5 PM, but Ron is guessing that we will have to feed Cynthia first.  Smooch, smooch.  The flight was fine.  Life is good.

29 Aug:  1AM:  To my beloved SmoochSmooch so far away in Texas, I LOVE YOU ... and now I'm going to bed.   CFB to RSB:  I love you return serve swiftly volleyed back over  'net to Beloved Smooch in West Chester! Point! Cynthia did indeed get lotsa pictures of the beautiful miss Fyn Rose but protective parents don't want pictures of the Princess on the Internet.  She looks like (nearly) 14 year old sister Zoe.  And she looks like Cynthia's baby pictures.  It was delightful to see this little family dancing to Fyn's rhythm.  The parents take turns happily holding her on their chests while she sleeps at night hanging on to every precious moment of NOW.   Cynthia is having lunch with her daughters today, returning the rental car and dinner with son Jon at Pappadeaux tonite.  Son Jon was kind enough to drive his Momma to Batteries Plus because her cell phone battery quit charging.  Can you imagine Verizon no longer carries batteries for its own products???   Ron had a fun early dinner at 4PM with Jim Z at McMinamins, then rode the scenic route westward on Germantown Avenue to cross the Schuylkill at Conshohocken in time to join Kim for dinner at 6:45 at Doc MacGruders in West Chester.  Our waiter Brian was excellent and brought me oil-free tilapia and veggies; he even asked if it was OK for me to have the oil IN the fish.  Since it will be impossible to finish Volume 6 this evening, Ron decided to walk to the Giant grocery - except he didn't remember the way and got as bit "lost."  The two hour walk was perfect.  Ron talked with Greg, Donna, Cynthia, and Ed while walking.  Hey, Tomorrow Tomorrow, it's almost Tomorrow!  Cynthia has a mid morning flight to Philly tomorrow.  Joy.

28 Aug:  Cynthia was delighted to meet her newest grandchild.  Ron enjoyed a brief respite from edits in order to help with yard work, pulling weeds.  Immediate gratification, especially when he gets a big clump of roots.  The edits keep going, and keep going, and ... ... .  Dinner tonight was again good, this time at Roots, salmon.  The coffee might possibly keep me awake until 1AM.

27 Aug:  CFB to RSB: I LOVE YOU Smooch!  Anxiety about multiple sources of Gloria Dei records was quieted today when Jeanette definitively declared that her literal transcription was a spreadsheet, i.e. none of the things Ron had seen among Peter's collection.  Dinner at Teca was a VERY good sea bass and a larger portion than usual.

26 Aug:  Ron had a meeting with John T., while Cynthia (in Texas) had lunch with grandson, Steven, a proud new TX A&M graduate.  Steven so enjoyed Arabic language semester in Tunisia he is diligently job hunting in the Middle East.   Obviously he has forgotten about the high population of howling feral cats and bath towels line dried in blowing sand.  Speaking of cats howling, the wind at the lake house in Montgomery is fiercely whipping the waves into white-capped frenzy.   SCARY! One of us should not have read a murder mystery last night.

25 Aug: We both won points but I can't remember how and when.  Cynthia spent the bulk of her day on Apple Support by Chat and Phone because her Mac Book Pro was not behaving properly.  She threatened the Mac with time out in repair therapy,  but the nice Apple Phone Fellow's behavior modification worked wonders. She read a  Funny situ in a mystery book by Patricia Cornwell where the Cop describes MIT students living like the homeless in the library the week of finals where librarians deliver toothbrushes and paste to them, "The MIT students are weird," the cop exclaims.

Beautiful Lake Conroe
Look at those limes!
24 Aug, Sunday: Ron was awake to the Gong (s) of midnight to win points for first I Love You of the day!  He won again.  Smooch!  Undaunted by the late night, he arose ever so early to email "I love you" before going to church with Kim-Eric. Smooch!  Cynthia is home on the hot range of Texas to meet an 11th grandchild who is quite beautiful.  Imagine that.  Cynthia, Jon and her beautiful daughters enjoyed brunch and hours of catching up.

23 Aug:  Ron is again up at 7AM in West Chester, Pennsylvania, re-commencing corrections to Vol. 6.  And again he is claiming points for first I love you of the day -- I LOVE YOU Cynthia.  Smooch Smooch.  It is a bit cooler this morning, but no rain has fallen and the humidity is still up  This evening Marie has invited Ron & Kim to dinner, and she is prepared to boil and season chicken especially without adding fat to the meal.

22 Aug: 12:17 AM  EST: To my beloved Smooch Smooch, I LOVE YOU, and I get points for first I love you of the day.  My eyes are crossing after an entire day of correcting Volume 6 of the Colonial Records.  Ooofta, and I'm only 1/3 of the way to done.  Ron arose at 7AM despite fatigued eyes, made coffee, and progressed nicely through the Vol. 6 corrections until he was stymied by uncertainty whereupon he searched in vain for the original sources of the baptisms and marriages being "corrected."  That pursuit will have to await the next visit to Salt Lake City, but the book cannot wait, so back to "correcting."  Kim and I drove over to Downingtown for his clock which has been refurbished to properly GONG the hours downstairs while it's mate GONGs the hours upstairs, although the two are never quite in perfect agreement.  We then walked through town to a different restaurant which discovered only a small piece of salmon and half dozen small aspargii to feel me.  It was again warm & pleasant but a bit humid all day.  Bedtime was 10:30.

21 Aug:  Ron awoke early, drank coffee and started making corrections to Vol. 6.  Cynthia's day was less pleasant because the dentist fashioned a new crown for her (my little queen).  After overheating in the warmth of today, Ron took a break for dinner with Kim at Mas Mexicall Cantina, a roof-top Mexican restaurant in West Chester.  It delivered pretty tasty steamed salmon and veggies, but Ron drank too much beer to last long making edits tonight.  Having been sweaty and sticky for two days now, Ron finally cooled off and cleaned up with an early evening shower.

20 Aug:, Wed: "What day is it?"  Pooh Bear asked Piglet who answered,  "It's today."  "Oh, that's my favorite day!!"  Pooh replied.  We Smooches happily agree with Pooh Bear even though TODAY means we will be  apart for ten whole, long days!!!  After six years together nearly 24/7  it isn't a FAVORITE DAY to be apart even two days.  Cynthia's noontime flight to Texas went without a hitch, and she is now visiting her family.  She is no doubt bursting with excitement to see her new granddaughter.  Ron is without adult supervision - OhOh.  A successful day of meetings included uploading one PDF document to the SCS website, a fine "liquid" lunch, and dinner.  Ron will stay with Kim-Eric in West Chester and remain strongly focused on getting Volume VI to the publisher before Cynthia returns so that they can enjoy playing together without distracting work (damn four-letter word).

19 Aug, Tues: Thanks to Herb and Zofia for a lovely lunch at the Radnor Hotel with Sally and Nagel; we are richly blessed to have such dear friends. (Herb is cousin to both Cynthia and Ron). Once home Ron worked his magic on the blog photos while Cynthia works on DNA projects; she is the group administrator for the Bankston and Rambo YDNA projects and has a YDNA research project in the works concerning the Lee/Lea families in Caswell County, North Carolina (as well as another book awaiting Ron's editing). We are both in the midst of packing to move out of the hotel tomorrow. Cynthia will be visiting her new granddaughter in TX while Ron is staying with Kim-Eric to get Volume 6 to the publisher and work on the aforementioned Lea book.

18 Aug:  Planned to be a "big" day with visits to Kim and Jim at the Archives.  First, Ron is up at 5AM to fuss with aligning the fersluggin pictures on this blog and making a bit of progress.  But now that breakfast is eaten (thanks Leroy, Brigitte, Sandy, Theresa & Eldrina) and 9:30 approaches, it is time to go Archiving and editing. Ron and Kim-Eric "drank" lunch at McMinimins while Cynthia teetotaled, and we enjoyed dinner with Jim. It made for a marvelous day.

