Sunday, May 31, 2009

We had a four hour bus ride to Oslo followed by a free day.


On Friday May 29th we woke up and went to Agder University and had several lectures on alternative energy. The lectures were a great mix. The lectures that we had were: Insights on Solar Energy by Dr. Anne Gerd Imenes, the Physics of Solar Cells by Prof. Tor Oskar Saetre, End Use of Solar Electricity in Norway by Georgi Yordanov, Power Electronics for Photovoltaics and other Revewable Energy Sources by Oystein Oddan Holt, State of the Art in Fuel Cell Research by Prof. Hugh Middleton and Hydro Power Stations from a Control Engineering Perspective by Prof. Bernt Lie. All of these were great lectures and very educational. This is going to sound nerdy but I wish we could have had lectures all day. After the lectures we heard from Prof. Bernt Lie about potential abroad opportunities with Telemark University College and from Prof. Frank Reichert the Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Science at the University of Agder about abroad opportunities with them. We also got to meet the University of Agder's Adam Pagel. There Adam is Pal Grandal. Hopefully some of us will get to know him better by coming back and studying at the University of Agder. After all of the presentations we had lunch with the people at the lectures. Some of us sat with the professors and were able to ask more questions about fuel cells and solar panels. We didn't have much time to linger since we had to get on the bus to go to Oslo. In case you didn't know, a bus ride from Grimstad to Oslo is four hours. But those four hours gave us a lot of time to enjoy the great scenery. When we got to Oslo we checked into the Scandic Hotel Sjolyst. After checking in we split up and found our own food. Some ate at McDonalds which was about sixteen dollars for a meal. Others went to a grocery store and loaded up on chocolate and candy, the best form of nutrition. After getting food some people went to the sculpture garden while others took the train into downtown Oslo.

On Saturday the 30th we were given a free day. The group I was with started off with the sculpture gardens which some saw the previous day. We posed as some of the sculptures which brought laughs to all including other tourists from around the world. I think we started a trend at the sculpture gardens. After that we walked up the opera house. If anyone is going to try doing so in the future watch your step. The roof is not flat it has random steps up and down which are easy to trip over. After the opera house we walked to a church that when we got there we found that it was under construction. It seems that all of Scandinavia is under construction sometimes. After that we went to the parliament building and ate lunch across from the building. Then we went to the royal palace and watched the changing of the guards. We learned that they do a funny little penguin shuffle to get the proper distance between each other, but hey whatever works. After that we went to the castle and got in free using our transportation passes, always a plus. After that all of our feet were tired so we sat in the grass and discussed high heels. There was a wedding at the castle and girls were walking up the cobblestone road in there stiletto heels. We still don't know why they did it. Once rested we went to our last place which was the gardens. Somewhere in the day we went to the museum with the famous scream picture. If not for all of the pictures Saturday would just be a blur. We split up after the gardens. Some went to a very European restaurant, TGI Friday, well others went back to the hotel.