From one motherland to the next…

Posted By: ShannonBrady
Posted On: February 25th, 2018
Attending: Trinity College Dublin

This week I was able to take a trip to Oslo, Norway where I met my mom and second cousin, Tor. The trip was extremely special to me because along with being 25% Irish I’m also 25% Norwegian. During World War II my Mimi (my mom’s mom) emigrated to the U.S. with her family from Norway. Since her move to the U.S. she’s been back to Norway several times and so has my mom. They usually stay with Tor in Oslo or with other relatives in their summer cabin in Arendal. I always knew that I’d make it to Norway one day but I never dreamed it’d be with my mom and I’d be traveling from my current home in Dublin, Ireland.

I was only in Oslo for two and a half days but we most certainly made the most of it. Our trip began with dinner and celebratory champagne the night I arrived. Each morning started with espresso and a typical Norwegian breakfast of hard boiled eggs, assorted cheeses, grapes, bread, and maybe even a little salmon or tuna. My cousin Tor is a true foodie and an amazing cook so he absolutely spoiled my mom and I while we were there. On Thursday we ventured to the Viking Ship Museum followed by the Folk Museum to get a real feel for the Norwegian heritage. Being an art history major, I had learned about several of the famous Viking ships that were preserved at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, but never did I think I’d have the chance to see them in person. After getting our tourist fix we stopped into a bistro on the fishing pier where we had possibly the best fish soup I’ve ever tasted. The seafood was so fresh because Oslo is a fishing village right on the water. With full tummies we boarded a ferry that cruised around the fjord stopping at each island. The fjords are what make Norway, specifically Oslo, so picturesque. Each island has snow covered cabins nestled into the woods and anchored boats drifting alongside old docks. I was entranced by the icy blue sea and the uniqueness of each island we stopped at. Our day ended with a burger and Bulmer’s Irish cider, the best of Norway and Ireland in one meal.

On Day 2 we headed to frogner Park home to Vigeland sculpture park. The entire green area (or snowy area as of right now) is covered in bronze statues by the same artist. From there we walked around Grünerløkka, one of the trendiest areas in Oslo, littered with cafes, second hand vintage shops, and impressive street art. Along the way we passed the secondary school and apartment where my mimi grew up! We ended our afternoon with a delicious meal at Mathallen food hall, an indoor food market specializing in all local Norwegian cuisine and vendors. We enjoyed chicken with cabbage and potatoes alongside a heaping bowl of fresh mussels. I couldn’t get enough of the seafood in Norway which reminded me so much of my home in Scituate, MA. Equipped with a food induced coma, we headed home to relax before the main event; a trip to the Oslo Opera House to see the Norwegian production of Norma. This was my first ever opera and I absolutely loved it! The orchestra music was hauntingly beautiful and the entire production was just enchanting. I couldn’t have asked for a better first opera experience with the people I love.

I’m currently aboard my flight back to Dublin while writing this and reflecting on the past two days. I’m so incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel so easily while living in Ireland. My first trip to Norway with my mom is one I’ll remember for the rest of my life. It was so great that I’ve already made plans to head back to Norway in the spring to visit another one of my relatives (Tor’s brother) up North. With warmer weather (hopefully) I hope to visit Trolltunga and the Lofoten Islands, some of the most scenic hiking spots and beautiful landscapes Norway has to offer. There is something inexplicably fulfilling about visiting family and getting in touch with your ancestral roots. Just as I felt at home when I landed in Ireland for the first time, I instantly fell in love with Norway and the Scandinavian culture. This year has allowed me to explore the different parts of my identity and feel even more grounded in who I am as a person. I can’t wait to see where my next adventure takes me, but for now I’m excited to continue to experience every inch of Ireland while I still can. Now time to take a quick nap before I land and head straight to my club game against University of Limerick! The Victory Scholar life is a hectic and fast paced one but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

With Love,


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