17 Aug, Sunday:  After yet another 12 hours sleep-fest, we are staying up until dark tonight.  We enjoyed seeing Jean at Avenida and wandered around the Mt. Airy Seminary for an hour before returning to the hotel room and projects.  Cynthia has no new pictures to upload, but she is enmeshed in evaluating new DNA discoveries. Fooey, Ron is still puzzling how to organize pictures within this blog; even HTML doesn't yet give the results he wants of text down the left and a single column of pictures down the right - something about "clear" vs "float" or something in-between.  Time for bed; more organizing maybe tomorrow except that we need to pack a bit due to a heavy schedule of appointments before check-out on Wednesday.  Wish us luck

16 Aug:  We enjoyed another excellent night's sleep.  Last time we had two good nights slumber in a row was before our trip.  Breakfast had to be re-cooked thrice, since Leroy doesn't work weekends.  The chef on duty mistakenly made omelets with whole eggs, then made them with cheese.  The third time was charmed.  Ron has mended one pair (?) of undies; strange that not one stitch of mending was done in 3 1/2 months, primarily due to a wealth of Sudokus, 5 or 6 a day usually with one "impossible" Sudoku daily.   Cynthia recommends the movie: Les Miz..., although the screen version pales in comparison to the Broadway musical.  An in-flight movie, The Invisible Woman, sent her to iTunes for Charles Dickens biographies and a download of the book, The Invisible Woman, by Claire Tomalin.

15 Aug: America: Philadelphia, PA:  Our Holiday was awesome.  Dorothy said it best, "There's no place like home."  Cynthia and I slept marvelously, after 24 hours of travel, and feel wonderful this morning.  (We sorely missed air conditioning in Scandinavia.)  Apparently we both have avoided jet lag.  We were delighted to see all our familiar faces at breakfast: Al, Melissa, Jackie, Theresa, Eldrina, and Leroy.  After a pleasantly warm afternoon walk for a couple of miles through Philly suburbs (I even saw a deer scamper across the street), the big question was, "Will the bike start after 3 months inactivity."  The answer was "easily."  It will require a second visit to get the remaining stuff out of storage.  Cynthia has forgotten how to mount the motorcycle, but we got her on and enjoyed dinner at Scoogi's.  Ron slept early while Cynthia laundered - she is delighted to now have clean clothes as well as "new" clothes (from storage).  Another European failing is the total absence of coin laundry; do it by hand or pay for cleaning - Cynthia was shocked to pay $100 to launder a dozen items.

American Flag
14 Aug:  Oslo, Norway:  After attempting to phone, the Grand Hotel concierge personally knocked on our door to be certain to awaken us at 4 AM.  Ron was already awake, but Cynthia enjoyed awakening gently rather than rudely; a ringing phone can be so crudely jarring.  Also answering the knock on the door pretty much assures no danger of falling back to sleep.  We walked in light rain to await the SAS bus to the airport, enjoyed a sunrise bus ride to Oslo airport; security was pleasant despite Norway's credible threat flight three weeks ago; similarly the flight  to London Heathrow was pleasant with fat-free breakfast.  At Heathrow, the Fast Track international security check was much better than in US.  We waited 3 hours in British Airways club lounge with lotsa food and too much coffee and experienced a very pleasant flight to Philadelphia with fat-free dinner (chicken).  Again Dave's Limo Service was inferior service with a 2 hour wait for a 2 hour rough, round-about ride to the hotel in Ft. Washington, where we were welcomed like family to the Holiday Inn Express with air conditioning and a real king size bed.  The whole trip, Oslo to Philadelphia took nearly 24 hours (4AM Oslo to 8PM Philly plus 7 hours for the time change).   Why do all hotels in all of Northern Europe use only twin beds which are pushed together (not fastened) so that they often easily slide apart?  Is this their notion of birth control?  Why do they provide ONLY individual comforters, never top sheets?  Thank goodness to be back in the land of sensible bedding.  Good Night.

Royal Palace Guard
Rodin's "The Thinker"
View of Oslo from the Royal Palace
Delightful 19th century Painting
Degas' Ballerina
more dance
Norwegian Nauralist Painter Tidemand
See Painting to left 
Naturalist J.C. Dahl
Naturalist Dahl - 
Thomas Fearnley
Norwegian Naturalist Fearnley
This is a waterfall
And Ron Makes Me Laugh
13 Aug:  We are up early today in Oslo after a good night's sleep (although Ron could snooze a bit after gorging himself at breakfast).  First, though, the big bag which will be checked needs to be packed and moved off his side of the bed.  It has drizzled a bit already, and the forecast calls for thunderstorms.  Because it was raining just as we walked out the door to go to the National Gallery, we had lunch first.  Normally we order one entree but the waitress misunderstood so we are too-much-over-filled once again.  The sun appeared, and we toured the art exhibit entitled "The Dance of Life" at the National Gallery.  The most poignant painting was the portrayal of an emaciated old fisherman sitting beside his battered and broken old boat, staring longingly at the immense sea.  What was he wishing for, what memories was he reliving?  Perhaps to be young again wrestling the big fish, perhaps harrowing "adventures" or lovely recollections?  Viewing such a marvelous body of artwork, Cynthia had a brief moment of longing to be back at her easel, up to her elbows in paint.  But the paints were given away to her daughter, and her award-winning art work will adorn the homes of  grandchildren.  Living fully in the present moment is the finest art, and our body of work is continuing to develop nicely.

Loved the waterfalls hiking up to Thomas' House
Majestic Waterfall in Oslo Park
Waterfall en route to Thomas' home
13 Aug continued. We again enjoyed the riverside walk past two lovely waterfalls to Thomas' home and from there rode with Thomas to dinner at Ekeberg Ute, a marvelous restaurant surrounded by a sculpture park.  (Be sure to make reservations; it is very popular.) The marvelous installations of art could not compete with the sunset view over the city of Oslo.  The dinner was quite lovely outdoors, Thomas' company is very enjoyable, and it was especially endearing to witness his joy about refurbishing his grandfather's sail boat.

View of Oslo's skyline and the Opera House
Opera House and Reconstruction Projects
Oslo Fjord
View of Oslo Fjord From the Restaurant in Mountains

Sunset over Oslo
12 Aug: We hate to request wake up calls, but the one at 6 AM this morning was certainly needed. After final packing and 7 AM breakfast, we arrived early for the 8 AM train to Oslo, Norway. How do those European trains manage to eliminate the clickety clack? The ride from Stockholm to Oslo was pleasant and comfortable; scenery was very nice although the train scared the bejesus out of four deer that bolted away. The smallest two were barely able to see over the ripening grain in the field. We arrived in Oslo on time at 2:30 PM. (That last tunnel seems to last forever.) Since we left two bags at the hotel and rearranged weight, we were able to walk from Central Station six blocks to the hotel, where we were greeted like family. The Maître D' of the Grand Cafe heard of our impending arrival and delivered a loaf of fat free bread to our table. Nice nice nice!!! After dinner, we enjoyed a lovely walk to the Royal Palace and through its beautifully landscaped grounds before returning to the room. The concierge lent Ron scissors, which were gainfully employed cropping the healthy outcrop of hair Ron has accumulated since our visit to Yorkshire, two months ago. To bed, perchance to dream less than last night. Hilsen, Sverige! Velkommen Norge!

Swedish flag
11 Aug:  Today's big goal was to research Gunnersson, Gunnarsdotter, and Ramberg families, especially in Lundby Parish (on Hisingen) at the Riksarkivet.  Of course the rain began exactly when we were ready to leave the hotel; we took a taxi instead of a bus or trolley.  Imagine two Americans trying to read ancient Swedish writing, digitized or on microfiche.  Cynthia browsed pages  # 196, #44, and another #44 of Handel's Maritime Records, 1638-1658 and finally resorted to ordering copies for transcription by our colleagues who can read Swedish.  Ron read Lundby Parish burial records from 1693, searching for any Ramberg or Gunnarsdoter; no luck although there was much of interest including Bengtssons and Matsons and Rassmussens.  At four PM the bell rang and we were booted out into the beautiful Stockholm sunshine for a lovely two mile walk alongside duckies swimming in the canal, Swedish blondes in bikinis, parents pushing prams, and couples holding hands.  Our destination being great food at the Stockholm Fisk Restaurant; we stopped at a grocery en route for some sorbet.

