Monday at the Botanical Gardens

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Morty’s vacation started today, so we decided to soak up as much of this Oslo heat-wave as possible and headed out to the Botanical Gardens (Botanisk hage). I’ve been once before, but that visit fell in September, so it was nice to see all of the colorful summer blooms and explore the fragrant (but humid!) greenhouses.

This greenhouse’s star attraction (for me) were these amazing water-lilies. They are fittingly called Victoria Amazonica – they looked cozy enough to curl up on with a cup of tea and a book, but I decided not to test their Amazonian strength.

Victoria AmazonicaLollipop Plant (Pachystachys lutea):

luteaAnthurium/Tailflower/Flamingo Flower:

I sadly didn’t notate the name of this plant, but Morty remarked that it looks like a face-hugger from the Alien films. Yikes!

face huggerIn the desert greenhouse we saw these rose-like succulents called Aeonium Manriqueorum. I read that “aeonium” means “ageless” in Greek, which is so fitting for these sturdy plants!

SucculentThe ever elusive bunny cactus, or Echinopsis Oxygona:

bunny cactusOutside of the greenhouses, we walked through paths of tall trees and little gardens of blooms:

flowerOrange flower

flowers 2My favorite sighting after the giant water-lilies: Umbrella Leaf (Diphylleia Cymosa)

umbrella leaf

If you find yourself in Oslo, I highly recommend a visit to this gem on the east-side of town. The paths and greenhouses are free of charge and it’s the perfect spot to wind down and breathe in some unexpected inspiration.

Embarrassing behavior in foreign places

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One of my favorite spots in Oslo is Bare Jazz, a jazz record shop downstairs, a cafe/bar upstairs. It’s tucked into a cozy square off of a busy street. I’d like to think it’s my little secret, but in the long days of summer, it becomes a popular place to while away the hours for many a local or tourist. I pop in from time to time with a book or just my thoughts, and on one particular visit a few summers ago, I sat down to have tea and a pastry. The tea was presented in several pieces: a large glass was filled with hot water, an infuser was in the glass, and on top of the infuser hung a tiny cup. After a few minutes, I took the infuser out and laid it on my plate next to my pastry. I then pondered the tiny cup, and being that I’ve only ever drunk tea out of a cup, I decided that the cup must be for the tea. So, I proceeded (er, attempted) to pour the very hot tea from the large glass into the tiny cup. As you can imagine, it didn’t go well. Hot tea dripped down my arm and only filled the cup with enough for a sip or two. After doing this a few more times, I decided that I was just going to drink the tea from the large glass – forget that tiny cup! I then noticed someone else drinking tea, and on their table was the tiny cup…with the infuser nestled inside. [Insert head smack here.] The only thing to do was laugh. I don’t think anyone noticed, but if they did, hopefully it gave them a laugh too. Now I quite enjoy getting tea there just so I can have the pleasure of putting the infuser in the correct spot (and not getting my wrist and pastry soggy).

The correct way to have tea at Bare Jazz.