Since Petersburg was founded by Norwegians our community has a strong link to that heritage. Every May the town has a festival to celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day which is on May 17th. So when we started planning a trip to Norway I knew we had to try to be in Oslo for syttende mai. There are a remarkable number of people that have actually been to Norway from Petersburg so there was no shortage of tips on things to see.
We woke on the 17th and made plans to rendezvous with Kevin and Trina in the early afternoon. Pepper, Jordan and I headed out on foot toward Karl Johans Gate which was where the parade would be. We walked through the cemetery that was close to our apartment building and then started hearing a marching band playing so just followed our ears and the other people that were on foot – everyone was headed in the same direction. We stumbled on a band playing for what looked like a high school graduation and then moved on toward the main drag. Even from a distance the mass of people looked impressive.
When we got to the parade it was clear that we wouldn’t be able to see much. But we found a way to get above the crowd and stood and watched the parade for 20 minutes or so. 20 minutes of what must have been a 3 hour long parade!
Then we worked our way toward Det Kongelige Slott (the Royal Castle) where the King and Queen were waving a the passing parade. After looping around the back of the castle we had to cross the parade twice to make it back to the spot that we had arranged to meet up with Kevin and Trina. In hindsight we should have brought the pair of Motorolla radios with us because my phone wouldn’t get text messages for a very long time after Trina sent them. We found a spot for lunch and people-watching and then walked to Vigeland Park. (As a side note, I figure we walked at least 8 miles on this day and much of the day was pretty dang warm!)
We then walked back to our apartment in time for shaving off Kevin’s beard on the roof of the apartment during the sunset.