Clock in City Hall works occasionally
Beautiful Handwork on Ceiling
Nobel Prize Table Setting
10 Aug, Sunday:  City Hall Guided Tour: The Stockholm City Hall is one of Sweden's most famous buildings, built in 1923; it houses offices for 200 people and the Municipal Council; it is the venue for the Nobel Prize Dinner on the 10th of December each year.  It is also famous for its grand ceremonial halls, the gold leaf reception hall and other unique art.  The city of  Stockholm is home to 2.2 million people. The total population of Sweden at 10 million is twice that of Norway.  (By comparison, the city of Houston has 6 million.)  The economy of Sweden is quite good and the taxes are among the highest in the world, hovering around 50%, similar to Norway.  Unemployment may be a hidden high because of soft immigration laws and benefits so high they are running a deficit again.  The city has been inundated with Romanian con artists including women beggars on every corner and at the entrance to many buildings.  This city is attractive to the gypsies' big business.  The beautiful city of Stockholm is called the Venice of the North because of it is situated on four islands, besides the hundreds of little islands surrounding the city.  How did the king's men get all of his horses to Gamla Stan in centuries past?  Did they ferry on rafts using Stockholm city pass cards as we did?  We boarded the Historic Harbor Canal Tour Ferry with our Stockholm Card and traveled around two islands, passing the endless rows boats (Swedes own 930,000 boats in this city).  Two young Russian girls beside us were a study of contrasts, sober reflection vs bubbily expressiveness.  We walked to the Royal Armory to view King's armor, weapons, royal carriages, and a gold sleigh; it ALSO had the costumes of generations of royalty from baptismal to coronations robes.  We dined again in the Radisson Blu Viking Hotel; the restaurant is named Stockholm Fisk and we were seated at "our table" by the window so we can watch passersby who sometimes watched us.  The Maitre D', waiter, and chef already recognize us and know our diet.  Photos are such a disappointment; it is impossible for a camera to capture the brilliant palettes in our vision.  Pictures will be edited soon!

Gold Leaf between Glass Mosaics
Gold Reception Hall
Mosaics not normally found in Sweden
Our French/Swedish Guide

City Hall
City Hall Tower
Interesting Architecture City Hall

Swedish Flag from Ferry

The Smooches 

King's Shield

Battle Armor

King Gustav

King Gustav Adolphus Ceremonial Armor

Elizabeth I 

Royal Carriages
Swedish Royal Carriage
Another Elaborate Royal  Swedish Carriage

Royal Gold Sleigh

The Coronation Coach

Vasa Ship Museum

Expensive Ship Sailed 40 Minutes and Sank
The Ship was too narrow at the hull for top weight
Side View of Vasa Ship
9 Aug, Sat: Vasa Museum - after spending a small fortune of 825 Kroner on Stockholm Passes, we breathed a sigh of relief when the admission to the museum was 260 Kr making the cost of the three day pass on ferries, buses, trollies and admissions seem less expensive.  The video about the ship VASA, that sunk 10 August 1628, after a maiden voyage of only twenty minutes, is almost as interesting as our day exploring this incredible ship.  There is not another vessel in the world that has gone through conservancy on such a large scale.  This was one of a list of dozens of must-see places generously provided by our friend John, whose daughter, Emily, studied voice here.  (For future reference, here is that list::  Viking Gold near Vasa Museum, Skansen - like Willimaburg, Millesgarten - home & sculpture garden of Milles, classic old Royal Opera House, Drottningholm Palace - with performances at 18th century court theater, Mariefred for Gripsholms Castle national portrait gallery and Gropshomsvikin former royal distillery, waterfront ferry to Vaxholm or on to Sandhamn sailing center, Bakfickan Restaurant in the Opera House, Bern'e Restaurant, Stallmastargarden - classic Swedish cuisine at 17th century inn on lake, Rolfs Kok Restaurant near Hallsten Hotel, and one of the bigger rooms at the Hallsten Hotel was recommended.)

Interior View of Vasa Ship Sunken for 400 years

Fascinating Pigments to Stain Ship Sculptures

Pigment Palette for Painting Sculpture

Vasa Sculptures

Sculptures from the Stern


Cleaning Lice

Backgammon and Chess

One in Ten Men Conscripted - few returned

Smooch Smooch and ship

Two original cannons are on display

Reconstructed Heads




Beate - 25 year old, malnourished

Beate's Dental: Result of Poor Nutrition
Beate's Story 

Does he look like your relatives?

Only 2% of objects found are on display

Painting of the Ship Vasa

Ceramic ware found on board

View of Stockholm from Gamla Stan

Parliament on Island
8 Aug:  The fast train to Stockholm was indeed very fast.  The landscape crossing Sweden was unremarkable, although it was nice to see large fields of planted crops.  There were also a few herds of cattle, but we didn't see any sheep or hogs.  After a couple of sudoku, Ron commenced his next book, entitled Bullies & Con Men, Wealth & Power, the causes of war.  Suddenly our trip was at end and it was time to pack the computer and empty the bladder (again).  The walk to the Clarion Hotel was not long, about five blocks, manageable since two small bags were left at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.  (It really pays to return to the same hotel for the night before our return flight.  We will also hope to retrieve Cynthia's favorite sunglasses and the universal electrical converter.)  The new converter that we purchased doesn't convert 240 to 120, but our computer power supplies do that (thank God).

