By Larry and Joan Dolinski
Continued from update #32
All afternoon we were treated to homemade pastries, tea, coffee, and mounds of delicious garden grown strawberries. There was much warmth, good conversation (in passable English), laughing, and picture taking. It was truly a bonding process. When matters had finally been arranged with respect to our car problem, the family insisted that we remain for dinner; and what a feast it was. They prepared a table outdoors, capturing all the beauty of the surrounding mountains, waterfalls, fjord, meadows, river, and wild flowers. We were served goat, Norwegian Salmon, and chicken, among other things, along with a choice of delicious wines.
We learned a great lesson on how to render hospitality and look forward to the opportunity of practicing this lesson when we return home.
As to the car, we continued our conversations for the next two days among 5 different offices on 3 continents (and 3 languages)...from the tow service in rural Norway, through various levels of the Peugeot organization in both Norway and France. The upshot is that it doesn't matter whether or not you have a warranty, insurance contract, or any other document because customer service is just not on the radar screen of some firms who boast that their product includes guaranteed satisfaction. In our case we got a run-around, insensitivity, and blatant rudeness from those in the Peugeot organization who were supposed to respond to our crisis (according to their job descriptions and company claims).
Out of frustration we finally resorted to going over the heads of the designated Peugeot contacts by contacting the owner of the lease company in, New York City, who wrote up our lease contract. Bang! Within 2 days the Peugeot automobile had been towed to Oslo, a brand new engine had been shipped from a factory in France, installed, and the repaired car was personally delivered to us with its "new life." And so one more adventure was wrapped up.
While in Oslo, awaiting resolution to our automobile problem, we got to see some interesting things. The highlight was our visit to the Kon Tiki Museum. The museum commemorates Thor Hyerdahl's two famous voyages: that of the Ra and that of the Kon Tiki.
The Kon Tiki voyage took place in 1947 from Callao, Peru to Tahiti. It proved to the satisfaction of the scientific world that ancient people of Peru could have made the 8,000 KM (5000 Mile) trip to Polynesia on rafts.
In 1970, the Ra II sailed successfully from Morocco to Barbados (the Ra I, on an earlier attempt, broke up and sank within a day or two of its destination). The Ra voyages proved that:
o The papyrus boats of antiquity could have been used on the ocean, not just on the Nile.
o An ancient Egyptian papyrus boat was sufficiently seaworthy to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
o People of different color, language, religion, and political beliefs had no problem working together.
o Pollution of the sea is far more extensive than previously recognized.
Both the Kon Tiki and the Ra II are on permanent exhibit in the museum. We are told that Thor Hyerdahl is still alive (in his 90's). The two of us (Joan & Larry) had the great pleasure to have been guests at the Tall Ships Captain's Dinner Dance, back in 1976, where Thor Hyerdahl was the guest speaker. His topic was pollution of the Oceans.
We visited a large number of other attractions in Oslo. The more memorable of these were the Viking Ship Museum, the Ski Jump at Holmenkollen, and the Norwegian Resistance Museum. The Viking ships were quite remarkable, measuring about 80 feet in length, completely open, shallow of draft, and designed to handle both oars and sail. After crossing long ocean stretches in open boats, is it any wonder that Viking behavior was considered aggressive?
Continued on Update #34
Please send corrections, additions, comments and praise to
© 1997-2002 CRW, Inc. All rights reserved. Revised: