Land of the Moose
No, not Canada. Oslo is apparently a haven for moose (haven’t seen any yet, though). This very moose-friendly city has even constructed elaborate bridges especially for the moose population, in order to minimize the occurance of traffic accidents involving these hefty beasts. But enough about the moose.
We arrived in Oslo today, and it’s a very different city from Cologne. I’ve never been in Scandinavia before, and I’m fascinated by the distinctive personality of this place. The people have a lot of pride, even now, for the heroic behavior of their country during World War II. Time may be healing wounds in Germany, but clearly the war is still a defining moment in Norway’s history.
We visited the royal palace in between touring three Oslo baby stores. It was a really interesting experience to see which products are common to our stores, and which are uniquely European. Most surprising was the stroller selection. The Norweigans evidently like big, heavy prams in dark colors. That was the bulk of the offering in all three stores. There was nary a bugaboo in sight, and even the Xplory isn’t gaining any traction in the marketplace, despite the home field advantage. Of the brands I did recognize, the Mutsy is doing well, the Quinnys seem popular and I even saw a Zooper in one store. But there were precious few umbrella strollers – no Maclarens at all – and very few all-terrain or jogging models (no Mountain Buggy!). In fact, I actually saw a woman running up a mountain pushing a pram. Now that’s a workout.
After our tour, we ate dinner at a beautiful restaurant high in the hills of Oslo, overlooking the city. The carnivores (and apparent Santa-haters) among us feasted on the local specialty, Reindeer Filet, while I noshed on a plate of unidentifiable but tasty vegetables. For dessert – can you guess? Chocolate mousse.