Ramberget, Hisingen, Sweden
View from Ramberget Mountain, Hisingen, Sweden
Continued View from Ramberget Mountain
360 degree View from Ramberget Mountain
Ramberget Mountain Gorgeous View of Goteborg
Ron on  Ramberget Mountain
Happy Rambo Descendant on Ramberget
Ron on Top of Rambo Mountain
7 Aug:  We are sluggish today; it seems likely that we are not resting well at night due to the "unusual" heat and the total absence of air conditioning throughout all of Northern Europe.  Morning coffee and cola awakened us by the time we arrived at the Emigration Center, where we enjoyed a lively visit with the "boss" who obviously enjoys his job.  He became excited upon hearing that Peter Gunnarsson Rambo came from Hisingen and located several books including Beverly Nelson Rambo's 1986 volume of the Rambo Family Tree.  Cynthia offered to send Ron's expanded, five-volume revision.   By hopping onto a #18 city bus, we made it to the archives by 3:10 to search until closing at 4:00.  We walked a couple of blocks towards the ferry before we found the Park Avenue restaurant and enjoyed a lovely dinner of baked cod with thorn berry sorbet for dessert.

The next bus delivered us to the ferry which which delivered us to the University on Hisingen Island so we could once again walk up Ramberget.  (It was no easier the second time.)  Encouraged by our energy level we decided to walk down the back side of the mountain to Lundby Gamla Kirke.  Lundby Old Church was built in the 14th century with a baptismal font from an earlier church on that site.  However, atop Ramberget, Cynthia asked a sweet Swedish couple for directions according to our map and explained that we are descendants of the Ramberg in Lundby Parish.  They seemed amused, and explained the white area on the map was the ocean which we could not walk across.  Instead, they offered to drive us to the church.  It was a bit disconcerting to see our skillful young (female) driver reading the map while wheeling around corners, but we were indeed thankful for the ride.  It is a beautiful, simple old church with immaculately well-kept grounds.  The oldest tombstones propped against the walls had illegible dates.  We can hope to find the parish registers and can only hope to find early dates.

Ron on Ramberget Street

Ron at Ramberget School


Gothenburg Coast Guard

Paintings depicting Migration from Sweden

 Farmers Barn Burnings -  Emigration Museum Goteborg

Emigration Museum Paintings Goteborg

Emigration Museum Exhibit Goteborg

Emigration Museum 

Emigration Museum at Wharf Goteborg

Happy Ron at Arksrkivet

Lundby Parish Old Church

Church Bell Tower

Beautiful Cemetery

Old Tombstones

Oldest Tombstones at Old Lundby Parish Church

Royal Palace Stockholm

Stockholm, Swedish Flag, Royal Palace

Skyscape Stockholm

King Gustav III Sculpture

Gota Canal

Norwegian Flag 

Gothenburg from Hisingen
Canal between Goteborg and Hisingen
Ron and Archivist in Gothenburg
Beautiful Fleurs Thanks to Much Daylight
6 Aug:  Eureka !  This evening we summited Ramberget on Hisingen Island, part of Göteborg, Sweden, the birthplace of our common ancestor, Peter Gunnarson Rambo.  (Imagine my chagrin, after publishing five volumes, to discover that his name was really Pers Gunnarson, son of Gunne Persson.)  But first we bought daily passes for the ferry and rode that into city center where we visited clas ohlson to replace our converter (for electric appliances) because we left ours at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.  (Did you know that those things do NOT convert voltage?  Fortunately cell phone and computer chargers accept 240 volts input.)  Then we exchanged some dollars for Swedish Kr. at a slightly better rate than Norwegian Kr. (still calculates nearly 6 Kr. per $), and our afternoon at the Archives was full of exciting discoveries which will appear on the Rambo Family website ASAP.  Göteborg [Gothenburg] is a fast-paced, pedestrian-packed busy city and very chaotic. We will (eventually) send photos of Swedish blondes to Mark.  (Beware, Mark, Cynthia mans the camera and prefers infants and toddlers.)  Our vistas atop Ramberget were interrupted by the local running club's race to the top.  Cynthia claims she won by touching the top minutes before the first racers arrived.

5 Aug:  The Grand Hotel graciously kept two of our bags awaiting our return.  Regardless, we hired a cab to drive us to the train station; 12 blocks walking turned into miles driving due to Oslo street construction & closures & restrictions.  Our tickets by rail from Oslo to Gothenburg, Sweden, ancestral home of our mutual ancestor, Peter Gunnarsson Rambo, were transmuted into a bus ride around railroad construction to board the train down the line. The ride was less scenic than in Norway, with many fields and pastures alongside the tracks.  Border crossing was a non-event.  We hired a cab to drive miles and cross bridges to get to the Quality 11 Hotel, within walking distance of Ramberget, our presumed ancestral home.  It seems so strange to see Comfort & Quality hotels in Scandinavia.

4 Aug:, Mon: The Last Breakfast, Good-Byes with Hugs!  Some of our new friends are departing for the US today; some are extending their stay to meet with Norwegian relatives.  At 2 PM it was not pouring rain, so we walked about 2 miles to visit Thomas, Ron's Norwegian friend from long ago in Santa Fe; Ron and Google searched the net to discover his whereabouts in Oslo.

Vigeland was a landscape architect, too
Most famous Vigeland Sculpture once stolen, now found
Vigleand Sculpture Park
Joy in Relationship
Obsessed by loss of his children?
Family Relationships
3 Aug, Sun:  Another lovely morning in Norway!  Wonderful that we did not have to pack up by 8am, although we still had to breakfast early to catch the 9am bus.  We all miss Mikjel, the BEST bus driver!   Our Oslo tour was excellent.  We stopped at the Vigeland Sculpture Park, Norway's most popular tourist attraction, followed by most interesting visits to the Norsk Folkemuseum, and then the Viking Ship Museum.  Cynthia was greatly excited to see the stave church that was moved to Oslo from Hallingdal, Cynthia's ancestral home; here is a link to that image: Without a doubt, Mari Anne, our tour guide has been the best part of the trip.  Today we  celebrated her 70th birthday along with her daughter and two beautiful and delightful grandchildren who joined us for today's tour and this evening's Last Dinner.

Vigeland's Mystery Figures

Husband and Wife - Eros
Lost Children in Vigeland's Life
Companions or Dual Personalities

Lovely Fleurs at Vigeland Sculpture Park
Love the purple fleurs - 
More Flowers

Vigeland's themes of creation, death, relationships



Gustav Vigeland Park

Stabbur in Oslo Historical Village

House ca 1600 AD

Supports of Stave Church

Lord's Supper Altar Panel

Roof Beams like Viking Ship

Chancel Panels

Altar Panel

Exterior Wood Carvings

Stave Church from Hallingdal

Once located at Gol in Hallingdal

Interior of Wealthy Telemark Style Home

Guide from Telemark 

Dinner Plate Racks

Interior of Farmhouse ca 1750 AD

Stabbur or Storage House

1600 AD House

Storage House

Historical Garden


Old Style Fencing

Photos of Discovery of Viking Ship
Back to Go - Viking Ship
Viking Ships Before Removal 
Discovery of the Viking Ships
Sad that these will disintegrate when touched
Sleigh on Viking Ship as Burial Chamber
These photos are again of the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, our second visit.

Lunch with Barbara and Anne street side at Grand Hotel in Oslo
New Friends 

last evening at the Grand Hotel Cafe
Good Byes Tonight
Too Cute!
Enjoyed this family - Marianne on Right with her daughter

These next several pictures are of our final group dinner at the Grand Hotel in Oslo.

Marianne's Family 


These two pictures highlight Mari Anne and her daughter and grandchildren. The grandson is just as shy and retiring as is Mari Anne. He delighted us all by singing in Norwegian.

Beautiful girl, Beautiful voice
Architectural Renderings of Original Cathedral
Our Guide's Marvelous Vibratto Voice was a Thrill
2 Aug, Sat: The drive from Lillehammer to Hamer to Oslo was breathtaking.  The first stop in Hamer at Norway's Crystal Cathedral was incomparable and inspirational because of the young guide's delightful personality and marvelous voice.  She sang two songs using a difficult vibratto style traditionally used in Hamar and Telemark.  We were not surprised to learn she has been accepted at the music conservatory.  We were very surprised to learn Norwegian women wore silk dresses (on rare occasions - very rare).  They washed the silk and dried it on their bodies so it would show off their figures.  And the wealthiest class liked transparent fabrics.  The class system was very much alive in Norway with farmers being the first class.  Yet, Cynthia cannot imagine her ancestors wearing low-cut empire style dresses even if the boobs were not important.    The pictures will tell the story of an amazing glass structure that houses the ruins of a 1200 AD cathedral destroyed by the Swedes (the guide said, "We know they did it! We have the proof!")  We toured houses dating to 1600 up to 1800 AD before traveling on to Eidsvoll to Norway's Constitution Hall -  and Carsten Ankers home , the pride and joy of the Norwegian people.  The guide gave us a tour of Anker's Romanesque style house where symmetry reigns supreme; representatives from all of Norway met there for six weeks in 1814 to draw up and to sign the Articles of the Constitution 17 May 1814 declaring Norway's independence.   So proud are they of their country they willingly pay about 50% income tax; or so we are told.  We arrived in Oslo about 4:00 PM and had to bid adieu to Mickel, our skillful, cheerful and handsome bus driver.  (He has to go home to prepare for a visit by his sister and two nieces ages 4 and 7.  He will be a busy uncle for a bit.)  Ron greeted several of the new best friends at the Grand Hotel, bellboys, desk clerks, waitresses and the Maitre D'.  We enjoyed a lovely dinner at the Grand Cafe with Ann and Linda before Ron walked with them to the bus station.  Despite the cost of hotel laundry service our clothes are being laundered.  Good night from the Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway; photos from today are below, and Cynthia recorded video: a You Tube presentation from the cathedral:

Stones: 1200 AD on left, 1300 AD on right

Crystal Cathedral  an architectural wonder

Altar from 1200 AD - used by farmer in barn

Stone remains of 12th century cathedral  destroyed by Swedes

Historic Village in Hamar, Norway

Fine Wedding Clothes for Wealthy Norwegians 17th c

Wealthy women followed style of France

Pink silk wedding dress

Decorated walls and ceilings with rosemaling

Notice the wall paintings in home of wealthy farmer

Green jacket took 300 hours of labor

Low cut dresses show women did not worry about the boobs

Hand painted trunk in Hamar Style

Ornately painted walls and ceilings

Ceiling painting 17th c


16th c Norwegian home at Hamar, Norway


Wealthy Farmer welcoming???

House from 1644

Wealthy farmer used cathedral stone for his barn

Tired Tired Tired

Drive to Roros above the tree line
Above the tree line approaching Roros
Walking Above Tree Line 
Ron on Rock
1 August, Friday:  Røros to Lillehammer, Norway.  The fresh, cool mountain air made a splendid night's sleep.  Our first stop was to take photos high above the tree line where a neighbor Isn't.   Ron was surprised to see Cynthia follow him across the boulders to the overlook for photos.  Our lunch stop was breathtaking in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley at the centuries old Sygard Grytting Hotel.  The hotel has been famous since the 13th century (and in the family since that time) for worshippers making  pilgrimages to Trondheim's famous Nidadros Cathedral.  Finally, our arrival in Lillehammer, the site of the Olympics some years ago. The pictures don't begin to tell today's story:

Approaching the Sygard Grytting Hotel:

Sjugard Farm for Dinner
Moose Eggs
Farm has had a hotel since 16th C

Loom in Sjugards Farm Home

Our host describing his family farm

A feast prepared

Norwegian Dress at Sjugards Home

Happy Tour Group

Our Host Sjugard in his Ancestral home

Norwegian Hostess

Butter Holder as a table decoration

Carved Cup

Sjugard's Home and Hotel

Rooms in the hotel

Furs for Blankets and Sleigh Rides
Traveling Chest
Clothes Hanging on Rods

The loom

Linen Press
Beds at Sjugard's hotel
Linen Press

Baby's Bed
Sjugards Farm Hotel used in 16th c

Gudbransdalen Valley

Gudbrandsdalen Valley

Lillehammer Ski Jump

View from the Ski Jump

Ron will Light the Torch (left)

Farm Location of the Olympics